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any tips for a first timer?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
hey guys, ill be starting my first job as a sue chef at a little side street cafe in a couple of weeks. any tips or advice for me?
-God bless
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-God bless
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post #2 of 10
Just one comment althought I'm not a chef. Whether you start as a dishwasher or sous chef, keep your eyes open and learn from those above you. And speaking from the perspective of an owner, I'd suggest that you work hard and try not to look like you're always looking for a chance to take a break. That drives me nuts. I don't normally care how much my staff talks when it's not busy, but for God's sake, keep your body moving while your mouth is!!

Another thing that drives me crazy is listening to people talk about how tired they are, how hot they are (me? I'm cool as a cucumber in 105* heat and this isn't sweat, it's glistening), how they can't wait to get off work, heavy sighs indicating sheer exhaustion, the placing of the hands on the lower back and stretching while groaning in pain-this normally happens right as the truck is unloading a week's worth of supplies, the casual mention of how you feel something coming on 3 seconds after arriving to work- then again 10 minutes later-1 hour later while rubbing temples and forcing a cough.

Sorry 'bout the rant....:crazy: Best of luck in your new job! Sounds like a perfect location.
post #3 of 10
haha lentil.

thats what happened at my externship.....

the prep area and walk in were 3 flights up not to mention that the resturant was 1/2 a flight up and everything had to be brought in my hand and up the 3 flights by hand.....

good times.


work hard, learn from the guys there and dont be an A** right off the bat.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
haha funny rant lentil, but good advice.

thanks guys
-God bless
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-God bless
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post #5 of 10
I thought of another one yesterday...at work. Don't ever, even if you know it to be the gospel truth, tell your boss that you have a better recipe than the one he/she's been using for years. This goes for telling him/her that you know a better/faster/more efficient way to do something or what you would do if the business were yours.

Not a real good way to endear yourself.

Again, best of luck and enjoy it!
post #6 of 10
I thought of another one yesterday...at work. Don't ever, even if you know it to be the gospel truth, tell your boss that you have a better recipe than the one he/she's been using for years. This goes for telling him/her that you know a better/faster/more efficient way to do something or what you would do if the business were yours.

For example, I was talking to one of my staff about an upcoming wedding. I mentioned that one of the apps was to be deviled eggs. I didn't suggest this, mind you, the bride's mother insisted upon them. So she says to me, "we're NOT going to do them, are we?!" I say of course we are since they ordered them. She then tells me that that's too much work. Oh well. Since when is the workplace a democracy?

Not a real good way to endear yourself.

Again, best of luck and enjoy it!
post #7 of 10
Just a few thoughts,

Cooking IS a pressure job. On top of that you're starting a new profession in a new work environment. The hardest thing to learn in any pressure environment is to put your mistakes behind you instantly. Don't dwell on them. You have to stay in the present. While you're thinking about what you did wrong, embarrassed, angry and vowing never to do that again, things are burning. Learn from your mistakes on your own time.

Never fake it with the chef. When you get a question answer it honestly even if the answer is "I don't know," or bad news. Cooking with someone else in the kitchen is as much communication as anything else. It's not about you, it's about the kitchen.

Keep your board clean -- always. Keep your station organized.

Whenever you have a minute, clean or work on mise en place (that's the prepped stuff you want around your station so you don't have to do it on the fly -- chopped parsley for instance).

Never start a shift with a dull knife. If you don't know how to sharpen a knife freehand on sharpening stones, and/or you don't know how to use a steel, learn now and learn well. If you need advice, ask me.

Find out if you'll have to bring your own knives or they insist you use theirs. If you have to bring your own, you'll need a chef's, a parer a (comfortable) vegetable peeler and a steel. If you need advice, ask me.

Get yourself a 10 pound bag of onions and a 10 pound bag of potatoes and learn to use a chef's knife. Get yourself 5 pounds of beans and practice toss-turning them in a skillet until you're very consistent.

Luck,
BDL
post #8 of 10
Congrats on joining the family! There is no more noble proffession than cooking. Keep your eyes and ears open, read a lot and practice, practice an practice. Watch the vets, we've been around a while, tricks of the trade and all. Make sure of your position, your authority, and never overstep it. By the way, it's "sous-chef".;) Never forget that there are literally centuries of experience in some dishes. This is a tough life, long hours, stress and heat, moody workers, owners, chefs, and don't forget the customers, but when you see that plate you just garnished with chervil, sauced and wiped go out the pass to the table and see the client's face shine with unashamed pleasure at what you helped create, it's worth it all. Buy the best knives you can afford, I prefer Sabitier, but they're pricey, and you get the best ones from France. Most of all, enjoy yourself, you might as well have some fun doing it, you're gonig to be spending a lot of time in te kitchn. :chef:
La bonne cuisine est la base du veritable bonheur
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La bonne cuisine est la base du veritable bonheur
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post #9 of 10
First off congrats and welcome.My feelings are the most important thing you can do for yourself and the team is, lead by example, encourage the team, train the team, be part of the team and always remain teachable...Remember your are now in a managment role, have fun but dont be a jokester..The only way to get respect is to earn respect and the easiest way to earn respect is by respecting others!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A great tool for a profesional is a dictionary ( sue chef :look: ) just saying.

Good luck and God bless.
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
woa guys i realy didnt expect so many replies thank you all so much!

cool, well thanks again for all the advice

God bles
-God bless
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-God bless
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