or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

do you guys burn out?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Sorry guys but this is mostly a rant and I'm wanting some other culinary related job ideas, so just bare with me here.

I am only 23 years old and starting to get a little tired of the kitchen life. I absolutely love good food but the place I work at makes a lot of good stuff but we also put out a lot of b.s too. For example we had sunday brunch yesterday and the sous chef didn't pull out the ribeye the night before like he said he would, so we put it under water then roasted it on high heat :( and it temped out at 45 degrees 30 minutes before service so then the boss man decides to steam it to speed it up. I had to go out in front of our memebers (private country club) and slice up this steamed prime rib and give it to them. I wanted to cry.

My sous chef and kitchen manager show up late all the time, talk with the members for way longer than I think is necessary and generally don't seem to care all that much. It is driving me crazy. I want to say something but then again this is a job and I am low on the totum pole here. How should I go about expressing this or should I just do my best and go about my business?

Work just doesn't seem as magical as it once was to me. I used to get excited when I would be making osso bucco for the first time or lamb shanks or beef wellington. But now that I have an understanding of how a lot of things are done and my job doesn't present that great of dishes, it's not all that great.

The three things that I love most are my wife, cooking and traveling. Do any of you guys have any advice on how I can get a decent paying job putting all 3 of those together? Maybe a culinary type of tour guide or a teacher or something of the like.

Sorry to have to sit here and whine about my job, but I appreciate any input any of you may have.
post #2 of 5
This is pretty common for most people. Humans have,in general, an inate desire to learn, especially when young. Learning to do a dish for the first few times was exciting but now you know how so it becomes more or less boring. The question for you now is how well and how efficiently can you produce those dishes?? Are you world class at them? Is your performance in the kitchen world class? You have to find your own satisfaction within the job or career you have. If you can not find it then it is time to move on. You love cooking so maybe its not the career thats burned you out but the job you currently have. Time to change jobs but, if you love your wife, you have to change jobs properly. Which brings us back to how good are you in the kitchen? Would a top notch chef want to hire you if he or she saw your work unbeknownst to you? Or does your dissatifaction show through? Once you have yourself prepped up start looking around to find the kind of places you would like to work. Ask around for the best places to eat in your area. If you find a place that might well suit you then submit a resume or apply for a job there.

As I tell my own kids(all adults now), every job, every career, has its good points and bad points. Only you can make it mean something worthwhile to you.
post #3 of 5
Sorry, jbd, beg to differ.
All of us foodservice folks have worked, one time or another, for that place were the bottom line is more important than quality or good food. In retrospect, we are ashamed that we ever worked for such a place.
Please do NOT generalize the world of food and service from that one experience.

The best professional advice I ever received was personally from Narsai David, who is a legend here in the SF/Bay Area. He said that you should change jobs frequently to advance your career and, more important, cooking skills. At minimum do 6 months (you are learning things, even if you hate the place and do not think you are learning at all), and most do 1 1/2 years (even if you love it and are a key employee, you are no longer learning new things after this point).

Personally, I have learned that passion for cooking is the key. If you love it and would rather do it than anything else regardless of $$$, you just need to find a better employer. If you are after fame and fortune, you are definitely in the wrong profession.
post #4 of 5
Do we burn out? Yes that can happen, if you allow it to..Remember in every aspect and everything you do in your life, is a choice you make. The best thing about this field is you are able to learn and then move on.

I don't think your burnt out. I think as your growing in your career your standards are getting higher, which is a good thing.

Don't get me wrong, mark my words, some day when your a chef, you will finagle the bagel like they did with the roast, may be not to that degree, but there will come a time you will have to cut some corners. Don't judge them to hard, untill you have walked in their clogs :rolleyes:.

This is just a opinion: Actualy forget this is a opinion, here is a fact for you, kid. If you are writing a thread like you wrote, the job has served its duty for you and its time to move on and join another team.
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
post #5 of 5
I just would like to tell you, I know how you feel. I have a love hate relationship with my job too...but here's the good part for you..and for me. We don't have to work at these places forever ..but just long enough. I finish up my culinary classes in june next year and it's at that point I will be looking for another job even if it pays me less. My job can be both fun and rewarding but this is not the place I want to call my home away from home. However, I know that I want to learn and travel as well and this is the perfect career for doing that.
I've searched high and low...for careers that would facilitate my personality..I'm 24 years old and I've been to police academy and went to school for criminal justice but a couple weeks into the academy i realized that the bureaucracy of police work wasn't for me. I was a dog groomer, easy job but not for me...I've stocked shelves, cashiered and managed...
the only three jobs that I've ever been any good at...are playing drums, delivering pizza and cooking food. I'm just a naturally good cook, i rarely make something disgusting and for some reason I never mess up a recipe even on the first try...and on top of that there is something fun with playing with food and prepping vegetables and bagging and weighing..repeatedly! Now as much as I don't particulary like cleaning...or pumping out 400 plates some mornings in true assembly line fashion...I do like cooking and people like me cooking for them.

I'm sure you may have read some of yourself in those previous statements. Nothing is easy and nothing will be fun all the time...I have finally accepted that...every career has drawbacks. We're one of the very few groups of people to say that this job CAN put a smile on our face. We're one of the few groups that can work until 90 without discrimination...the older we become the wiser and we age like a fine wine in this industry. as long as we can still move and physically perform our duties at least.

We're also some of the few people left that can actually apprentice and one of the few groups of people that can TRULY be free to relocate where and whenever on a whim. We can travel and gain more knowledge and experience from our travels. We're even actually more respected overseas and in other countries.
We also have very high job security overall...everybody loves food..and everybody has to eat. People eat 2, 3, 4 ..and beyond times a day and many americans eat out most of the week.
People can't even toast their own bagels or grill their own cheese anymore.
Everybody is jealous of the cook, it's a skill everybody desires that few people have...let alone the ability to get paid to do it!

If you've been working at your place for a while, start looking for another cooking job at bigger and better places. Don't be afraid to apply anywhere and don't let this place drag you down.
If you enjoy cooking as much as you say you do..and if this is all you know or all you can do, don't be fooled into thinking the grass is greener in other professions or that this place is like every other place...because it isn't.

best wishes and good luck
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs