For a year and a half during my early 30s, I worked the brunch shift at Craigie on Main, a French-inspired restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My charge was the egg station, where I turned out the kitchen’s variant of a classic French omelet featuring tender, butter-yellow curds cushioned around substantial fillings such as mushrooms, crabmeat, and asparagus. Early on, it was a trial-by-fire gig: As I acquainted myself with the stove’s heat zones, I would shuffle the skillets—three to five at a time—around the broad steel cooktop, trying to pinpoint just the right spot to preheat the pan, and also gauge how to quickly compensate if I added the eggs when the skillet was too hot or too cold. At the same time, I was learning when to stop cooking the eggs before smoothing them into an even layer; how much filling to add so that the omelet would be plump but not bloated; and how thoroughly to precook any watery ingredients, lest they ooze juices and mar the presentation. More than anything, I sweated “the dismount”—that final step of rolling the eggs around the filling and out of the skillet in a single motion so that the omelet landed seam side down in a tidy log. Doing it well requires at least as much faith as it does skill, and if I inverted it with trepidation, the whole package would fall apart on the way down and I’d have to start over.