When I applied for a job as a ‘Kitchen Porter’ for a ski season, I didn’t have much idea what it actually involved. When actually I got hired as a Kitchen Porter… I still didn’t have much clue what it entailed, or importantly, how much time I’d be on the slopes!
Well, I’ve been out here for 7 weeks now and have managed to go skiing every day… well, nearly every day, annoyingly missing Christmas Day due to a cheeky 10 hour shift. So, I guess you could say I’ve got into a little bit of a routine. Therefore I’m going to take you through what my day entails, in case you’re interested, or considering a ski season of yourself. In fact, lucky you; I’m going to take you through two different days, to show the two different shifts for kitchen porters (KP’s).
This post does not look at transfer day, every Sunday for us, which is usually the worst day for staff in every position, involving 4am starts, deep cleans and, for many (but not KP’s), lack of skiing time.
Afternoon shift – muchos skiing and lay-in
8:15 – Wake up and head to breakfast.
8:45 – Head out with a few of the other seasonairres and catch the first lift up the mountain, bathed in bright sunlight under blue skies, with a fresh overnight coat of powder.
9:00 – Ski
12:00 – Ski down the hill for a cooked meal from the chefs, for a quick refuel.
12:30 – Others have just finished their shift after lunch and are eager to ski, so head out again with them. Ski.
2:30 – Time to actually do some work around here. Ski down the hill, skip the shower (you’ll only get hot and sweaty in the kitchen anyway), and get changed.
3:00 – Shift starts. Wash up a few of the chef’s pots and pans and help with the last minute food preparation.
4:30 – It’s high tea! Get ready to do some washing up again.
6:00 – Go for staff dinner. Everyone meets up to laugh about their day, make some plans for the evening and enjoy some well-earnt food.
6:30 – Yep, those staff that have just eaten have messed up all those plates and knives and forks up again. They gotta get washed up!
7:15 – Brief respite.
7:45 – Kitchen busy, there are 130 guests out there tucking into the first of three courses, and 7 chefs creating a lot of mess on a rampage round the kitchen. Get washing!
10:45 – Phew, I think we’re done! Everything is clear after a few hours! Begin final cleaning of the kitchen, wiping down the sides and floor.
11:00 – Finished! A pint (at staff discount) and a game of pool with your workmates and then bed.
12:00 – Tucked up in bed, ready to do it all again tomorrow!
Morning shift – Less skiing and early morning
6:40 – Alarm goes off.
7:00 – Start work. The breakfast chef has already been in an hour and made a mess of some pots which need washing, including every kitchen porter’s worst nightmare; scrambled egg and porridge pots.
10:00 – Breakfast time – a bacon and sausage baguette with a pain au chocolat takes my fancy.
10:30 – Bring in all the food that’s just arrived in a delivery, and put it in the stores.
11:30 – Sweep and mop the floors.
12:00 – Lunch time.
12:30 – Clean up staff dinner.
1:15 – Help with food prep – not going to lie… expect to peel enough potatoes to feed an Irishman for life. Maybe race the chefs (expect to lose).
3:00 – End of shift – make a mad dash to the chalet to get changed and hit the slopes.
4:45 – Last lift closes. Head back to the chalet to inevitably collapse in bed.
6:00 – Staff Dinner.
6:30 – Few games of pool.
7:30 – Depending on how committed to seasonaiire living you are, either head back to the chalet for a film and an early night (sensible decision) or sample some of the nightlife into the early hours (silly but right decision?).
So yeah, that’s life as a kitchen porter from my own experiences! If you’ve been a kp, or worked any job in a season let me know in the comments below. Also, if you’re planning on working a ski season, I want to hear from you, and feel free to ask any questions!
I also wrote about a day in my life as a nightwatch!