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Worst things about being a Chef - Page 7

post #181 of 505

Lately there's been a coupla three things ticking me off. NO I'm not really getting mad or nothing. It just kinda aggravates me for being a chef and all. I get sick of people's goofy use of vocabulary. Words is words already, give it a break. Whatever word you use doesn't change that fact that you can or can't do the job. "Chef" / "Cook". Does it really matter what word I use if I still put the same plate of food in front of you? Next is "protein". Where did "meat" go, or "fish", "chicken", "pork", "main dish", whatever? Holy Jebus. Do people really just have to take the vocabulary used by cooking competition judges? Who decided that Marc Murphy, Alexandra Guarnaschelli and Scott Conant were the Merriam-Webster editors? Is sous vide the only way people can cook today? Does every person doing food in a kitchen (purposely not using the words chef or cook here) have to have a big bottle of liquid nitrogen ready? Do foods really taste so much better if they've been cooked for 5 or 6 days? I read on another bulletin board that a guy wants to "slow roast a rib primal in the oven @135* for 27 hrs". "Primal" is another stupidly over-used vocabulary word. And WTF? 27 hours? I'm happy for the guy. I hope things come out well. What could possibly be the purpose of cooking something for 27 hours? I really am curious here. "Wagyu beef". OH-MY-GOODNESS! $180 for two(2) 8oz. steaks. 

 

OK. I'm done with my rant for the day. I'm eating one of my favorite breakfast foods; scrambled eggs. Yum-O. It's almost football time. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #182 of 505

i feel like if i cant describe something in 5 words i dont wanna cook it. leave a little to the imagination, i dont need to know when babe was born to enjoy him. 

 

and its mlb playoffs as well. this is the primal of sports season right now and i work all sunday.

 

LN and sousvide is fun though. its a new tool and youd be a fool not to use it.

post #183 of 505

but LN and sousvide is fun and useful

post #184 of 505

When Chef comes in 15 mns before service and changes the menu.............

post #185 of 505

1. Realizing I probably should have paid more attention in Spanish class...

 

2. Slow nights with a small prep list. Man those get old quick.

 

3. Wait staff that cant seem to get their tickets straight.

 

4. Getting 3/4th's of the way through a large ticket, only to find out the first man in failed to prep the last item on said ticket.

 

4 1/2. Forgetting to prep. BAM! Lunch/Dinner rush.

 

5. Always being expected to cook at social events or as was said earlier, always being apologized to for their food not being up to "my standards".

post #186 of 505
  1. having the owner always telling you what your doing wrong and never complementing what you do right. 
  2. a cook who will continuously take advantage of your niceness forcing you to be the dick you never wanted to be
  3. telling your wife you will be home at ten and trying to explain why it was twelve  (explanation not always true)
  4. food reps shorting you on products and giving you the same stupid bull**** lines
  5. sorry ill stop i think i could go forever...........funny I love my job.
post #187 of 505

Iceman !

       I agree with you 100% . All these cutsey  fads are just what they are fads. Ask some of these guys what are the traditional mother sauces , and they dont know .Everyone trying to out do the other. Lets get back to wholesome good food cooked correctly. EJB

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...

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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...

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post #188 of 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by mauichefsean View Post
telling your wife you will be home at ten and trying to explain why it was twelve  (explanation not always true)

 

Been there... many nights.

post #189 of 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLinePirate View Post

1. Realizing I probably should have paid more attention in Spanish class...

 

2. Slow nights with a small prep list. Man those get old quick.

 

3. Wait staff that cant seem to get their tickets straight.

 

4. Getting 3/4th's of the way through a large ticket, only to find out the first man in failed to prep the last item on said ticket.

 

4 1/2. Forgetting to prep. BAM! Lunch/Dinner rush.

 

5. Always being expected to cook at social events or as was said earlier, always being apologized to for their food not being up to "my standards".

 

my problem lies with #4 1/2...how the hell can you FORGET to prep?..what else are you doing all day if not prepping?...

joey

mine...boil overs...especially if i am on the phone taking reservations and can't get to the stove on time....aargh!!

 

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #190 of 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by durangojo View Post

my problem lies with #4 1/2...how the hell can you FORGET to prep?..what else are you doing all day if not prepping?...

joey

mine...boil overs...especially if i am on the phone taking reservations and can't get to the stove on time....aargh!!

