|Photo by Jennifer Day|
7:00 - 10:00 Drink coffee. Respond to emails/texts/calls from East Side King, ESK catering, qui, vendors, friends. Call all the 8-5’ers (owners, architects, money people, food vendors, journalists, people who have kids). Leave all the restaurant people alone until after 10 AM.
11:00 - 1:00 Head to East Side King at the Hole in the Wall and post up. It's time for spreadsheets! (Costing, labor reports, punch lists, accounting, scheduling, ordering, etc.) Weave in vendors/employees/coworkers who are calling/emailing back with responses from the morning or previous night or need some face time. Triage. Conduct some interviews with Paul Qui (chef owner), Tim Dornon (chef consultant), Michael Simon (bar manager) or Bill Mann (AGM of qui). Read daily reports from ESK and follow up with anything dire; delegate anything that isn't. Check in with our PR director, Deana Saukam, hear some good reviews, marketing strategies, social media, etc. Stalk some people on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Take a couple of wine/booze appointments. One of them is one of my favorite winemakers. Discuss how the vintage was this year and how it's affecting the wine. Geek out. Forget to spit a couple times. Also, Paul and the cooks are trying out new dishes for the menu, and I get to be the guinea pig.
1:00 - 5:00 Another meeting with the owners of ESK. Make sure all is well. Right now, it's all about SXSW: We are open for extended hours, hiring temps, rolling out new menus, and fully booked for catering the entire time. Additionally, we are working on a private party for qui while setting up the training schedule to open. Meet with all the qui owners/managers: delegate things that need to get done for the opening (i.e., training manuals, training timeline, hiring, buying small wares, calling UPS to find out when our tables are going to be delivered, headshots, press releases, check on the city in regards to inspections, etc. etc. etc).
5:00 - 7:00 Check up with all the ESK locations, and everyone is ready to go for service. No one called in, and their mis en place is perfect.
7:00 - 11:00 Head home. My boyfriend, Aaron, cooks his version of Chopped based on what shoddy ingredients are left in my fridge. I open three or four bottles of wine from my collection to try to find what I think would be the "perfect pairing." Pairing is my favorite part of wine service, so it's fun to apply it at home.
11:00 - 2:00 I'm taking my Master Sommelier exam in July, so am trying to set aside some time every day to study. Sometimes it's as intense as writing out a mock test for my fellow study partners, and sometimes it's as light as catching up on Decanter magazine. I check my emails one last time to make sure everything is okay. G'night!
Need to get in touch with the Zagat blog in Austin? Email Megan Giller at megzagATX at gmail dot com.