SacFoodie Turned Chef on New Year’s Eve
Tormé’s Jazz Bar and Restaurant is one of the newest restaurants to line the streets of downtown Palm Springs, California and is a tribute to the late, great singer and musician, Mel Tormé. Open since September 30, 2010, Tormé’s has attracted people from all over the Coachella Valley eager to try Executive Chef R. Vincent Guccione’s chefs-d’oeuvre.
Lucky for me, Chef Guccione is my father and I have been enjoying his food all my life, in addition to learning everything from how to peel and devein shrimp while standing on an upside down paint bucket at the ripe age of two; to working the front and back of the house; to catering parties for hundreds of people. This New Year’s Eve was one of the largest parties for Tormés to date so my father called upon his favorite daughter to fly from Sacramento to Palm Springs to assist in the kitchen as his sous chef. Lucky for me my brother-in-law bought me a brand new chef’s coat for Christmas so I already had the duds.
We started plating salads and shrimp cocktail at about 3:00 p.m., just in time to feed the first round of guests at 6:00 p.m. After writing “2011” in chocolate sauce on 150 dessert plates I was just about to call it a night, go home and clean up for the party, when 150 more hungry diners decided they wanted to eat. Oh right, I forgot to tell you there were TWO seatings. After more salads, more shrimp cocktail and 150 more “2011’s” (this is why I do not bake), we were able to change into our dancing shoes at 11:45 p.m., just in time to ring in the New Year.
I must say, although it was hard work, there’s nothing better than working side by side my father, rockin’ out in the kitchen to Neil Diamond and ELO and making memories that will last a lifetime.