Hello, online friends. Turns out after my last post, I actually still have quite a lot of you. I’m pretty surprised, and happy, because I had forgotten what a neat platform this is.
For the first time in months, I find myself coursing with energy and excitement – I have recently begun training for a job offer I took a while back, one that was hazy as far as media publications goes. No longer – cat’s out of the bag!
I will be a barista on the opening staff of Death & Co. Denver – for the uninitiated, Death & Company is perhaps one of the best and most widely recognized bars in the country, based out of New York City. Their renown has grown tremendously, and out of hundreds of applicants (and a Reddit thread dedicated to ‘how to get a job at Death and Co Denver’) only a few of us were selected.
This project takes place as a part of the Ramble Hotel opening in Denver, a boutique hotel with Death & Co’s touch. It is the most humbling space I have ever seen. It is grandiose; it is a dream.
The training, to say the very least, is intensive. Yet it makes me glow with pride to look at the team they’ve assembled. Nerds after my own heart.
One of the project coordinators worked at Per Se (front of house) with the author of one of my favorite restaurant memoirs (Service Included – Phoebe Damrosch). All of my worlds collided today hearing her speak about her time with Thomas Keller. My little nerd heart wept in gratitude.
And then, beautifully, I had to get up and run out the door of our 8-hour training day (day three of approximately 3 weeks of 8-hour training days) and make it to a run-through of my US Barista Championship competition routine. Because, as a glutton for punishment, I like to pile my plate high with anxiety and social interaction and LOTS of steep learning curves.
With nothing but four chicken wings and some sake in my belly, I then proceeded to drink espresso after espresso at 7pm. It is now nearly 11 and I am as awake as I have ever been, practicing my speech and reading through a service handbook, occasionally diving into rabbit holes of drink service and proper glassware.
I am encouraged, excited, caffeinated, and ready. It has been so long since a restaurant operation of this caliber has mentored me, and I can’t believe I’m about to learn more. My first foray into the world of cocktails (intimidating, considering the folks that quite literally wrote the book will be my masters) starts now.