My first 5-Diamond, 4-Star Interview

I wasn’t sure what to wear — I’ve never had a late-evening interview with a 5-diamond, 4-start restaurant, and struggled with whether or not I should wear my chef whites and bring my knives, dress in business attire or wear a cocktail dress. I settled on black; a sheath dress with a suit jacket + my resume and nervous stomach.

This wasn’t just any interview. This was an interview with one of the best restaurants in the area, with an award-winning chef. And I didn’t just get called on a whim, I was recommended by our Executive Chef/Chair and our top rated instructor at school. No pressure.

The Chef asked me to arrive at 8 p.m. I was feeling confident until I stepped into that kitchen and saw the production line; the phrase, “Oh, crap!” repeated in my head over and over, without pause…OhCrapOhCrapOhCrap.

My knees buckled and my thoughts ran wild,”What did I get myself into? If I screw this up, I will not only disappoint my instructors, but I could potentially ruin $200 worth of ingredients. Crap.”

My interview took place directly in the kitchen, between a ticket board and the pastry window. Chef kept an eye on the line as we talked. He was tall. “I don’t have restaurant experience on the line, but I have worked in catering…” I can’t remember what I said after that – something about my internship and working for Disney for five years.

Chef disappeared for a few minutes and then brought me to his office so the sous chef could interview me for a few minutes.

Long story short, I’m working there for one night tomorrow, to see if I like it, if we’re a good fit — you know the drill. I’m nauseous. I’m excited. I’m a nervous wreck. This is fine dining at its best. Hopefully my best will be good enough.