 


Arrive, look over the list of todays parties, banquets and golf outings. Begin to divide tasks amongst fellow line cooks. Delivery comes in, take the time to get that put away, only to find that the dry storage and walk-in's have fallen into disarray. Take time to sort out this problem. Return to line to find unknown outing has arrived due to piss poor communication from pro shop. What were the other line cooks doing? Who knows, working? Maybe, pissing off, most likely. Congrat's in one fell swoop, you just forgot your morning prep list due to a perfect storm of s***.

 

Could the storage problem be solved another time? Absolutely. Till the rush comes, and you need item (a) but its hidden behind item (y).

 

Could I delegate the the process? Sure, to the dishwasher who honestly just wants to get through the day without having to do much more then what he feels hes being paid for and will spend 3 hours doing what can be done in 30 minutes to an hour.

 

It happens. "Forget" may be a bad word choice... however it can be something that gets pushed further and further back until the shit storm has hit.

 

post #191 of 505

@Allium, I totally agree with the holiday thing. I make one exception a year and that is Thanksgiving. It's the only time I get to see my family. One brother lives in Hong Kong, another lives 1500 miles away, and then the rest of the non-immediate family. My family always has all of our holidays on the day after or before. :)

 

Things I hate: (tailored to catering)
-When you get a special order and there is literally nothing you can do about it. Had a vegetarian who wanted our pasta dish (seafood & sausage with vermicelli) made into a VEGAN dish. First thought that comes to my mind is how can you order a vegan dish that includes pasta, did they forget you make pasta with eggs?
-The company I work for rents a kitchen about 75km away from our base office. We have repeatedly received calls about the kitchen not being clean and orderly. Then we found out it was because of someone else using the kitchen before us. For Example we never used the tilt skillet (or even opened it) one day, a couple hours after we left we got a call saying that the tilt skillet was still dirty, then we began to realise what was happening.

-When you send out the menu (with descriptions) to all of the FOH staff, and they show up ready to pass apps and ask what is in this dish

-When a delivery of kitchen equipment (ovens, grille, refrigeration units) arrives and they don't work... UGH!

 

As for the debate on last minute tickets, I once complained about a customer coming in at 5 minutes before close, their order didn't even get sent in to us until 15 minutes AFTER close. My chef overheard me and said, "What are you complaining about? You are getting paid an extra half an hour to essentially wait around for this order to come in" So I've obviously changed my mind :D

:tux

:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"

    -MPW

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:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"

    -MPW

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post #192 of 505

i do love my family but i have to agree with Allium.

 

post #193 of 505

When the exec is an immature, unprofessional pos.

Just sayin'.

post #194 of 505

1-chefs who change methods/recipes on a whim

2-chefs who don't remember their changes to the new methods/recipies

3-chef who yell at you for doing the method/recipe the new way and tell you to return to the original method/ recipe

 

once 1 through 3 happened 4 times for one item over the course of a week 

 :(

post #195 of 505

Young cooks who want to put their own spin on things.

 

Cooks who cannot be trained, because they already know everything.

 

 

post #196 of 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazza View Post

Young cooks who want to put their own spin on things.

 

Cooks who cannot be trained, because they already know everything.

 

 



AMEN AMEN!!!!

post #197 of 505

I enjoy my job a lot. What do I hate the most? My restaurants waitstaff not understanding the order fire concept.. about 10 - 15 tables coming in at once.. the app orders come in at a decent spread seeing as different people need different time and they are specialed by the waitstaff differently ect. apps go out and myself and my head chef (only two on the line) have fifteen entree tickets that are holding of course until they are finished with their apps. so the waitstaff hangs out in a hallway, talking, texting and then when all four or five of them finish a really in depth conversation they all go out to check their tables at the same time... thus firing everything all at once, yes all fifteen tickets, rather than being logical about it so that the two of us behind the line don't have to essentially cook a fifty top all at once.

but wait- there's more..... once the food is up in the window they aren't ready for it! because each server fired all of their tables at the same time and can't physically serve each table at the same time..

