Meet Bethany Colvin. This two-timing lady is a line cook at Watershed on Peachtree for lunch and One Midtown Kitchen for dinner. She’s hopped down from the ranks of sous chef at Cibo e Beve and Wahoo! Grill. Colvin dishes her double duties on the line.
Why did you transition from sous chef back to a line cook?
The responsibilities are much different. I wanted to get out of management because I wanted to hone my skills, try different styles of cuisines and learn new techniques.
You previously worked at One Eared Stag, what about their methods did you find inspiring?
They do snout-to-tail and root-to-stalk cooking, making it a zero waste kitchen. They get in whole animals and produce and use every last piece. I learned about pickling, fermenting, and making your own bitters.
Pickles and bitters Colvin introduced at Watershed:
How do you balance your day between two restaurant jobs?
I work six days a week at Watershed, and four days I’m doing a double shift at One Midtown Kitchen. I come to Watershed at 9 a.m. and prep my sauté station: heat up starches and collard greens, cut vegetables for the vegetable plate, and make the soup. After my shift ends at 3 p.m., I go to One Midtown Kitchen for the dinner shift until 11 p.m.
That leaves you with one day off a week. What do you do?
Believe it or not, I cook. At home I like to experiment with fermenting or pickling. I’m currently making fermented hot sauce and beer mustard. A line cook’s days are flipped: when I worked dinner shifts I woke up at noon, went to work at 3 p.m., got off at 11 p.m. and stayed up until 2 p.m. It’s a lifestyle, like 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. but pushed back.
Describe working the line.
It’s a lot of communication and time management. Everyone is involved in every plate, and every ticket.
You have to keep up when your board is full of tickets to make sure food is at the table in due timing.
That sounds stressful, how do you manage?
You have to love what you do. Sometimes when you’re in the rush, it feels like your head is above water. People don’t really know what its like to be a line cook unless they’ve worked in a restaurant. Its very demanding, everyone needs something from you all the time. Its chaos, but I find order in chaos.
-By Alexa Lampasona for the Food & More blog