The Art of Zen Dishwashing

Working in any part of the kitchen can be stressful; pans sizzle with scalding oil, knives race up and down skinned onions. All the activity creates a microclimate in the kitchen similar to the deep jungle—only it’s Chef Mario one has to look out for, not big cats. It’s to be expected that the bustle of so many bodies moving toward the good cause of making delicious food create a pile of not-so-tasty dishes. But that’s what dishwashers are for, right? And by dishwashers, I’m referring to the ten-fingered variety, not the box of chrome. On nights where help is needed, somehow I fit this description.

At first, the mound of metal rounds can be quite intimidating. Sometimes Lara or Mario will rush behind me and yell, “Sharp!” or worse, “Hot” and then I have one more hazard for my ever-hesitant mind to remember. After awhile though, I begin to actually…gasp….enjoy doing the dishes.

This, Mario says, is called the “Zen” of dishwashing. You get into the groove of rinse, wash, rinse, and the whole things feels rather relaxing. In fact, cleaning caked mushrooms out of a pot or scraping greasy pans to a shine (ok, not quite a shine per se, but certainly a nice matte finish) can be more satisfying than a glass of cold water. Some things in life aren’t easy to clean up, but at least we’ve got dishwashing!