A Day of Firsts

Guess what I did yesterday?

I started my first shift working at Taverna Banfi!

Taverna Banfi is an Italian trattoria specializing in Tuscan cuisine.  Because of its captivating views of our campus, Banfi’s is known as one of the best Ithaca restaurants by hotel guests and locals, featuring fresh ingredients from the nearby Finger Lakes region.  As part of the Statler Hotel (located on the hotel’s second floor), Taverna Banfi is largely a tool for teaching students, like me, as we work with professional staff as well.

Obligatory first-day-of-work photo

I am currently training as a back-wait, so I will be mainly “expediting” dishes as they come out, meaning that I am mostly responsible for taking dishes from the kitchen to the guests.  Because it was a Wednesday night, the restaurant wasn’t too busy so it was a good day for my first shift (4:30 – 10:30 p.m.).  Banfi’s, thankfully, is on main campus so its just a 15-20 minute walk back to my dorm (yesterday in the pouring rain)!

But in the middle of my shift, something odd happened that has never happened at the Statler Hotel ever before….

I survived the first-ever blackout at the Statler Hotel

This is what it looked like

Last night around 9:45, a problem in collegetown caused a massive blackout, spreading the power outage to all of Cornell’s campus, including Taverna Banfi!  I was in the kitchen when all of the power went out and it seemed especially creepy because the dish washers, ovens, grills, fryers, and other machines in the kitchen subconsciously make a buzzing sounds all the time, that everyone typically tunes out as white noise.  So when those machines powered down and the lights went out in the windowless kitchen, the kitchen fell truly silent for the first time. It was frightening to say the least!  Everyone quickly turned on the flashlight apps on their phones, and about a minute later the emergency lights went on in across the hotel; 20 minutes later the power came back on and we were all saved.

Those poor, poor hotel guests.

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