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What keeps you going?

post #1 of 7
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Five days a week I go to work and dice a pint of shallots, a gallons worth of tomatoes, a cups worth of basil, etc etc... Then I go and cook the same 10 dishes I cook every day in varying quantities, with the occasional special order. It gets old after a while. I love to cook, it's a release for me, but the same thing over and over gets boring.

Today, on my day off, I made shrimp stock, beef stock, and seasoned my new carbon steel wok. Hey, that rhymes! Anyway, despite the fact that these things are no culinary feat, I enjoyed it more than just about anything.

I always think that it's me ordering the dish I'm cooking while I'm at work, and that I would demand absolute perfection. But after a while, perfection of a certain dish is relatively easy, and the challenge is gone. I sometimes feel like a robot. Put things in a hot pan, cook, more things, plate, repeat. Sigh.

To me, the simplest things are what makes me happy. Making that beef stock that I might not use for a while is good, but the visions of what it might become is what keeps me going. Aside from any monetary issues, what keeps you going?
post #2 of 7
I am fortunate to be working at places that are regularly renewing their menus. The prospect of new products and new menu items helps keeps things fresh, as do new dishes. Of course this doesn't mean I don't cook at home... it's always nice to cook up a nice thai curry or to make things I don'tnormally do at work.

I used to work at places that was essentially a repetitive grind, that was when I was really happy that I did a lot of baking at home.
"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 #3 of 7
I think that is why I gravitated toward the high volume catering/banquet business. The clientel and ethnic groups change daily and most of the time I am not making or doing the same thing over and over. I must enjoy it as I have been doing it over 45 years and dont regret it. I also enjoy teaching all the young guys all the old and new tricks to help make their job better and easier for them.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #4 of 7
A sick and twisted sense of being and a love of pain...
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #5 of 7
I can't imagine working somewhere I had zero creative input. Are fish, soup, or dinner specials out of the question at your restaurant? -or does the Chef dictate all of those?
Personally, as the Chef, I welcome all ideas, I'm typically ecstatic when a cook comes to me and says "I have an idea for a special"-Working trough it and refining it to an actual dish can be a learning experience for both of us.

If even that is out of the question, maybe it's not the restaurant for you
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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post #6 of 7
quit.
go work somewhere else.
tell your boss, "thanks, but its time for me to move on".

i work at a country club where apart from my line, i do prep for banquets, and that stuff is all different stuff all the time.
so i have my repetative stuff too, but between that, banquet prep and feeding 70+ peoeple at family meal time by myself, each day is a new and exciting adventure in time management, learning, gaining experience, and busting my ***.
what keeps me going? the fact that i can work 9 hours, and it feels like half an hour.
plus the food thing :)
post #7 of 7
I am fortunate to be in corporate hospitality. I cook for the same people most days but we have a new menu each and every week. If I want to try something different or want to teach my team something new, it goes on the menu and in four weeks we are doing it. One week to master it and then on to the next challenge.

While repetition is the mother of all skills and we need it to become excellent at what we do, variety is the spice of life!
Kiwisizzler's blog

Good food is food that tastes of what it is!
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Kiwisizzler's blog

Good food is food that tastes of what it is!
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