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Doing the Dishes...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
A little survey here... how many Chefs here do dishes?

I wont hire cooks who wont do dishes and I often do dishes just to give my guys a break. That being said, I have worked for people who simply would not and have heard some stories of other chefs who really felt that they were beyond that point in their lives.
post #2 of 25
I work with a guy who feels he's above doing dishes now in his career. I personally feel that nobody is above jumping into the dish pit and having at it. I may not like it at the time, but it's part of the job.
post #3 of 25
I know a few people who hop back in there not only becuase its part of the job but becuase it makes closing at the end of the night easier and they arent waiting around or having to do it as they are dying to get out for the night
post #4 of 25
I like doing dishes, especially if I get to work the power sprayer. It's kind of relaxing because you can let your brain coast, and not have to think about tickets at all.

They only bad thing is when the bosses don't schedule a dishwasher at all, such as one Mothersday Brunch I had the misfortune of working.
post #5 of 25
When I don't don't have a whole bunch of other stuff to do, I totally don't mind jumping in and busting out some dishes. We have a whole set of stewards at the hotel I work at, but at some other places we seemed to go through them pretty fast. It's kind of theraputic being able to jump in there and just whip out a whole bunch of stuff without really having to think.
post #6 of 25
Tonight at work, I was well caught up on my prep work so I jumped back in the dishroom and busted out the dirty prep dishes so for once the dishwasher could come into work without having to face a mound of dirty dishes right off the bat. Nothing was said, but I could tell that everyone noticed and filed it in their memory banks. The astonishment then smile on the dishwasher's face upon arrival was the big payoff.
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 #7 of 25
I do dishes when I open so there isn't a big stack for the dishwasher when he comes in. The manager will have the biggest pile of dishes when he opens; I don't know how he does it. I don't really mind it, and there's always going to come a time when you need a favor from that dishwasher. I never have to ask twice. I also make treats for the crew when they've been working hard. Keeps the place running smoother when you grease the tracks with a little good will. I don't care how big a chef you are, the crew has more respect for you when they see you're not too good to pitch in and help them out when they need it.
post #8 of 25
I have been up til 4am doing dishes on occasions. If I have absolutely nothing to do (which I will admit, is a very rare occasion) I will either give the dishwasher a hand, or pull him to the side to teach him something new.

One of our washers is 19, hardworking (I trained him on a day that had two seperate 200 ppl banquets, we were up til 4:30 am scrubbing), and very eager to learn. It is my goal to be able to have him on the line with me someday.

Dishes is just one of those things that comes with the job. A chef that is not willing to do dishes is pretty useless imho.
post #9 of 25
I really have a problem with people who think they are "too good" to do dishes or any stewarding duties.NEVER forget that we all had humble beginnings and that a dishwasher/steward has one of the hardest jobs in the whole place.

We had some freetime the past couple of days and I spent a good four hours scrubbing speed racks [about 250 of them!].I could care less if I hold a chef title,if it's gotta be done,DO IT! The boys respect me because I don't think twice about helping out and I never have a problem getting them to do stuff for me when I need it.

I rather enjoy cleaning days;I brought in a stack of CD's and went to town on those racks.To be in the dishpit by myself with a hose,a scrubby and listening to Parliament is rather relaxing to me.

"Where'd you get that funk from?" :)
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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post #10 of 25
As long as I have been doing this,I have NEVER understood how those types of scheduling snafus happen...come on,the BUSIEST DAY of the year for our profession and they forget/don't bother to schedule a dishwasher? Not only is that incompetant,but incredibly stupid.
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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post #11 of 25
LOL - I wash dishes, sweep and mop floors (both kitchen and front of house), clean bathrooms, clean stoves, clean sinks, clean work tables and take out trash, not to mention bluffing (with a floor buffer) and waxing the entire restaurant floors. At times I feel more like a janitor than a cook.

Bill
post #12 of 25

I love washing dishes.

It gives me time to think.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #13 of 25
My rule:

Anybody can be tasked to do ANYTHING at ANY time.
post #14 of 25

I have no problem with pitching in--

sometimes just to regroup my thoughts and plans.

One of the worst coworkers I have ever had. refused to help anyone, he would wait and watch the utility person peel some onions for him. The utility was always busy and behind. He would also pull a pan, run some water in it and decide he wanted another, instead of putting it on a rack to dry, he would stack it in with the gunky pans.

