Erik Oswald

Work History

Work History
Oct 2009 - Present

Sous Chef

Twisted Soul Food Concepts

My time at Twisted Soul represents my first job after graduation. I continued to work with Chef Ira D. Lee whom I had worked with while at Main Course Catering. Twisted Soul was Chef Lee's personal restaurant, and he worked at Main Course on the side as a consultant / head chef.

Working at Twisted Soul really brought my skill set to the next level. Chef Lee previously had been a teacher at a culinary school in Mexico, and worked in some of the best restaurants in the country, his 20 + years of knowledge and expertise were a constant presence in the kitchen and I strove to work up to the demanding standards he set for his employees. 

While we had part time employees for the majority of our tedious prep work, my responsibilities in the restaurant were all inclusive. I learned how to make every menu item we featured, all of them being made from scratch - and extensive R & D by Chef Lee. 

A brief list of my duties while at Twisted Soul is as follows:

  • Maintaining kitchen cleanliness - Chef emphasized this as the most important thing to learn in his kitchen.
  • Making a variety of menu items including but not limited to ; sauces, stocks, noodles, dumpling fillings, arepas, vinaigrettes, empanadas fillings and soups. 
  • Following, and preparing catering / drop off menus for clients. Ensuring food went out properly plated, hot, on time and with all components required for that particular menu. 
  • Assisted the Chef with off premise catering, often times heating and preparing the food at the restaurant and then bringing to the location and serving to the clients.
  • Worked up front at the register, taking orders from customers, preparing the food / drinks, serving and clearing tables. 

Chef Ira Lee has polished everything about my presence in the kitchen. As a result I -am faster, cleaner, better organized, able to multi task better, and able to handle the stress of working in a kitchen environment. The Chef - while being one of the most demanding and difficult employers I have ever had the pleasure of working for - told me at the beginning of my employment that he makes people into "super chefs". My time under his tutelage has vastly increased skill set, and abilities in a kitchen environment. 

Jul 2008 - Dec 2008

Prep Cook

Main Course Catering

I chose Main Course Catering as the site for my externship. The site had a good reputation for doing high quality food and for volume production. While working at this location I worked with the catering staff for the majority of my time, and towards the end of my externship I was able to work on the dinner line for the restaurant - which was my first time ever working on the line in a restaurant. 

While working with the catering staff my duties included: 

  • Following extensive prep lists for hor d oeuvres set up. 
  • Maintaining cleanliness of the catering walk in refrigerator. 
  • Ensuring our inventory sheets were accurate every week.
  • Loading and unloading catering vans before and after parties. 
  • Platting hor d oeuvres at parties, as well as assisting in entree plate up. 
  • Breaking down equipment when finished with party.

When I was moved over to the line my duties included:

  • Maintaining prep list for my station
  • Knowing all components and plating procedures for all plates which came off the grill station.
  • Working with the Chef on weekends to prepare specials
  • Maintaining strict station cleanliness. 
  • Breaking down and cleaning line at the end of service. 

Although my time at Main Course was somewhat limited, in the 6 months I worked there I was able to gain a huge amount of experience and an idea of what future endeavors in the food service industry would be like. I felt much more knowledgeable and stronger as a worker - upon my return to school. 

Oct 2007 - Jun 2008

Server Assistant

Mohonk Mountain House

Working at the Mohonk Mountain House gave me my first experience in a semi fine dining setting. As a server assistant, while I was not charged with directly taking care of the guests I was responsible for ensuring that the servers had all the tools necessary for them to do their job properly in the dining room.  Maintaining glasses, linens, beverages, soups, etc from the side stations - while assisting them with watering tables, seating guests, and carrying trays to tables. 

At this establishment I also learned how to organize and set up a massive dining room, and how to cope with large numbers of guests. Generally our holidays were extremely busy - easily doing over 500 covers each meal. While I wanted to be working in the kitchen all throughout, I learned a great appreciation for the front of the house and the role it plays in a successful restaurant. 

Education

Education

Summary

I am finishing my year at my first job following graduation. I will be moving to the Upper West Side of Manhattan the second week of November. I am currently seeking an employer which can foster my needs as an employee. I want to work somewhere which is fast paced, highly energized, and a step above conventional fare. I want to learn new things, to put my best foot forward every day and to make myself as much of an asset as possible. I am career oriented and want to move up the ladder. I am not content to be a kitchen grunt for the rest of my life, I have great ambition and would like to work for an employer which can foster that, or at least point me in the direction of where I must go to achieve my goals.

In my experience the one thing that really matters in regard to a man is how well that individual does his work. 

Those who are the best at what they do are rewarded as such; achievement, recognition and monetary reward.  All these desirables await the men whom strive to be the best at what they do. I am one of those men, and I want to earn my piece of the reward. 

Interest

My interests include:

Making money, physical well being, martial arts, philosophy, capitalism, romantic era symphonies, cooking and career advancement.