ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Advice from the more experienced...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Advice from the more experienced...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I recently started my culinary career as a line cook, with very little experience behind me, and the kitchen is getting busier and faster everyday. However, it seems like everyday, I make big mistakes that really mess things up (overcooking lamb rack, forget to call an order that needs a lot of time, generally just kinda fucking up, etc). I keep calm and focused on the line, and I'm getting better at my station everyday, but I feel like I'm messing up enough to make the owner and the other line cook/chef (its a two cook kitchen) resent me. They are supportive and say I'm doing good, but during service I feel like I'm more of a liability than they let on. People alway say that this profession isn''t for everyone, so how did you know it was for you? Did you mess up a lot everyday in your first kitchen, or am I exceptionally accident-prone? Just curious what some thoughts are.

 

 

By the way, I'm glad I found this place, and its nice to meet you all :)

post #2 of 11

I don't know man.  Happens to all of us.  You have to find your system you know?  On my grill I always used to have areas for rare, MR, WD.  Pull my meats and lay them out so I know I have to fire them, stuff like that.  You have to find whatever works for you.

post #3 of 11

If he's a good chef he will not let you sink

The only way we learn is from good mentors ....if he is not coming to you with advice ,go to him. Best thing in this business is to ask alot and I mean alot of questions

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
My feet are firmly planted in mid air
Reply
post #4 of 11

Hey! "Practice makes you perfect" & "Pattience is a virtue"

Dont put yourself down so soon,as hard as it is at the moment. Why? Just as good food takes time to prepare, it takes time to learn too.

I currently have an apprentice-just turned second year, whom has in the past been taught little and never had a crack on the stoves,so,i am starting to let him get out of larder and get on the stove,call dockets etc.-this  quickly develops co-ordination,timing,communication  and speed that will improve with time,some are fast learners,some are slower-thats just human nature and relates to strenghs and weaknesses-we all have them.

If you were that bad-your boss and chef would not be bothering with you-but they appear to be doing the right thing-MENTORING.

I was slow-but now im at the top! So,after a while it will become routine and second nature and sure as the sun will shine-in time,so will YOU- then  look back and laugh-i did...........

post #5 of 11

 

Quote:

If he's a good chef he will not let you sink

The only way we learn is from good mentors ....if he is not coming to you with advice ,go to him. Best thing in this business is to ask alot and I mean alot of questions

Here here.  If you're working in a good kitchen, your Sous won't let anything by that isn't acceptable.  You might be effing up, but that's your job as the FNG.  If you don't LEARN from your mistakes, then you have a real problem.  If you still love your work, and keep coming back - even if you are getting yelled at on a regular basis, and/or feel like you've been run over by a semi every night - then you know you belong there.

post #6 of 11

""I'm getting better at my station everyday''  You said this and you answered your own question. Practice makes perfect. We all learned by trial and error, sure you overcooked a rack, but bet you wont do it again! . Keep on learning with a posi attitude, you can't go wrong.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #7 of 11


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshoppa View Post

I recently started my culinary career as a line cook, with very little experience behind me, and the kitchen is getting busier and faster everyday. However, it seems like everyday, I make big mistakes that really mess things up (overcooking lamb rack, forget to call an order that needs a lot of time, generally just kinda fucking up, etc). I keep calm and focused on the line, and I'm getting better at my station everyday, but I feel like I'm messing up enough to make the owner and the other line cook/chef (its a two cook kitchen) resent me. They are supportive and say I'm doing good, but during service I feel like I'm more of a liability than they let on. People alway say that this profession isn''t for everyone, so how did you know it was for you? Did you mess up a lot everyday in your first kitchen, or am I exceptionally accident-prone? Just curious what some thoughts are.

 

 

By the way, I'm glad I found this place, and its nice to meet you all :)


You're learning and as long as you learn from your mistakes you will be fine.  If your Chef is supporting you and tell you that you're doing well, then take them at their word.. you are.  If they didn't see promise in you, you'd know.. trust me. 

 

As for screw ups... we all do them.  Sometimes things fall, stuff overcooks, something gets missed on a ticket, stuff goes on the wrong plates.. that stuff happens.  Best you can do is fix it asap and keep plugging on.  If I were to say that I made it through one service without making even a little mistake I'd be lying, but I do make a point of not making the big ones.  The worst thing I have ever done and it didn't really affect service that much except silence a restaurant for a few seconds.  Our kitchen is very open and I was helping the guy on fruits get out of the jungle.. he was backed up bad.  I reached for a glass ramekin as I needed it and the pile was stacked too high and far too close to the service hatch and you guessed it.. down went the pile.  There were at least 30 of them and it made quite the smash when they hit the floor.  OOPS.  The place went dead quiet and I apologised up and down for my mistake.  I became the butt of a few jokes and took my lumps as they came. 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #8 of 11

Lets put it this way, screw up Monday, I'll pat you on the back and say, its OK. Screw up Tuesday, and I'll roll my eyes hoping you get the hint. Screw up Wednesday, and we are sitting in my office and were not talking about the weather. Screw up Thursday, and your working at McDonals on Friday. This isn't a play ground, its a business...................Chef BillyB

post #9 of 11

Overcooking is a matter of technique & experience...forgetting stuff a matter of focus and less excusable...eliminate immediately.

Try to stay verbal when your under pressure (we tend to go silent when we're stressing) so the experienced guy knows where your at & can have your back when needed. He'll know the priorities & the quickfixes it will take you time to pickup on & it might help him get where things are going astray.

 

Dont know if other chefs do this but I keep an 8"x10" cake rack in the corner of the grill (flattop?) for parking/resting might help you sort out your timing...works a treat!

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
Reply
"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
Reply
post #10 of 11

If you just started..... I'm guessing that you're young.  I'll take a stab in the dark and think so.

 

As long as you're PROGRESSING...

 

You won't know if this bull**it is for you or not for a while. 

 

Some of us know immediately.  Others don't.

 

Never give up!!!  Never ask what you're doing wrong either.  Ask what you can be better at.  THEN DO IT!!

 

*edited spelling*  can't believe i did that


Edited by cheeseNbacon - 8/6/10 at 1:35am
post #11 of 11

So, a good chef/ Sous chef won't let you fail.... Your learning... Here's the answer to your question. Do you look at yourself at the end of the day and believe that this is a business you want to excel in? That is the answer to whether it's for you. Once you commit yourself to learning the trade, you will see your mistakes differently... as learning points. Focus on what you do right, and why you think you didn't do it right every time. I generally find that two things come into effect... one is lack of focus, duh simple to fix, and the other is deviating from your normal system of doing things. Once you have a way of doing things, you'll stop feeling like your "generally f'ing up" Oh, and I also find that if your really doing a bad job, stuff tends to magically fly at you, so if that's not happening, you should be ok. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Advice from the more experienced...