See a Day in the Life of a New York City Dishwasher

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When you’re a dishwasher at Gage & Tollner, there are no slow times. At this historic Brooklyn fine-dining restaurant, revived three years ago, the dining room is always full, the kitchen doesn’t close between lunch and dinner, and there are thousands of dishes to rinse but limited space to do it.

That’s where we found Drevon Alston, who manages the dish pit. While cooks furiously arrange oysters and clams on seafood platters and baste steaks with butter, Mr. Alston and his fellow dishwashers scrub pots, scrape char off grill grates and run stacks of plates up and down the stairs. Mr. Alston dreams of running his own kitchen one day. For now, he sits at the bottom of the restaurant’s hierarchy, performing one of its most vital roles but determined to move up.

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