Tips for an extremely stressed, new cook?
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Working short orders is all about timing. It's important to be able to finish some plates right in time while starting others. So you'll have to multitask. And be careful with wet stuff in deep-frier.
Lucky you, having fresh walleye all the time. We get frozen fillets mostly here.
Have you checked that thread out yet? http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/profe...er-change.html
hey manhey bro don't worry i know what u mean, i get stressed sometimes when i cook either i will get nervous about how the dish will turn out or how do i do this recipe with out screwing it up. keep it up the more cooking u do the more experience u will have and the less stress u will have from working all the different types of cooking in every aspectof the cooking world u will feel more cofident with it foods u will create
keep it up bro
If you don't mind sharing, where are you in Dairyland?
Keep your cool, dont panic
Don't let the food be the boss of you.
4 or 5 tickets at once is nothing.
The goal is to get each course out at the same time for each table. This is pretty easy if you have a good expo. Otherwise you must communicate with your fellow linesmen. Communication is a must, don't do it, and the line will sink into the weeds fast.
Second thing to do is check out your mise. If you've got enough, could it be organized better. You should have acces to everything you need if you have one foot nailed to the floor. One of the things I do, is precup some of the sauces that people order extra sides of. It saves me a few seconds during the rush.
The FOH can also screw things for you if the seatings aren't staggered. Some waiters like to hoard tickets and put them in all at once.
Lastly, I always scan ahead to see if I have any surprises or long cooking items coming up. Well-dones are the worst and can really hang a ticket.
Mezzaluna: Im in central WI. Im working on getting better at multitasking but every once and a while I'll totally forget about something on the char broil and end up wasting the company money and the customers patience :mad:.
The tin cook: That brings up a whole nother set of problems...see we have a new head chef that is firm on sticking exactly to the recipes, which is fine with me but the cooks training me will each tell me a different recipe for say mashed potatoes, then the head chef will see me making them and tell me im all wrong and I need to add horseradish and less of all the spices. Then if the cooks see me using his recipe then im told im wrong all over again and its so frustrating.
Chef_rockclimb3: Yeah thats kind of been my plan of attack, I come home from work then cook something from our menu for dinner er...midnight meal then come online and look for all the info I can, so basically constantly thinking about cooking. So far just talking with you guys has proved to be the most useful and I really appreciate it.
Coregonus: Oh, no they aren't fresh, we get frozen fillets as well, with the skin on. I catch my own walleye all summer long for cooking at home and honestly I can't tell the difference so they must be pretty good. Ill hafta check out that forum too, thanks.
It sucks taking it both ways. Do what greg said and do what the chef (or sous chef in charge of your shift, I guess) says. If the crew has gone rouge, there isn't much you can do about it except stick up for the standards on the stuff that comes of your station
2) The chef is always right.
3) When in doubt, see (1)
:) Whenever some other cook tells you different, ask him can we do it like chef says please? See, being a good cook is a little like being a good soldier. Do your duty unless you know for sure it's ethically wrong. If chef says MR is 140F then MR is 140F. It's not going to kill anyone. 140F is MR in HIS kitchen.
You will find your groove, or you will decide this isn't the right place for you.
Stick with it for awhile and see what happens. Line cooking is a lot like doing your mise. You can start a bunch at a time, like 6 chicken breasts on the grill, and finish them one at a time, or you can do them one at a time as the orders come in. Personally my style was many at a time. During lunch for example when one chicken sandwich would come in I'd toss six on the grill and they would all be gone in 10 minutes. Try not to do it with burgers though. Old burgers suck and customers can tell.
Hmmm...Communication and patience are important untill you find your "groove" with your cooks.
You really need to be "thrown" into the environment. You will mess up. A lot. The trick is to continually learn from your mistakes and your victories. Ask questions, and pay attention to what others do when you get a chance.
It is stressful, but that's part of the appeal IMO. Don't forget to breathe, and catch every second you can to take a drink of water and truly -read- and know your next 4 tickets, at least. Pay attention to the tickets, and you won't get any surprises. Surprises really crank up the stress level.
Also, don't run. Ever. And be wary of the fryer and your floor. Watch closely for oil/water spills, and clean or mend them accordingly. Stress and heat can be very painful when you get lost in the moment.
miseMise is mise en plahs(french i believe). In line cooking its all the ingredients and raw product you will need for all the menu items you cook at your station. At home say your cooking beef stew, you would naturally gather, prep all your ingredients before you start. All the ingredients for the stew would be your mise. Hope this explained it.
Keep the chin up and suck up all the knowledge you can. Be a sponge :) As others have said - go with the chef. Same with any job -the boss is always right. Just gotta find a way to pass that onto others when they contradict what chef says, in a calm way - although calm never equals a kitchen in service!
Ask the dumb questions - don't be embarassed - a dumb question is better than a dumb mistake.
Really good luck to you I hope it goes well - my niece has just finished 3 years of her 4 year apprenticeship as a cook - she's just gone 20. Its been the making of her - she had a lot of issues and inner confusion before being offered the position, but she's made the most of it (it has NOT been an easy path but she's stuck with it) and has benefitted from it in many ways.
Take the advice of our friends on the forum, they've been there, and well done in reaching out for help. Keep us tuned in to how you doing.
And yes, remember to breathe!
Chef KnowledgeDefinitely listen to your co-workers. For fixed menu items, get feedback on overcoming any specific ingredient or preparation-stage hurdles you may enounter. Take notes. Own the menu, in your head.
Remember, anything that has your name on it is worth going all out, so make it the best cooking you can muster.
Best of Luck,
The Arches Restaurant
Los Angeles, California
The Arches Restaurant
Los Angeles, California
Haha, I just started my first job as kitchen help (I'm on salads, desserts, and general prep) and I have the same problem after working. I can still hear that ticket, the dishes being washed, someone prepping tomorrow's special, timers going off, etc etc etc. Takes a bit for the sounds to leave my head... And then I do it all over again the next day.
The stress comes from not being prepared or trained enough to feel confident in your job. It's not really your fault, it's the managers fault to put you there. It's like being a baby with start off crawling and then walking. We don't go from crawling to running the 100 yd dash in the Olympics. Just because your survive doesn't mean you succeed. You need to be trained properly, if your insecure in what you do you will never feel confident that you can succeed working a busy line. May advice is to learn the menu and get better at what you do........
Get yourself one book for right now. Professional Chef the earlier editions are better, I think. READ IT. Everyday, everyday off, When you come home, when you get up. It will teach you the basics, if you see someone not doing what your reading don't fret. You do what your reading. Don't argue, just be aware of what your reading.
Tips on cooking lunch don't ignore checks coming in read everyone, while your plating. And think to yourself "how long will this take?"
I once had a Steak sandwich that was 25 steps, I hated to see that sandwich but I hammered it out. Ask for help, the only people that suffer is in the customer "guest"
One last thought mise en place! Good luck my friend, you'll be the one teaching soon!