Things I learned At The Gables Park Plaza

Somewhere on Sixth Street in Austin after a Damnwells concert during SXSW I ran into Philip and Kim Ellis, who had just started working in C.A.R.E.s at the Gables Park Plaza. I have cooked for Philip a few times in the Green Room at Austin Stone, I guess from these experiences he had the idea to use my services for a C.A.R.E.s event. Which is where we start today.

Officially it was two weeks ago, make it or break it time. It may be a good thing or a bad thing, but I woke up Friday morning with butterflies in my stomach. The challenge for this event was the brand new unused kitchen with no tools besides the appliances. This required me to bring everything in, normally in a private dinner I just bring the food and my knife roll.

I had an unknown factor for the night, my Sous Chef. I was introduced to Brittany through a friend a few weeks before hand through email, as we had food in common, but she had never worked with me nor I with her. You can see how this could go any way. (spoiler alert: she was great and I plan on working with her again.)

I had worked all week so I needed to get up early and go grocery shopping, make pate choux for profiteroles. and load my kitchen into my car to move up the Gables. This was a chore unto its self. After many trips to the eighth floor with Philip, we organized and started moving. By 3:30 we already had people wondering through because of the smells. By 5:00 I had Philip outside grilling brochettes, my Sous Chef was busy making more and I was getting organized for the service.

In the end my Sous Chef and I feed around 80 people that night. Most stayed for all three course, a few filter in and out. According to Philip that was the most people that had shown up to an event.


1) Sometimes God puts the right people in your life, like my Sous Chef.

2) Moving a whole kitchen from one place to another means more storage boxes. So I need more Lexans.

3) There is a reason your school lunch lady uses an ice cream scoop. It insures consistent serving sizes. I am glad I bought one for the albondigas.

4) Always bring more cutting boards then you think you need. You will no doubt have to grab a new one in a hurry.

5) Bring your own cleaning supplies. I needed scrubby, steel wool, dish and machine soap. Thanks to Philip we were able to abscond some from his apartment.

6) Always have a good blend of music to work by.

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