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My new job

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well I am moving from FOH to BOH. Going from driving pizzas to prep and making salads. Its the only way I will ever know right?

Anyway I have sort of a dilema.

My boss (owner/chef) is kind of an idiot. Many of my co workers don't have much respect for him.

Anyways the place I will be working at is the lesser of his 2 restaurants. Its gourmet pizza ie overpriced as well as hoagies (chick parm, italian, meatball etc) as well as serving dinners (pasta dishes, shrimp, garlic roasted chick etc etc). Its a overpriced pizza joint for lunch and an all right sit down dinner place (still over priced though IMO).

Now the other restaurant is being redone. He had some major problems with the staff up there (they hated him and he them) so he cleaned house. He has hired a new chef who has created a new menu. A few years back this new chef was the exec chef of a restaurant that was voted best of in my city. SO I would say he has some good potential there to be a pretty good restaurant.

Now I will be working at the former. I plan to work real hard, do whatever is asked, and watch and learn. I am financially secure right now though and thus I could staige (believe thats what its called, working for no money on a trial basis).

So here is my plan. After a month or so of busting my *** and doing whatever is asked I am thinkning I should ask to move to the other place and work for free.

For one the chef there is much more accomplished. Thus I figure I would learn much more. Its also more of a professional kitchen. Food is much higher end. A lot more people are served there. All those factors lead me to believe it would give me a truer idea as to what life is like in a professional kitchen.

So say after a month or 2 they deny me this move. Would any of you stick it out at the lesser establishement or begin asking chefs at other "higher end" kitchens in the city for staige work?

Thanks for any opinions
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
I feel I must clarify a bit. I am not looking to be given anything. I am looking for experience though. So what I am asking is that after a while if I have been making salads (paid) and I ask for a job (unpaid) at the better restaurant and I am denied should I ask other rest. if I can work for free for them?

What would you do?
post #3 of 6
For starters, when you ask for the transfer to the other restaurant, don't immediately offer to work for free. Use that as bargaining leverage, but only if you need it. You could also ask to split your time between the two places (again, only offer to work for free at the higher-end place if you think it will help get you in the door).

Note: You will learn lots of things about working in a professional kitchen no matter where you work, even if it's learning the way things should not be done.

What does the owner/chef do that makes him kind of an idiot, if you don't mind going into it?
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Well no one really respects him around the kitchen for one thing. This is mainly due IMO to him not respecting anyone else. He rearely credits anyone for work they have done. And often he takes credit for others work. He is also a pretty bad line cook. When he works the line he consistently messes orders up. Then he blames his own mistakes on other people. Anytijme he is behind the line and things get busy he goes to pieces usually.

He is horrible in managing people. Quite honestly maybe the worst I have ever seen. He constantly talks about other employees behind their backs in front of the other staff. He hires and fires people like the wind changes and consequently nothing is ever being done the same. He instructs people to do things one way one day then the next changes the way it should be done then the next wants it back the other way then the next questions why you aren't doing it the way he showed you.

Not really sure if those few stories would qualify him as an idiot in some of your eyes but here is one other thing I have picked up in my 8 months there as a pizza delivery driver.

I have talked to quite a few of the chefs/cooks that have worked there for any length of time. All of them came to hate their job. None of them fealt they were learning anything from him. The chef/cook the other day told me that like any new job he takes he comes into it with a lot of enthusiasm being eager to learn and all. He said after 3 weeks working for this guy and cooking his food that all the enthusiasm was gone.

So I would definately say that I have learned more things not to do then to do from this man. The thing is the new exec chef at the other restaurant and some of the people he is hiring for that place seem like they would be a great staff to learn from.

Thanks for the reply BTW and the advice too.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Also you know when Bourdain discusses restauranters doomed for failure in Kitchen Confidential?

First thing I thought of was my boss.

This new chef and a new GM as well may be the best thing he's ever done for himself and his business. Both signifigant upgrades to the food and management.

Although the GM is already considering quitting (mentioned it a few times not just once to me) after only a month on the job. She's done extraordinary things (working 80+ hours a week for probably not so good money considering the revenues being so low at these establishments). As she has gotten to know the owner better since her first day about a month or so ago I think she has begun to realize why some of the employees attitudes are the way they are.
post #6 of 6
Bust your butt working for the owner until you stop learning. Then ask for a transfer. Who knows, maybe if you do a good job and pay attention you'll find him to be ok after all. I had an exec chef once like that. Frence and a total bastard! But I did my job better than the rest and remembered to always say "Yes Chef". Next thing I know I'm doing wine dinners, butchering meat, tasting wines and exotic foods, etc... I'm not saying kissing ***, I'm just saying do your job better than anyone else and see where it leads.
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