Being able to say, “I like my job,” is a special occurrence. Monica Morgan of Portage, Indiana doesn't just “like” her job—she loves it. Morgan has worked as a line cook for Industrial Revolution Eatery & Grille in Valparaiso for the past six months and has loved every minute of it.
“I used to be a pan cook at a casino,” Morgan said, “but there wasn’t a lot of actual cooking there, mostly heating things up. It was very robotic, there wasn’t much passion involved.”
Working at Industrial Revolution Eatery & Grille means that Morgan gets to branch into other aspects of working in a kitchen and interact with happy coworkers and customers. The joviality is something she wasn’t accustomed to while working in her previous role, where, she joked, unlucky casino go-ers would often be upset about their losses.
Now, Morgan relishes a sense of routine and enthusiasm for her work.
“Every morning, I walk in and get to take inventory of what we have, make a game plan, and get to prepping and cooking for the day ahead,” Morgan said.
Working at Industrial Revolution Eatery & Grille has provided Morgan with opportunities to better become acquainted with her passion. Watching chefs work to create food from scratch inspired her to begin bringing her work home with her, as she described it, and try new recipes there. One of her all-time favorite menu items, the chicken pot pie, is one recipe she has tried to recreate at home multiple times.
“Since we do make all the food from scratch here, it can be time consuming, but the end result makes it all worth it," she said. “I take a lot pride in the work, too.”
Pride is a good word to describe Morgan’s work ethic. Her love of cooking and baking stems from years ago when she was a young girl cooking alongside her family. Early Sunday mornings were reserved for quality time with family, from making pancakes on Sunday morning with her grandfather to learning traditional Mexican recipes alongside the rest of her family. That pride in her heritage and family’s cooking lives today in the form of one of her favorite recipes, traditional Mexican rice.
“Being half-Mexican means I grew up around that kind of food,” Morgan said. “My grandma taught me so many recipes growing up, it’s become my comfort food now and it inspires me when I go to work.”
Working in the back kitchen as a line cook definitely has its advantages.
“One of my favorite parts of my job is the fact that it’s so hands-on and active,” Morgan said. “I’m separated from the rest of the restaurant, learning from everyone else and doing what I enjoy.”
Morgan doesn’t have many faces-to-face interactions with customers, but that special space where she can put on her headphones and get down to business helps her stay focused on her daily tasks, where she really gets into her groove.
“Looking at my career now, there isn’t anything I don’t like,” Morgan said. “I love what I do, it makes me very satisfied.”
Her favorite menu item of all also happens to be one of the best comfort foods of all—chili, made fresh and from scratch in the kitchen where Morgan spends so much time every day.
“It’s so good!” Morgan laughed. “I order large containers at the end of my shift to take home with me.”
You can find out more about Industrial Revolution Eatery & Grille by checking out their website at http://www.industrialrevolutioneatery.com/