Yesterday was one of two scheduled days off at the course for the week. Tom Malloy, the owner of the Elkhorn Cafe has been chatting with me about coming to work for him when possible. We had eaten there and the Elkhorn probably has the best food in town. Being off for the day, I thought I’d give it a try. I stopped by at eight only to find it was Tom’s day to sleep in and the joint was being manned, or in this case womaned by Tom’s wife Deana and sister, Connie. Having only two regular customers, I just sat and chatted for awhile. Tom came in around nine and began to show me the ropes. It wasn’t long before I was helping him to prepare some of the orders. The main object of the entire cooking process in the back is to get everything done at the same time. Timing is the order of each and every day. Making sure that nothing sits and waits on another segment of the order. Shortly thereafter I was making the fries, chopping lettuce for salads, and deep frying the appetizers.
The Elkhorn as you can see is a quaint little cafe tucked away in the oaken mall along Main St. One of the neat things about it is when not busy, you can sit outside and chat with the locals or just people-watch, my favorite pastime. By mid afternoon, Tom had allowed me to prepare a couple of meals on my own, giving me guidance and direction and helping me when something was forgotten. I have to hand it to him. He is one of the easiest people ever to work with and his demeanor at tutelage of the ovens is exemplary. He made me feel extremely comfortable and it wasn’t too long until I felt quite at home, peering out into the dining area from my ‘hole in the wall’, sweating over the grill. I was having the time of my life as being a short order cook has been high on my ‘bucket list’. Seven o’clock came quickly. Time to close shop for the day. Tom was pleased with my performance. More importantly, I think I was a big hit with Deana and Connie as I made them laugh much of the day. The day was good. Tom’s policy is when you work for him, you eat free. He paid me a handsome wage, and then they all took Robin and I out for dinner. And both of us are looking forward to me working the grill again in the near future. I believe I may have found my calling.