Some good points there. What's that saying?..."The blind leading the blind?"... There are very few THOROUGHLY trained cooks here in N. America that it's downright embarrassing. You can get your training through the school of hard knocks, but it will be 5 or 10 times longer than a proper apprenticeship, with no guarantees that the education will be complete. So if the Chef isn't throughly trained, he can't possibly thoroughly train his cooks. Which is how you get the cold chicken breast in a cold pan and then turn on the heat scenerio, or removing a baron of beef from a roasting pan and throwing out the drippings because the chef has absolutely no idea how to convert those drippings into a decent sauce, or throwing dry pasta into tepid water, turning on the heat, and as an afterthought, throwing in some salt. This problem is intesified by suppliers who supply ready made sauces, entrees, etc, so that very little skill is needed to open a package and heat it.
Think of an apprenticeship as a boot camp for the army. Almost every army in the world demands that EVERYONE goes through the bootcamp, future officers, I-corp, etc, are then later creamed off after completion. It is a common leveler, everyone starts off knowing the same thing, and then it's up to their own ambition to learn more, but if they've gone through the course, you're guaranteed that they know the minimum. My point is that if a Chef finaly gets his CEC/ Red Seal/ ACF/whatever "papers", how many cooks has he improperly trained before he realises that his knowlege on the subject is incomplete and needs more work? Most of these "papers" require the Chef to be in a supervisory postion BEFORE he applies to write them, and now they test him after he's (improperly) trained X amount of cooks?! The damage is done.
Restaurants in N.America have a bad failure rate. No knowledge or experience is needed to run one, and as a result they are poorly run. Since the 1800's, immigrants have come to this country, and not being able to find work in their field, scraped cash together to open up a restaurant. This is as true today as it was 150 years ago. By looking at the small businesses for sale website in this city, I cans see no fewer than 11 places up for sale, all with ethnic cooking, and most shut down due to poor management, or health, WCB, or Fire code violations. Yet these places operate, and they need staff. When the owner, who has forked out $60 for a S/S pot, burns it dry, and then freaks out and rushes to fill it with cold water, it warps and ruins it, but since it costs $60 the owner insists that the staff continue using it. So either you learn that cold water in a dry burned pot ruins it, or you learn that its allright to use a warped rock & roll pot to cook with. No teacher there to tell you what's right or wrong. Same with applying vegetable oil to the meat slicer. Owner/Chef doesn't know any better and is confused when the slicer is so gummed up that you can't move the carriage. Or how to properly clean out a deep fryer, how to poach an egg properly, how to braise, how to roast.
Alot of the smaller places, especially those with immigrant owners know nothing about heath codes, WCB or fire codes. For most, their line of logic is that these inspectors are looking for bribes or out to make their lives miserable. I've worked at one place where the hood was so choked with grease, that the owner would put a 1/4 bolt through the fire extinguisher on the suppresion system and use a small cheap portable extinguisher to put the fire out that would appear regularly every week. Simply refused to get the hood cleaned because it " Cost so much moneys!"
Ditto for payrolling. "I 'll pay you when I have the money, maybe next week" Heard that one before? How are you supposed to pay your rent or gas? And then the owner gets ready to kill when someone calls the labour board when he/she hasn't been paid in almost 6 weeks .
Ditto for health codes too. A Restauranteurs course would ensure that owners are at least AWARE of the codes and laws in place, how to use them to their advantage. And maybe so many mistakes wouldn't happen due to ignorance, and these mistakes not be perpetuated because they were allowed to happen in the first place.