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Posts by Phaedrus

I feel for you, man.  I'm 47 and while I've been lucky to have avoided any serious health issues I know it can't last forever.  There's no Plan B for me either; I've been in the kitchen since I was 14, don't know any other way to live my life.
I suppose part of it is differing expectations.  My sous cuts staff right in front of me all the time, and that's part of why I hired the guy!  He's a take-charge guy and he takes charge of a lot of stuff that I don't have time or inclination to do.  That frees me up to do that stuff only I do (eg menus, orders, etc).   Still it's important for everyone to know their place.  You set the boundaries, and if she oversteps then you have to pull the leash a little bit.  I'd...
For the most part the kitchen is a meritocracy, one of the few left out there where anyone can work their way from the lowest ranks to the highest.  Work hard and you'll be good.
Okay, obviously I am a chef because I haven't won the lottery yet.  But occasionally we all get little reminders of why we do this job as opposed to selling cars or something.  Today was one of those little things that confirms that I'm in the right place. A woman called in to see if we had broccoli cheese soup today.  We get a lot of older folks at lunch and soup is a big draw for them.   A few days ago I made a small batch to use up some cheese samples that a vendor had...
I will confess to liking quite a few gross mass market items.  I like the shrimp fries that come in a bag at the asian store (even WM has em).  I like gummi bears.  My favorite packaged mac and cheese isn't even the expensive stuff with the foil packs of cheese- I prefer the $.25 boxes with toxic waste orange cheese powder.  When I was a little kid my grandma fixed that for me after school so I guess it reminds me of those days.   My ultimate guilty pleasure is Shin...
Sorry to hear that, KK.  I've worked at a few restaurants that went out of business.  At least you had a heads-up.  At one place I worked many years ago the only clue was when I came in for work and the back door was chained and a sign on it saying they were closed permanently.  Owner filed banko and no one ended up getting a paycheck.
Some variation of this comes up pretty routinely; when it does I guess all of us old time CT regulars post our stock replies.  So here's mine.  Yes, times are changing as they must.  Some of the change is good, some is bad, some is just lateral drift.  I have seen the decline in the dedication of the average worker, but it seems to closely track the modern tendency of employers to not give a rat's ass about the staff.  Listen to the new buzzwords being bandied about-...
This is not a coup d'etat.  That would be up insurrection, and uprising, trying to usurp control.  The owner owns the place and calls the shots, period.  It sounds like the chef isn't doing a good job, has been underperforming for years and would know it deep down if he wasn't on dope all the time.  Friend or not he's in a pickle completely of his own making.  If you feel any professional loyalty you owe it to the owner, not the chef.   Sometimes a Sous is Sous for a...
I drank pretty hard for a couple decades.  Smartest move I ever made was quitting altogether.
Great post, KK!  The mentors who do the most for us very often are not the ones we "like" or think of as our friends.  As a chef I try to develop and mentor my staff as best I can but my main priority is to insure that the restaurant makes money.  That's my bottom line.  If I coddle the cooks and let them do whatever they might be happy but when the place goes down the drain they'll be out on the bricks looking for work.  I really try to set a good example by letting them...
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