Thanks goodness I was going to another ship and got away from that situation--sorry got off the subject a bit.
post #15 of 25
I'd have to agree with the previous posts.
Sometimes after a hectic night in the kitchen it can be quite relaxing to dig in and just do something without all the pressure. on the odd occasion after a particulary s..t night i can get more satisfaction out of organising and gettting the dishhes done than i can from doing 120 covers!!:talk:
Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.
-Clemenza-

Lateley we've been getting more ROLL than ROCK......
Bernie Taupin
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Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.
-Clemenza-

Lateley we've been getting more ROLL than ROCK......
Bernie Taupin
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post #16 of 25
and with the under the counter high temp hobart you get a facial at the same time......life is a whole lot easier when you can run a load in less than 3 minutes. :)
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 25
I can see cooks doing dishes, helping to bust out a logjam, but not for more than 10-15 minutes. As a salaried employee remember you have to get your other stuff done too unless it destresses you of course. As an hourly, remember you're getting $10/hr to do a $7/hr job. Consider that next time you send your cooks in to do the dishes.
post #18 of 25
The most overlooked and thankless job in the operation. Had a Chef that wouldn't move you from dish tank to prep unless you could keep the table clean on both ends. Because of that and at every position I have held, from Owner, Exec, F&B Director, LineCook and Dishwasher I have done dishes. Spent many an opening night bailing out the table. Sometimes a nice diversion on the day/night. And for the record if I ever heard a chef/cook boast that they were too good for the dishroom.... The dishwasher was conveniently given another task or sent home early and that chef/cook filled in or a portion of their next shift was scheduled in the dish room. There are certainly tasks that are above one's talent and ability but there is not a single one below. Ya didn't like it the door swung out as easily as in.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Kuan,

I am not asking about how many chefs will send their cooks into bail our the dishwasher. What I am asking is, how many of you have had experience with Chefs who feel they are too good to do dishes?

Kuan... do you do dishes???
post #20 of 25
In my opinion, if a cook or chef has to routinely wash the dishes for many hours during the day then there is something very wrong (unless the owner is a chef and they're just too cheap to have the dishwasher around), or the ownership is seriously abusing the chef. It's all a matter of allocation of resources, and if the chef is in the dishpit scrubbing dishes during a busy rush then maybe the chef hang up his/her apron and become a dishwasher.
"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 #21 of 25
In an industry that is notorious for understaffing, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.

A chef doesnt say "this wasnt part of the job description", a chef answers to the call, whether it be on the line, or the dishpit.
post #22 of 25
But why would it be the slightest bit logical for the chef to go wash dishes when they could send someone else less capable or well-rounded in the kitchen to go do it? I mean, if the chef is trying to train the line to work unsupervised, then I can understand that the chef can walk off the line for a while to go do something else and see that the food's still going out well and on time, but otherwise it seems strangely wrong (or perhaps the chef is just trying to show everyone else that they aren't above washing dishes as a symbolic gesture, which I must admit is important in any leadership role).

As a cook, I would find it incredibly strange if my chef simply up and walked over to the dishpit and helped them do the dishes as opposed to sending a cook (such as myself) to go help out. Of course there are always exceptions.
"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 #23 of 25
I guess its different idealogies clashing, but I truly believe that there is no duty under a chef. When I rise up to chefdom, I do not plan on hiding in my office if my dish station is going to heck.

Its not about motivation, it has to do with doing anything within my power to get the job done. If the line is rocking, I would not want to disturb the "harmony" by kicking someone off their station.
post #24 of 25
[quote=Blueicus;175386

As a cook, I would find it incredibly strange if my chef simply up and walked over to the dishpit and helped them do the dishes as opposed to sending a cook (such as myself) to go help out. Of course there are always exceptions.[/quote]


I have a great exception story for you then.

I've posted before about my adoration and incredible respect for CMC Lawrence McFadden.I'm a geek,I know it...but to me,he is IT.You look at the list of accomplishments and it's staggering.

I have a friend who worked under him in Naples,Fl at Ritz-Carlton and there was a busy point and the line was getting slammed.It was so busy,my friend was called from his saucier duties to make sandwiches at the poolside cafe.

He loves to tell about trying to get through tickets and all of a sudden,McFadden is right next to him making a freaking peanut butter sandwich for a kid and plating it with as much reverence and care as if it were a rare delicacy.

Granted,it's not doing dishes,but for a man who is a world-class culinary competition champion and a CMC,it speaks volumes of a chef's character and dedication to put aside pretense and just do it.
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
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post #25 of 25
**** yeah. The smaller the kitchen the more you find yourself in the dishroom.

Now those University foodservice kitchens, there's always two dishwashers there, and always dirty dishes. Dishwasher labor is therefore constant.

Atltournant: There is no doubt that Chef McFadden is up there among the best.
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