Internship Diary #26 – Adrian Benedict R. Vivas

NAME: Adrian Benedict R. Vivas

COURSE: Grand Diploma

BRANCH: Makati

INTERNSHIP VENUE: Vask Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Pub

Excerpts from his journal:

“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists” – Japanese Proverb

“This quote proved to be right as I end my internship. At first, I was scared to go, wondering if I could do it, if I was well equipped with my skills and knowledge to compete and work in a real kitchen…if I could handle the stress..can I adapt dealing with people who have a greater kitchen experience? I just thought to myself, I was taught well in school, I do what is needed to be done and I hoped for the learnings and great outcome this would bring me after my internship.”

 “My first week felt like a month had passed, all the Spanish terms I had to be familiar with, all the set menus, all the dishes and all the components in all the dishes bombarded my head. Together with this was the adjustment with working time, working 8-12 or even 15 hours a day, having one rest day that will really be spent catching up on sleep and doing the laundry. Whenever I was transferred to another department, the nerves always got to me. The adjustment I had to make and the new things I had to be familiar with again. As days went on, I was glad that my body didn’t fail me, I was able to stay alert and active during Mise En Place (MEP) and service time–fortunately for me. I was able to memorise all the things inside the kitchen. It turns out that those challenges would make me more effective because I can swing by any department feeling confident that I will be able to perform well and both the physical (speed and alertness) and mental (not forgetting the line of orders and which one should be done first or in advance) training were worth it.”

“All the people inside the kitchen, both the fine dining and main kitchen, helped me in different ways. Others helped me learn techniques, how to properly do this and that in a fast manner, how to work cleanly by following sanitation procedures, how to be cautious about other people, how to listen, how to feel and use all my senses in cooking, how to be happy and how to just enjoy every moment of it. What’s good about Vask is that they treated us, the interns, like we were regular employees. What they do, we also do and whenever they get reprimanded for wrong doings we are also with them. They don’t underestimate us just because we are under their training program; it is an equal treatment for everyone.”

“I have a new found bond and respect for my co-interns from Global Timog–Paulo, Nino and Terrence. Our internship has brought us close and I hope that we all fly high as we try to reach our own aspirations.”

“Learning the techniques for molecular gastronomy took me quite an amount of time to be familiar with–proper ratio of algin and water for spherification, proper thickness of liquid that will be made into spheres, use of liquid nitrogen, fermentation of rice, use of syphon, making foams, making ice cream of different flavours that are both savory and sweet. All of these are made with the right proportions in order for them to work. It was a fun and exciting way of food preparation.”

“I like to summarize all my learning during my internship. You should believe and have faith in yourself, if you doubt your own capabilities before others then they will doubt you too-you will surely not succeed in life and your career. You should be able to bend yourself in dealing with people; others will like you, others will not care, others will judge you BUT what is important is that you will not be like them–you will continue to be a good person. Respect is essential in the kitchen, respect in different forms–respect for the food, the kichen, co-workers and customers. Team work should be done, it is not a one-man job. We are a team inside the kitchen and a team should be able to work harmoniously and effectively. The most important I’ve learned is to love what you are doing. Work in the kitchen may be repetitive but there will be a big difference on how you look at things if you like what you are doing. That feeling will eventually pop excitement every time we work and this excitement will start the urge for us to go to work everyday feeling happy even with the long hours.”

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