For Elena Clement, Executive Pastry Chef of Chevy Chase (Md.) Club, prep lists and self-care are critical to success.
Christmas is behind us. And New Year’s Eve is fast approaching. We’re all super busy, working crazy hours. So how do you keep your head on straight?
With so many parties over the past few months, not to mention the three restaurants we have open, we set ourselves up for success with daily prep lists here at Chevy Chase (Md.) Club. It takes between four and five hours to write out the daily prep lists for each week, but it’s worth every second. It ensures we have ample time to order specialty food items and plenty of time to make all of our in-house desserts. This may seem like a lot of office time. You’re right, it is. But it reduces the number of missed items on any given event. Mise en place early in the week equals a happy shop and less stress for you and your team.
On a personal note, some things I do to keep my head on straight is to take care of ME! I drink coffee in the morning, but I stop drinking it by 11am. After that, I drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If water is too boring, I’ll switch to green tea. I actually keep four different types of green tea in my tool box. One of my favorites is made with roasted brown rice (or genmaicha). It’s smooth, delicate and rich.
I find that switching between water and green tea keeps a smile on my face, keeps my head clear and I don’t have the jitters from too much coffee. Additionally, I take a few minutes each day to stretch and breathe deeply to refresh and oxygenate my brain and muscles. So often we don’t breathe deeply enough. Try it. Take five long deep breaths and see if you feel the difference. Lastly, I exercise. Even if only for 10 minutes a day, it keeps my stress level down and helps me feel great.
So as we enter this final leg of the holiday season, remember to take some time to take care of yourself. You’re worth it. Wishing you all a happy and safe new year!