Behind the Brewpub ScenesSay hello to Jaseem, our first ever kitchen staff member!
Running a brewpub isn’t easy- it’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat and the occasional tears.
There are a lot of good, earnest people working behind the scenes, who put in a great deal of effort, round-the-clock, to ensure that everything you love about Toit stays that way.
And these people are none other than our never-tiring, ever-inspiring staff.
Our very own Toit Army- a battalion dedicated to the cause of good beer!
It’s time to meet the man who has the best attitude around—Jaseem, our first ever kitchen staff member.
He’s been here from day one, and he’s one of the people that works real hard to make sure you have the perfect food for your favourite brew!
How did it all start for you?
I used to work on Old Airport Road, and was cooking there as well. But when I first got to Bangalore in 2008, I started working in the kitchen in a Mexican restaurant as a dish-washer. I did that for six months, before I got promoted in the kitchen to prepping. I did that for about a year.
How did you hear about Toit?
When I was working in that restaurant, my friends told me about a place called Toit opening in Indiranagar. That’s how I heard about this, and came here. I have been working here since it opened, in the kitchen.
Have you ever worked in a brewpub before this?
No. Toit is the first brewpub I worked for, and I’ve been here ever since.
How does a day in your work-life look like?
I come here for the second shift, in the afternoon. When I get here, I check all the ingredients and materials to see whether everything is in good condition. Once that is done, I get a handover which tells me what my tasks for the day are. The handover will have details of everything I need to make for the day. It stays the same more or less, unless there are some specific requirements for that day.
I work on all the tasks mentioned in the handover till about 4:30, and everything gets done by then. Then around 5:00, we start getting orders and begin working on that. We take a short break at about 6:00, for half an hour, and then get back to working on other orders. And we stay busy until the end of the day working on orders only. We get more orders in the night, as compared to the day. But it depends on the day of the week.
So, what exactly is in these handovers?
The handover has a breakup of basic things. We prep some things before we start working on the orders.
Have you always been making this kind of cuisine?
Not really. In my earlier job, I was making American food. I came to Bangalore and learned how to cook actually. I learned everything on the job, by helping the chefs out. They also taught me really well, so I was able to learn fast. Here, I know what I have to do, thanks to what I learned before. But when I joined here they also gave me proper training.
Is the work hectic?
Not really. I get the job done! It’s become a habit, there’s nothing that seems hard because I have a lot of interest in cooking. So, I have a lot of fun.
Do you cook at home?
Yes! I make food at home, for myself and my friends.
What do you do on your day off?
Monday is my off-day. On that day, I rest till the afternoon. Then I eat my lunch and go around town a little with my friends. We go to malls, and sometimes also do a little shopping. But mostly I just rest on my off-days.
You’ve come here from Assam. What is the big difference between here and there?
There’s a lot of difference. The biggest one is that here the weather is nice, while back home, it is very extreme. Very hot summers and extremely cold winters. Here, it is milder and nicer. Even the people here are nice. The people there are also nice, but the difference is that here people are more friendly and helpful. The manner of talking is very different. But I miss my family, even though I like Bangalore and am happy staying here. There are also many more opportunities for work here.
In the four years you’ve been working here, what is the big difference you’ve noticed, over the years?
The nice thing we’ve been having here is the Special Menu. We get it for specific occasions, like Christmas, and those menus are usually really nice. This is normally decided by the seniors in the kitchen, and I have about four seniors. They decide and let me know what needs to be done.
Since you’re the one who is in charge of the food here, what’s your favourite dish on the menu?
The pasta, the Special Toit pasta, is really nice.
That’s eating. What do you like cooking from the menu?
I like making everything! I have an interest in all the dishes on the menu. I especially like the food in the grill section—the steaks, and chops! Making the sauce for these dishes is also a lot of fun.
Any memorable incidents from the four years you’ve been working in the kitchen? Something ever gone bad?
Actually, the thing here is that nothing ever goes bad. You don’t get the chance to be idle or leave anything lying around, because we’re always busy making something. The stocks get over everyday and are replaced with new stock on a daily basis. So, nothing ever really goes bad.
What does happen sometimes is that when we’re busy, we miss an order. But then when they come to check, we make that dish fast and make up for lost time.
But you know how they show it in movies, right? Disasters in the kitchen, adding wrong ingredients, things like that.
Well, sometimes things do get burnt, but very rarely. And we don’t end up using those products. We don’t end up putting wrong ingredients though. Because before plating the dish, we first taste it and make sure it is fine.
How’s working at Toit been?
It’s been really nice. My friends come and see here also. They feel good that I work here. And if someone from Assam wants to come to Bangalore and work, I will definitely try to get them a job here.