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kitchen etiquette

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
so im the only chef in the kitchen who says "yes chef" "sorry chef" "starters ready chef" "[insert thing to say here] chef" to the kitchen manager (or whoever is above me on that day) and he really appreciates it, he says it helps him keep track of what i am doing and when i dont hear him...

conversely he knows he can yell at me for missing things, shout orders at me rather than be friendly, because he knows at the end of the night, whoever gets out first buys the other a drink and we laugh about all the funnies weve had during the night.

what i wanna know is how you guys handle talking to each other... do you mess around, are you "yes chef, no chef, sure ill wipe your *** chef" or are you like friends

also if youve been in both environments, how did you find the difference... personally i prefer to know that he tells me to do something and he knows if ive heard him...
post #2 of 19
Where I work currently, the KM doesn't really qualify as a chef in my opinion. He's more business savvy than kitchen if you ask me.

Moving past that... We just use everybody's name where I work. When we have something called to us or a request we reply with the usual: "heard <insert request>"
post #3 of 19
My F&B Director (Chef's boss) prefers to go by his first name, my Exec. Chef prefers to be called Chef, Sous Shef prefers to go by first name... but the Exec. Chef insists I call him Chef also, the Asst. Sous Chef insists to be called by his first name, and everybody else is also by first name.

Personally, no matter how high up I get, I will always leave the choice of calling me chef/by first name up to each person.
post #4 of 19
It really depends on what the chef wants to be called and oddly enough at the place I work what someone goes by differs depending on who's talking.

I call the Exec by his first name (some call him chef), I call my chef de cuisine chef while on the line (a couple call him by name), I call the sous chef by name (some call her 'sous')... it's really all a confusing jumble.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #5 of 19
The KM where I work goes by his name {unless someone is being a smart a**} and calls him chef..everyone else either has a nickname or just their name is sufficent.
post #6 of 19
I think the structure and respect that calling out adds is important. It is important that the chef know you heard something and that chef in turn also know when things are ready. It's like the uniform you wear and the tools you use. They are all signs you are serious about your work and competent. Plus it sucks for the chef to constantly have to look over his shoulder and micromanage whether the lines are getting things done in time. The militarized system adds formality and dignity to a profession which these days gets more and more lax every day.

I am not saying it can't be fun and relaxed sometimes but first and foremost we are in the kitchen to work as professionals. I for, when I am the Executive Chef, will insist that people use that system. "Yes chef", "no chef", "in a little while chef", "when I f**king feel like it chef", but people better be calling me chef once I have earned that title. It's isn't pompous it's respect. Just like you don't call your Dr. by his first name they have earned the distinction call them what they are.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #7 of 19
I work for a new guy now. Just over a week. I always call a chef, chef unless otherwise told to use his or hers first name. The chef I'm with now seems pretty laid back and probaly wouldn't mind me using his first name but he is very talented and has his masters papers so truly diserves the title.
post #8 of 19
It all depends on where you work and who you work for.

The first chef I worked for, who was amazing, he ran a 3-star restaurant in NYC and is still my mentor today. He hated it when someone called him Chef, even though he was totally worthy of anyone's respect, having worked for years in some of the toughest French kitchens the city had to offer, not to mention being really talented. If someone called him "Chef," his response was always the same: "Don't call me Chef, I work for a living." He spent as much time cooking on the line(if not more,) as he did working in his office. One really felt like we were all in the same boat, rather than having a fat line b/t manager and employee. Of course, it was a tiny kitchen, so that made it easier. I'm sure a hotel Chef has it much more complicated.

On the other hand, some chefs will throw a knife at you if you don't call them by their title. Either way, respect is important, but I personally think that has to go both ways to really have a productive relationship.
post #9 of 19
When I was the restaurant owner/chef, all my full time and part time staff addressed me as "Ma'am" simply because my surname is quite a mouthful. In doing so, I found that in an Asian environment, it instilled discipline and ultimately respect in them as most of them were rather young and hardly had any formal training and/or experience. Needless to say, the on-the-job training gave them the opportunity for promotion within the company and elsewhere.
post #10 of 19
Well I obviously don't recommend calling your Chef "Chef" if he has instructed you otherwise. LOL

I think in that case you can call them by whatever they ask you to call them. Even when I talk to chefs I don't really know or over the phone I always say "Hello Chef [insert name here]" and mostly I get "Call me Betty" or "Call me Al" but some chefs would disconnect on me, slap me or walk away from me if I failed to use the "Chef" honorific.

