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The Dance

The restaurant is always busy on Saturdays, but this is beyond something else. Jumping from station to station, the sous chefs cut corners to meet the calls of the head. At the window sill the waiters and waitresses gather to call their "compliments to the chef," on top of fresh orders. Between the two, there is a corridor of sorts, formed where the cooking station backs up against the wall, where the nimblist run to fetch bread, napkins, and extra silverware. To the beat of the clattering dishes, a sort of dance begins.

The waltz is stately -- a formal affair. Each dancer is trained, veteran, and prepared. As the room takes on an air of demand, each dancer is hushed by their duty and all take to their tasks with their hands.

The server darts back and forth, bring to the dining hall fresh bread, oil, and vinegar. The rumble begins at the towering, industrial dish-washer. At the front, a pot of broth is simmering; a part being prepared for other cuisines yet still baking.

Darting between the cookers lines, the stacked boxes, and the back tables, I duck underneath hanging bags of ingredients, fast as I'm able. The alarm-bell rings as each dish is completed, and the servers rush to take them from the kitchen to be eaten.

As the night does wear on, the dance takes a slower tempo; the rushed beating of dough giving way to a lulled adagio. The front closes, I leave through the back; the dance has ended, and tomorrow it'll start again, that stately quartet.

Story by:

Jacob Dawson

12 December 2017