To tackle a prep list at eight a.m. and have it knocked out by four p.m., black Sharpie line crossing out each item on the To-Do list:
6 quarts aioli brown brisket butcher salmon toast walnuts
As it turns out, I did not.
To stand at the prep table with other cooks who were just doing mundane things like fixing the car over the weekend, cleaning the house, and shuttling kids to doctor's appointments felt newly satisfying and meaningful enough. I liked these people and their lives. But more to the point, I came to understand that I liked People and Life. After sitting around for too long in those leather chairs, I welcomed the intense pressure of getting a dinner for 200 plated quickly, and came to see that there was a rush and a method in that that I hadn't quite known to what extent I liked and needed in my life. And I will admit, spending that chilly hour cleaning out a cluttered walk-in and putting impeccable order to it is still, 30 years later, my favorite part of kitchen life. I bring my mother's compulsion for concrete order with me wherever I go.
--Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef (2011)