Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rigatoni D, here we come!

As mentioned in a previous post, getting 100% on all of my training tests meant a free Family Style Dinner for me and three friends. Felt pretty easy the whole way through, until it came to the wine and alcohol test. Last time I worked for Bloggiano's, this was the test I had to retake. It's easy to memorize the food ingredients, because you have the visual of the dish. But trying to memorize 31 wines by the glass and every kind of alcohol we carry is simply that: Memorizing.

On Sunday night before Monday's test, I texted one of my friends excited for his free dinner that I wasn't sure it was going to happen. I partied all weekend instead of resting (typical) and my brain still felt full of pasta, incapable of retaining any more information.

I resorted to mnemonics and little stories to remember everything...

Pinot Grigio: PECS
Ecco Domani
Santa Margarita

Woodbridge, Cellar #8, is where Louis Martini, J.Lohr and Coppola live

Don't ask me how these things worked, but I sped through those tests so fast it felt as though I'd blacked out.

The final certification for training meant a 'mock serving' of the managers. I was pretty nervous about this as well, because a table of managers is WAY more intimidating than a real table of guests. Thank goodness it ended up being just our training manager and his assistant, who are both pretty laid back and nice. When it was my turn to serve them, they realized they were starving so instead of using the training mode and pretending to bring items, I actually served them lunch.

My "Controlled Chaos" theory worked, and I didn't miss a single step of service. I refilled drinks when I saw glasses half-full, and my entrĂ©es came out the moment they finished their soups/salads. I felt really confident about how it went, and am happy to report the managers were extremely impressed. In fact, he told me I scored the highest out of the 12 servers in training. Oh, AND I got 100% on my wine and alcohol test!

Ok, so I'm a perfectionist. Could be worse. Rigatoni D, here we come!!!

And if you've never enjoyed Rigatoni D, here it is! Rigatoni pasta, tossed in a creamy marsala wine sauce with button mushrooms, caramelized onions, and fresh basil/ far, the most popular dish at Bloggiano's. (Thanks Yelp for the pic!)


  1. the wine list would be a hell of a lot easier to memorize if it was actually listed by varietal instead of body. I detest the new way, and customers actually order less wine than they used to becaus they don't want to navigate the damn list.

  2. Ya, I agree that's pretty intimidating to people who don't know what full-bodied wine even means. Now people will rely on their servers more to know which varietals we carry! Just what we need. More work.

  3. We're all happy you passed with a perfect score. I knew you could do it from the very beginning. Panda's never forget anything!


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