Week 1: 15 – 20 August 2021
Sunday: We arrived at Kasteel Engelenburg and were shown our rooms where I waited for the manager to finish the wine tastings he was conducting at the time. The other staff welcomed me and showed me around.
Monday: I received my schedule for the week and quickly learned the variety of drinks served with lunch. Following the lunch service which ended at 16:30, we prepared for dinner, taking a short break for something to eat.
For the evening shift I shadowed a new colleague, Desere, who showed me the system for placing orders and collecting courses from the kitchen. By comparison to home, it seemed complicated. However, I felt prepared as I had already translated the dishes on the menu into English. The guests were surprised to hear me speak English but they soon got used to it. I finished at 22:00.
Tuesday: I learned how the breakfast shift works – starting at 08:00 and serving coffee, tea and breakfast. We then prepared for lunch and snacks during the midday service. I finished my shift at 16:00 – it was good to rest!
Wednesday and Thursday: I became more familiar with the system and felt more confident of where to pick up food, what each course is and where it was going. Amuse-bouche, first, second or third entrée and mains! So much to learn, but I was quick on my feet and eager to get it right.
Friday: My first day off and I met up with Abongile in Zutphen. He showed me where he’s working and together we enjoyed food and sightseeing.