Anthony Bourdain hit the nail on the head in his iconic book Kitchen Confidential, when he said, "pastry chefs are the neurologists of the kitchen." We like things just so, and will stop only at premeditated murder, to make sure it stays this way. We are organized to the point of scary, and we guard our (often tiny) stations like junkyard dogs.
Pastry chefs like things clean, orderly, in excellent working order, and labeled. When I worked at Bolo in NYC, I would lock our station's chinois (fine mesh strainer) in my locker and would refuse the chef's request for it, even when he begged. I knew our pristine chinois would be introduced to garlic, or worse: a 4 oz. ladle. (If you must force something through this expensive, delicate piece of equipment, use the smallest ladle: 1-2 oz.)
As some of you know, I've spent the last seven days baking up a storm for a major plated dessert tasting I have today at noon. I'm working primarily out of restaurant kitchen in San Francisco, which is great because, in my one bedroom flat in Berkeley, I don't have a walk-in refrigerator. Nor do I have a row of burners and any number of ovens for various sensitive custards and buttery shortbread.
But working out the details has been a logistical challenge. Lists and lists and lists get made, sometimes twice a day. I'm arranging time sensitive batters, freezing times, a fight for space in an extremely busy establishment, and I want the seven people eating my desserts today to taste the freshest of flavors! I've only been able to be in said kitchen from @ 6:30-9/10 AM a few days, and the rest of the time I'm testing components in my home. I've also wanted to build in time for testing, tasting and re-making if needed. Disasters always take more time than we think they will.