To the best of my recollection:
My first restaurant job was at Cooky’s Steak pub located in
Scarsdale, NY It was a very good chain … I was very, very young when I
worked there, maybe 13. I was a “relish girl” worked part time and ate well when there. I always had the
same thing: bbq ribs and chicken with a baked potato, unlimited salad and unlimited ice cream.
It was while working at Cooky’s that I developed a love of really good house made restaurant salad dressings as well as an obsession with coffee ice cream topped with toasted coconut and chocolate sauce … this never got old. The food I consumed was probably worth more $$$ than what was in my actual paycheck.
When I started College I went to work at another ( new) chain. I worked a number of different positons, one which included my being part of a corporate training team that traveled and opened company stores and franchises … this is where I developed my love of absolute vodka … this love affair, the work hours and the cash derailed college for a bit. There was a lot of vodka consumed during these years … when we traveled to open stores we ate at sister restaurants, usually once a day and almost always it was breakfast. Definitely not recommended when you are working an 80 hour week. When working at the home base store it was usually breakfast as well. When working until closing which was 4:00 am, either eat breakfast at a local diner and then drive out to Jones Beach or drive straight out and grab breakfast at the beach upon waking. When not working until closing it was work, club, dancing, breakfast and beach. I did somehow begin to enjoy preparing food at home during my rare sober waking moments, in fact became a pretty proficient cook. I don’t recommend this lifestyle to anyone over 25 … plenty of dark days lie ahead
When it was time to get the college degree for real, I went back to part time restaurant work. I did not food shop, prepare or keep food in my house at all during these years … I ate and (drank) at work. I did not work everyday and therefore I did not eat everyday … I worked at several different types of restaurants including a couple on the very high end … It did not hurt that I dated a chef from one of them and was treated to some of his spectacular homemade meals as well as some spectacular meals at some really wonderful NYC restaurants … Chef boyfriend introduced me to Foie gras, it was most definitely love at first bite
After getting a “real” job I occasionally would work a catering job. Either in the homes of regular customers I had gotten to know over the years, usually when they would host perhaps a NYE or any other special occasion party or to help out a friend still in the industry … I had two favorites … 1st, was the Japan Airlines-Big Apple Classic golf tournament held at the Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, NY. Those female golfers were a hoot and the spread the club put out was fabulous, I ate myself silly. It was a fun and easy job. 2nd was working for a friend who was a former Rock star turned caterer. Anytime he was catering an event on one of the party boats it was a good time, always terrific food and the best people, a little surprise entertainment and circling Manhattan at night lit up … nothing like it!