There have been times when our service has been top notch but we are struggling with this at the moment.. anyone else know what I'm talkin about?

post #198 of 505

I know this is terrible, but having to do table touches with guests.  I understand that nowadays more is expected of chefs, i.e. guest relations.  But man I got into BOH to be just that... in the back!

If I wanted to interact with guests on a regular basis, I would be FOH.  It really makes me realize that chefs run restaurants... Not FOH management.

post #199 of 505

Feeling stuck at your job, because going anywhere else would be a step backwards - but where you are sucks.
And not knowing at all what new career could even be half as enjoyable as this one, despite it's many flaws.

post #200 of 505

How about getting comfortable in your position, being damned good at what you do; working in an upscale totally from scratch kitchen.. having the freedom to come and go. Being appreciated (for the most part) for what you can do. Trying out new techniques; not getting bashed and belittled, basically FINALLY enjoying your job after paying dues so long.

 

and the ONE person who's son you told to go f*** himself 8 years ago buys the place.. and ya, daddy remembered.

 

Oh, AND did I mention that they own two of perhaps the worst restaurants in the area.

 

Beginning of the end:

Actually brought in a boil in bag of clam chowder.. from the SEAFOOD restaurant that they own!! (could that be why none of the locals go there? Hmmm)

 

It was comical actually, I was standing there with the dumbfounded look, jaw on the floor..

 

crying now though, won't lie

post #201 of 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarrettJames View Post

 

but wait- there's more..... once the food is up in the window they aren't ready for it! because each server fired all of their tables at the same time and can't physically serve each table at the same time..

There have been times when our service has been top notch but we are struggling with this at the moment.. anyone else know what I'm talkin about?


At my place there is little or no FOH training and this happens a lot. I have had many services where we are trying to do 30 or 40 at the same time because FOH are badly organised and then when the food is on the pass they are chatting and texting, preventing us from moving on with the next ticket, thats when its hard to keep your cool.

 

I also love my job but sometimes its nice to have a little whinge. In a well run operation FOH and kitchen will work as a team and when they get it right it is a dream, for the staff and the diners, unfortunately many places here have weak or unstructured management and this inevitably creates an "us and them" situation (front vs back of house). Most of them are young girls and I try and be patient with them but at the end of the day they are making us look bad.

 

post #202 of 505

It's official.. 'laid off' Tuesday

 

Already miss my Doyons

post #203 of 505

I agree.

 

For me, cooking was a great job when I was 17-23, traveling, and partying every day. I am pushing 30 now,  and feeling the repercussions of all of the above postings. My nerves are shot, and Its become crystal clear that its not for me in the long term. After 12 years of Cooking my way up to executive chef, I've finally decided to throw in the towel and switch careers. Here's why:

 

When you're an industry professional, chances are you will have no life outside of work. I've come to terms with that over the years. You get used to it. Im at the point where Servers messing up bills is the norm, Customers do stroll in 1 minute before close, cooks don't show up for work, and depending on where you work there is usually some kind of blowout scenario between staff about once a week. Thats just the job, it always has been, it always will be. Don't get me wrong, Just because I got used to it doesn't mean I don't hate it.

 

A huge problem for me is miserable co-workers, Especially red faced screaming chefs, arrogant bartenders, know-it-all "cooks" who know jack shit, having to listen to a servers story about getting drunk (or some other trivial story that I don't even find remotely interesting) day in and day out. The general toxic environment that is a by-product of long hours, low pay, heat, stress,few days off etc. It eventually creeps into your life like a disease to the point where you cant sleep, you cant even enjoy days off (if you get any) without thinking about the festering negativity at work. It's one thing I've never gotten used to, and it drives me up the wall. It's contageous. And we all know the cliche, Misery loves company.

 

-I miss spending weekends with my girlfriend (last day off together was 6 months ago)

-My only "vacations" are when I am unemployed or between jobs

-Have'nt seen family in years

-working many many unpaid hours

-recently diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), resulting in major depression, due to work

-no time with friends

-tips stolen by owners and management

 

the list goes on and on

 

You cant live a "normal" life as a cook. There are lifers out there who actually love what they do, and they are a genuine pleasure to work with, and my hat goes off to them. But, Im not one of them and my heart is no longer in cooking. Whatever passion I once had is gone, and I have nothing but contempt for the industry and the slave-drivers in it. The only way to deal with the stress it to "not care" or "not give a shit" about my job, telling myself that its only a job. But when you dont care, your work suffers, and so does the restaurant. The thing is, I'm not the only one. Most people I've worked with are actually in the same boat, but they are almost always reluctant to talk about it, especially at work.

