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  • You know what it takes to be a cook in L.A.?

  • self-sacrifice

  • I left Virginia to come to L.A. because there's a certain energy that

  • translates to the food scene here that I haven't found anywhere else.

  • I work atlisse, which is a 2 Michelin star French fine-dining restaurant in Santa Monica, California,

  • and it's one of the best restaurants in L.A.

  • Working on the line in the kitchen is like composing a symphony.

  • It really is.

  • It's almost like each dish is like, one is the violins, one is the cello, one is the keyboard, and another is the drums.

  • My first job in the kitchen was when I was 16.

  • I was a dishwasher.

  • And that was before I even knew I wanted to cook.

  • I was just a kid looking for a job.

  • After I started working there and just seeing something simple as salad being plated, it kind of drew me in.

  • I'm like, I'll say this is pretty amazing.

  • As sous-chef atlisse, I have to go to the farmer's market first thing in the morning,

  • pick up produce, go back to the restaurant, disperse it to the staff, and then we start prepping.

  • We have to get fish deboned, tomatoes concasséd, sauces simmering.

  • All this has to ready before service at 6 o'clock.

  • Fire, menu prawns, menu truffle pasta, two menu seasonal, followed by menu duck: medium rare.

  • Yes, Chef.

  • Working in the kitchen is one of the hardest jobs I've had in my life.

  • You're under this, like, constant stress.

  • And on top of that, you're working long hours, you're on your feet all day.

  • And it's just completely physically and mentally straining.

  • And most people can't handle it.

  • But I love it.

  • See how beautiful that looks? Then we sear it off nicely.

  • It also protects halibut being so delicate.

  • It helps protect the flesh.

  • Chef Josiah Citrin is one of the most renowned and respected chefs in L.A.

  • And it was only natural that I'd wanna come work for him.

  • He's almost like the epitome of an old-school French chef relocated in the U.S.

  • He has that passion, that drive, and intensity that you come to expect from great chefs like himself.

  • One day I was in the kitchen, and I was scrambling eggs, and this memory kicked back to me, about,

  • from my grandmother, and how she taught me how to properly scramble eggs when I was a little kid.

  • And she was explaining how you use a spoon to stir it and cook it really gently so that the texture comes out nice.

  • And it's actually a classical French way of cooking and I have a Southern grandmother.

  • It was kind of weird.

  • And, it was like little moments like that, that I think back that kind of directed me to cooking that I didn't really realize until now.

  • If you wanna be a chef, you can't wait around for someone to hand it to you.

  • You almost have to take it.

  • Hosting pop-up dinners has given me and my friend Gary a chance to not only showcase our skills,

  • but to do what we were trained to do, be a chef.

  • For the oyster dish, I was thinking, right, we have those nice clear bowls.

  • We'll put the garnish in the middle and then pour the gazpacho so it comes like two thirds of the way up.

  • I brought a fish tank bubbler, and instead of making foam with the frother, let's do bubbles.

  • - And we'll just drop right that on top. - Exactly.

  • I just want to thank everyone for coming out tonight.

  • As you know, we're just cooks when it boils down to it.

  • That's our life.

  • This is what we do.

  • This is what we love to do on our free time.

  • We just spent our last few off days preparing this for you, and we had a lot of fun doing it.

  • So, cheers to the night!

  • Thank you, Chef!

  • I always have this sense of satisfaction and almost comfort in knowing that something I served pleased someone else.

  • And I think that's what most cooks thrive on.

You know what it takes to be a cook in L.A.?

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B1 US TOEIC chef menu michelin french restaurant

Cook: What it Takes to Make It in a Michelin-Starred Restaurant

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    Nina posted on 2019/12/25
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