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Are Chefs Abusive? - Page 2

post #31 of 47

I have worked for a screamer AND a thrower.  She was sous at my first restaurant.  I quit there and she was fired not long after I left.  Since I live in a relatively small area, most of the chefs know all of the others so I can and do keep track of where she is and know never to apply there.  The last I heard she was working in the basement kitchen of a large pizza place doing prep.  I guess that means that she has proven that she doesn't play well with others.

 

The chef I am with now has only yelled at me once in two years...but I thoroughly deserved it after the fact.  When you deserve it, take your lumps, apologize sincerely once and move on.

post #32 of 47

Worked for yellers and screamers before and it takes a lot of the energy out of the kitchen whenever the chef walks into the kitchen. It's almost like everyone is so afraid of fucking up that they forget how to cook.

post #33 of 47

I don't yell but I do get p***ed off at times.  Most of the time when I get p'd it's because of customer pickiness or server stupidity.  I'm comfortable enough now in my role in the kichen to tell the cooks when they are out of line or need to stay to their own station and let me do my job.  It is MY job to run the kitchen and their job to get the food to the window and then MY job to make sure it is all there before tickets get sold.  How hard is that?????

 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #34 of 47

i havent really worked for many chefs yet but i wouldnt mnd the dicipline that some chefs instill in the cooks. i never though marco pierre white or ramsy were abusive(even when i 1st read about them) i just though that thier standards are high and they expect perfection. they have gone through it and and that made them into great cooks. i been yelled at when i was at school by some chefs because i made mistakes but i tell you what i will never make the same mistake again. i think that is part of it, when something like taht happens to you where a chef yells at you because u added too much salt or didnt do something right, u know u wont do it again because u will get yelled at. i think that is something that is lost these days, you have to treat everyone nice and sometimes one cant sat what they want. i perosnally think it builds one as a cook, dicipline is part of it and if it means i will learn alot then im game.

Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #35 of 47

 

Quote:
u know u wont do it again because u will get yelled at

 

 

And this is a good reason to justify being abusive?

 

I much prefer not repeating mistakes because I want to do things to the best of my abilities, not because some dipweed is yelling at me.

 

Because that is the way I respond to mistakes, when I am chef, I try to remember that and I find that I get much better results when I get people to work "with" me, rather than "for" me.

 

I won't yell. I will sit you down and try to figure out the problem and what the solution is. Sometimes the solution is that you work elsewhere.

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 #36 of 47

Eric Ripert had some interesting things to say about Ramsay style deportment.  http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/archives/2010/09/a_chefs_suicide.php 

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #37 of 47

I agree with cheflayne. You can't instill the will to do well in someone. You can scream your head off at some cook who is just working for the summer for cash and doesn't give a shit and have him/her turn around and do the same stupid thing over again. Tonight I was messing up at work and I knew it. All it took from the chef was an "I don't want to have to re-fire anything else, got it?" No yelling, no throwing anything. Just a slight change in the intonation of his voice. Like I said before I think yelling is wholly unnecessary and actually counter  productive. That's not to say you should be all sugar and spice when telling someone they messed up. There is a difference between being stern and being and a**hole.

post #38 of 47

if Chef is being an A-HOLE to you (you being anyone), perhaps you should shut the F up and just do your job the it's asked of you. otherwise move on and try to find someone who will deal with your BS.

post #39 of 47



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by halmstad View Post

if Chef is being an A-HOLE to you (you being anyone), perhaps you should shut the F up and just do your job the it's asked of you. otherwise move on and try to find someone who will deal with your BS.

 

Assuming it's you that F'd up, and not because it's the end of the month and he just got reamed out by the owner/f&B that his costs are out of whack, or that his g/f left him and stole his car AND delated his I-pod files, OR.......... You get the Idea.

 

Then again, if you are being a little dip-wad, a good Chef will only warn you once, then either take over you station or have one of his "boys" take over your station. 

 

 

Sorry, just worked in too many open kitchens to tolerate a screamer.....

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #40 of 47

Been a while since I posted here (have been busy),

 

I believe as long as you are not abusive for the sake of being abusive, and actually trying to better someone, you can let out some steam, as long as whoever you are talking to understands the situation as well.  I can show my intern how to do something, and stress how important the details are.  If he doesn't produce like I showed him, I can calmly show him again.  By the 3rd messup, then it takes a little more "direct" motivation to get his brain thinking and his body moving.  He knows what is expected of him now, it took a few loud MOVE!!! and I NEED THIS NOW!!! or WTF ARE YOU DOING??? with a few expletives here and there to get the point across, but now he made the cut and jumped from intern to cook over here.