 

Put simply, I would suggest to anyone who might be looking for an education or career in hospitality to consider other options. Or consider working part time first to see if it is for you.

 

I love great food, But I don't at all enjoy negative people, which is why I plan on saying goodbye to "the Industry"

post #204 of 505

I do not think based on what you  wrote that you will have a problem getting something good and fast  Good Luck to you

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...

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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 #205 of 505

Wow, what a thread, took about three days to get it all read, 

What I hate is someone in corporate looking to punch their ticket, is making decisions about your operation, when they have never even visited the location, or even met the people who work there.

I have to agree with earlier post about carts, our banquet room is upstairs from the kitchen and all the carts are always up there each one with something on it, pitchers, flatware etc. etc. or are in place to be bus cart for an event that is several days away

I really hate it when service staff is asking if the food is ready 2 hours before an event goes off because they have nothing else to do, because they were scheduled to early, and then returning 10 minutes later to ask again

Service staff always sends the rookie who doesn't know where anything is, with some stupid question, and then 5 minutes later he/she shows up with another stupid question, I have better things to do than answer your stupid questions, get the (deleted) away from me!

I cant believe anyone else came up with this one

WHY CAN'T THEY MAKE PLASTIC WRAP THAT COMES OFF THE ROLL WITHOUT STICKING ON THE SIDE AND RIPPING, I HATE THIS MOST OF ALL

post #206 of 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtisPNW View Post

WHY CAN'T THEY MAKE PLASTIC WRAP THAT COMES OFF THE ROLL WITHOUT STICKING ON THE SIDE AND RIPPING, I HATE THIS MOST OF ALL

 

Hahaha!  Indeed.  It's wonderful when you go to wrap something, the roll is ripped and you can tell SEVERAL PEOPLE had used that roll and decided not to fix it...and sometimes they'll OPEN A NEW ROLL INSTEAD?! *<expletive>!*

post #207 of 505

Summer interns fresh from school that have zero applicable skills (what ARE the schools teaching these days?)

 

And the fact that you GIVE them the offending roll of plastic wrap (because I'm not doing it, no time) thinking it's EASY for interns (as they can't do much else) and I still have to hold their hands through it. This is of course after having to search for the kids, only to find them in the walk in on their cell phones.

 

I hate (and I mean HATE) having to fill out the form at the end of the season 'grading' them too.

 

'F' Plastic wrap and similar products

C- Following instructions

D- Food handling sanitation (for REAL???)

**sigh

 

Welcome summer season

post #208 of 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtisPNW View Post


WHY CAN'T THEY MAKE PLASTIC WRAP THAT COMES OFF THE ROLL WITHOUT STICKING ON THE SIDE AND RIPPING, I HATE THIS MOST OF ALL

 

 

Tip of the day:

If the cling film is sticking to one side, the roll has been dropped or crushed on that side.  Sometimes the damage comes from the delivery guy/truck/warehouse, sometimes from your staff dropping the roll before getting it in the box, or shoving it off the table when making room for sheet pans. 

 

Of course, now that I've given you that tip, there's nothing you can do but cuss and cuss again until the damaged area has been used up..............

...."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"......
Reply
post #209 of 505

OK. So I make some really ordinary dishes and sides very very well. I just do. I really hate it when idiot peon nobodies just have to tell me all the tweeks that I should do to MY dishes to make them better. These are the same bananas who couldn't get lucky in a woman's prison, sitting at the bar from 4 in the afternoon until 11 at night drinking $7 glasses of white-zin, that are $4 bottles at the grocery store. 

 

... and NO, jerkface, you can't make the same dishes that I'm charging $9 - $11 for, at home for $2 - $3. Idiot. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #210 of 505

A salesman told me about the roll be damaged by dropping etc. etc. or being to close to heat etc. etc., problem is I don't believe everything a salesman tells me, I believe that the plastic wrap turns out that way because the companies that make it, don't give a sh*t, and if you throw away one roll you just have to buy another, all brands are the same, they all suck

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