I have been in Chania for almost two months now. So far, I can say that it has been a very nice experience. The heat is now really starting in full splendor and little by little more and more tourists are arriving on the island. As the work here is very much determined by the tourist season, I have found out some crazy things like, from May to September, there are places that don't give any days off, because they close in October and don't open until March of the following year. Isn't it crazy to work five months continuously? Surprisingly, the Greeks seem to accept the deal without reluctance.
Well, now let's move on to my work. I'm working once a week properly in the kitchen and the other days I'm doing preparations. These are simple but time-consuming activities that have been a challenge to learn how to do them well and faster.
As the season is changing, so are the dishes. Matzenta is a place that tries to be eco-friendly and use the ingredients found on this island. The only things they import from Mexico are chiles and tortillas.
At the moment there are four of us in the kitchen. A girl named Sara, who did her internship last semester and decided to stay, Pedro, the sous Chef and Grigoris, the head chef. The owner, Dimitris, also comes into the kitchen when the place is very crowded.
I feel very fortunate to be in a place where there is good treatment between everyone. I feel, especially with Grigoris, a good friendship, even though he is my boss and I sometimes feel I am sitting all the way to the bottom of the chain of hierarchy. In this post I want to introduce them to you through photos. Grigoris is the one who smiles the most, then Pedro and finally Sara.
My goal in the last remaining month is to ask for more responsibility. I am an anxious person and, although on the one hand I am scared of having more things to do, on the other hand I am interested in improving and being able to do more and more things. Watching them working is inspiring. I'm just finishing chopping an onion and they've already made a sauce, started heating up the stock, etc. I told Sara that I felt completely useless and that I was not contributing anything and she told me that she felt that way last year. That reassured me and reminded me that, although I am studying gastronomy and am about to finish, I really have zero experience in the kitchen.
Finally, I think what I have learned the most is to relax in the work environment. The first few weeks I was too stressed about not making a mistake. Now I have accepted that I am going to make mistakes and that the important thing is to know how to fix them and to move on.