 

I can take and dish the profanity.  I dont even think twice about it anymore.  What really hurts is when my chef (who has a temper) calmly and quietly says "This is not up to standard, and you know it isn't.  Why would you do this?"  This calmly expressed statement hurts more than all the F's, the MF's, the SOB's, the A-Holes, and anything else someone can yell on the other side of the window to me.  Strange world eh? 

post #41 of 47
Quote:

 

I can take and dish the profanity.  I dont even think twice about it anymore.  What really hurts is when my chef (who has a temper) calmly and quietly says "This is not up to standard, and you know it isn't.  Why would you do this?"  This calmly expressed statement hurts more than all the F's, the MF's, the SOB's, the A-Holes, and anything else someone can yell on the other side of the window to me.  Strange world eh? 


That's the kind of Chef I can handle and draw my role models from, there's no BSing around.  With the temper tantrums, profanity, and the Bs ing (looks like a burst barf bag, like frozen doggie doo, etc) there's always a "yeah yeah, you're full of crap too, so what" factor.  With one or two well stated comments that you can not argue against, you are forced to admit that you are putting out crap/f'ing up and that you have to do better.

 

Once a Chef looses his temper (O.K., say a force 4 or 5 sh*t fit)--and it doesn't neccesarily have to be with me-- it takes me a loooong time, and sometimes never, to let him earn my respect back. 
 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #42 of 47

Quotes from last nights busy service:

 

"Looks like a dog s*** himself and then dragged his a** across the plate"

 

"Did you chew the duck and spit it back on the plate? Who plated this? WHO PLATED THIS!" 

 

But,  I don't think that is abusive. It's colorful and expressive and gets the point across. I have worked with abusive chefs and it's scary, ineffective, and breeds a bad kitchen culture. It's a fine line though, too soft and standards plummet, too much and all sorts of bad things start happening. 

 

I agree with FoodPump though, more effective then the flagrant tirade is the stern indisputable observation. Though I never seen them not paired so can't say for certain. 

 

I would like to read a thread filled with quotes of angry chef's though. It'd be a great vent, and hilarious! I'm still kicking myself for not writing down some of the more witty and damning remarks I've heard over the years. I remember once a Chef took some green's off of a salad I platted and shook them violently with each word "What (shake) the (shake) f*** is (shake) this. Apparently is was too much vinaigrette.

post #43 of 47

I can only agree with pretty much all of the above, I prefer the reasoned approach myself as foul language really has no place in any workplace, unless I am pushed beyond all reason, then things can be a little spicy!, there seems to be a growing trend for some young chefs to casually verbally abuse eachother, they become inured to the words and when talking to wait staff, forget that the gentler side of food service is not on the same low level conversationally, causing offence and upset.

Whoa!, I've seen some things, but don't that beat all.
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Whoa!, I've seen some things, but don't that beat all.
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post #44 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohbeary View Post

Ithere seems to be a growing trend for some young chefs to casually verbally abuse eachother, they become inured to the words and when talking to wait staff, forget that the gentler side of food service is not on the same low level conversationally, causing offence and upset.



The servers at my place are just as inured as the rest of us... it really makes for interesting services.

post #45 of 47
Yeah ok when the team has been together for some time, familiarity excuses the low language, what I am talking about is the general degradation of social comunication, do we want this to be our social language?, I have been there and found myself "speaking kitchen" in front of civilians!, the reactions have been less than good, a little or lot of self censorship really does take the sting out of life, I'm no saint nor preacher neither, just a game keeper who would prefer not to listen to foul language in any situation, I do not wish to abuse anyone and tend to react badly when abused( ask the guy who thought I was being too posh!....................
Whoa!, I've seen some things, but don't that beat all.
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Whoa!, I've seen some things, but don't that beat all.
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post #46 of 47

The caf where I work, much of the union work force have been getting away with murder and I've been there for 5 years to see it all, try to change it with a nice and polite attitude only to get in return that snarky union catch phrase "I'm/We're union, I/we don't do that".  Well I did my best and my new management has brought people who are roughing and toughing them and it's lead to some "interesting" scenes in the kitchen.  But change is being made and in progress; the new chef here is actually fixing almost everything I found faulty about this place.  Literally every other thing in the kitchen, he comments with "this is bull****" and I always have that "no kidding" response or look to acknowledge it. 

 

My point here is sometimes the abuse is necessary; in an efficiently working kitchen the aggressive attitude may not be required, as opposed to a place hanging on by a thread.  If abuse is called for, it has to be justified.  For instance, if some lazy a$$ decided he/she don't wanna be working a station and does a crap job at it, its called for if they continue to refuse to work the station properly.  Continuation of this attitude calls for termination but you'd be surprised how often that doesn't happen especially when unions are involved.  Added stress to a chef who now needs to rearrange kitchen tasks while in the middle of service taking away reliable people from important jobs, of course the guys is gonna be pissed.  This is just one real world example of where I work where I would say abuse is justified.  You come to work to do you job and you get paid for it, but if you're just jacking off then expect no fair treatment in return. 

post #47 of 47

Light a fire under your Union Shop steward's butt: 

 

Ask for an audited financial statement.  By law they are required to issue one to every Union employee yearly.

 

There's abuse for ya.......

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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