A professional kitchen is a well-oiled machine maintained by routine. Throughout my time as a server, line cook, and barista at restaurants and cafes, I relished the solace of opening in the quiet hours before sunrise, in preparation for the unrelenting rush. But the final guest served wasn’t the end of the day: Energized and exhausted, my team bonded as we scrubbed every surface and dish, swept up every crumb. The unhurried routine was a relaxing practice in winding down after the nonstop stress of kitchen work.
As one of thousands of restaurant workers who lost their job during the first wave of the pandemic last March, I, like many others trying to mentally escape the confines of quarantine, coped in my home kitchen. Though too much feels beyond any one person’s control these days, I’ve gained peace of mind by treating my home kitchen like a professional one. In keeping everything as cleaned and organized as I would at work—as well literally bringing in some restaurant tools to my home—I’m set up for success. You can do it too: Here’s how.