One must adapt to an environment I guess if your Chef likes to be called Skippy Lovejuice, Stinky Pinky or Smelly Taint Stains you better do it.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
yeah i call him mark if im asking something... but when its just me and him and we get really arse up busy we switch to a kind of yes chef thing.... or if i just wanna stroke his ego a little... just in case weve got some room for it to fit into lol

the question wasnt so much about wether you say 'yes chef' or 'yes [name] 'so much as it was do you have this call and reply system...

or have you worked in a more laid back environment where it was just a mess around with some cooking going on.



also, how do you talk to the waitresses (and waiters oviously, but men are men and can talk being yelled at without crying so it dont usually matter how you speak to them... lol) do you yell "service" do you ring a bell like me? how to you talk to them once you have them in the kitchen... like an equal? like a friend, or like a servant?
post #12 of 19
The way I see it, a kitchen is a family, like it or not. Things are going to go right and things are going to go wrong, really wrong and often. If someone wants to be called chef, I say call them chef. If they want to be called Bob, call them Bob. If you want to call me chef please feel free but I am not going to treat you different than the guy who calls me sh!the@d. I perfer my line cooks to call me by my first name in the kitchen but if I am on the floor for any reason, running or expo, I have them (and the servers) call me chef. My attempt to trick the customers into thinking our kitchen is not just a group of hooligans.
I AM THE DIRTY CHEF. THEDIRTYCHEF.BLOGSPOT.COM
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I AM THE DIRTY CHEF. THEDIRTYCHEF.BLOGSPOT.COM
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post #13 of 19
Im younger than most of my cooks(im the sous), and some of them have some pretty nice credentials so theres no way I let any of them address me as "chef." Granted I am there superior for a reason but we definitely all see each other as peers, I dont establish any authority through force because I realize that we are all there for our own reasons, everyone can only look out for number one and in that thinking we come together on a common ground and put out product on a very high level... Menus change everyday and whoever is willing to participate gets input. My boss, the exec, does mostly paperwork, was the sous before me and will only be addressed by first name as well. The general manager, I address as "sir." The rest of management, well what they are addressed as might be considered "unprofessional"
post #14 of 19
Being the boss, all my staff were treated like family members. Inevitably mistakes were bound to happen in the course of their duty. When that happened especially for the waiters/waitresses, I would pull them aside and point out their mistake so that they can learn from it. It doesn't pay to shout at them in front of customers as this gives a very bad impression. As for the kitchen staff, it's an entirely different matter altogether. It's common to shout orders or instructions to them above the din. Since the kitchen is a very busy place and rather charged to say the least, the ability to carry out an order at top speed is of utmost important. So ultimately someone's head would get bitten off either for poor performance or for some mistakes made. Even so, the staff knew that when I lose my cool, it's done for a good cause and that at the end of the day I still value their work. Very often, there would be informal discussions held on ways to improve on service, feedbacks as well as grievances if any, so that we could all work as one big happy family.
post #15 of 19
"the staff knew that when I lose my cool, it's done for a good cause "

You might want to get a second opinion on that. :suprise: :o :chef:
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #16 of 19

a kitchen is a family, per se...we can tell each other to bugger off...but

GET 'ER DONE!

post #17 of 19

Even though I am semi retired, i do work for various places. Even after all these years in the business I still address the chef as Chef. He has put in his time and earned the title. Even though most of them are younger then I am.

In my younger days I expected and recieved same treatment. I am not talking about a fast food type place or pizza joint I am talking clubs, hotels and upscale places.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #18 of 19

It depends on the environment.

 

I've started to call the 'chefs' at the two jobs i'm currently working at by 'chef.'

 

Just a respect of the fact that it's their operation. & i figure it's a healthy & reciprocal habit to be into.

 

 

post #19 of 19

With me most places I have worked at exec chef is called "Chef" and everyone else is called by their first name. Like ChefEd I think it is a respectful thing to do, and like Ed mentioned they've put in their time so they deserve it.

 

 

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