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Chefs who don't like food...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I have been struggling with this for a few months. I have been working at this restaurant with another chef since Nov. of last year. She is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. She has been working as a chef in the restaurant for about a year, however she says that she is not a chef. There is literally NOTHING on the menu that she likes or will eat. All but 1 kind of cheese we carry in the cheese cases she hates. She had derogatory names for all of them, I just pray she never said them in front of customers. (One she called "Stinky goat pee".)

I was brought in by the new owner to fill in and to help out with the menu. I (along with the owner) made some changes to the menu, adding some things, taking some things off, etc. She never missed an opportunity to tell me how much she didn't like any of the new dishes, even going so far as to telling me (in front of a customer) that my french onion soup was "disgusting". The owner had asked me to try making some new things (candies, tartlets etc.) for the store (even tho my background is not in pastry/confection) and frankly they have been hugely popular. She had asked this other chef before to and she refused.

 

I guess my question is, how (or why) would one be a chef when there are so many things that you hate about food?

It's not like you get into this business for the money or the flexible work hours.

 

Personally, I am a chef because I love food, I love cooking and feeding people. I love working at the cheese counter, educating people on cheese, seeing their faces when they taste a cheese they thought they'd hate and love it. Or pair a cheese with something like honey and the realize how it can completely change the taste. I know I probably sound cheesey, and I'd love to be able to say that I am fresh out of culinary school, but I am in my mid/late 30's and I have been working in the industry off and on since I was 16.

 

 

btw, my boss told me today that she (the other chef) gave her 2 week notice yesterday, then threw a fit when my boss didn't beg her to stay. So next week should be interesting. My boss is un-sure if she even wants her to come back at all given how she acted.

post #2 of 23

 

 

 

That's hilarious

And I would be willing to bet the person in question probably started cooking as a need for a job and had no means of leaving the field. Sounds like you will be able to use the bosses support to really make an interesting menu tailored to your particular likings and styles. Nice work!

Quote:

I love working at the cheese counter...i know I probably sound cheesey

 

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Oh yes, we have LOTS of cheese jokes between us :)

 

 

post #4 of 23

Well it sounds like a Gouda idea that she leaves. Brie-live me,  people like that just Chevre their opinions on everyone else like a Muenster in a horror movie. If she is feeling Bleu over not being asked to stay maybe she needs to be told "Go back to Stilton, Jack!"

 

ok, was reaching for the last two...it's hard to put that many cheese puns in a sentence though.

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post

Well it sounds like a Gouda idea that she leaves. Brie-live me,  people like that just Chevre their opinions on everyone else like a Muenster in a horror movie. If she is feeling Bleu over not being asked to stay maybe she needs to be told "Go back to Stilton, Jack!"

 

ok, was reaching for the last two...it's hard to put that many cheese puns in a sentence though.



OK OK That will be quite "E-NUP" out of you.........

post #6 of 23

Congrats momandchef on the good job you are doing at your place! 

 

It sounds to me that the outgoing chef took the job in need and found out that she really was not cut out for this work.  It is definitely not for everyone. 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post

Well it sounds like a Gouda idea that she leaves. Brie-live me,  people like that just Chevre their opinions on everyone else like a Muenster in a horror movie. If she is feeling Bleu over not being asked to stay maybe she needs to be told "Go back to Stilton, Jack!"

 

ok, was reaching for the last two...it's hard to put that many cheese puns in a sentence though.



Well done! Even my husband was cracking up at those!

 

Thanks Lenniek! I am just trying to do the best I can. I believe in the restaurant/store and I want to see it do well.

 

We have people coming in this week to interview for the position. My boss told me yesterday that she'd like me to sit in on the interviews. I don't think I have ever been on the other side of the interview table. Any suggestions?

post #8 of 23

two words: Quickfire Challenge!

"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar View Post

two words: Quickfire Challenge!



Oh I darn near spit out my sweet tea when I read that! LOL. Some days the kitchen does feel like a quickfire challenge!

I sometimes get a box of random things from the farmers market and have to come up with a lunch special in less than 1 hour. I love a good challenge!

post #10 of 23

Congrats momandchef. I know from my personal experience that the ones that bark the loudest after you come come into the picture albeit a promotion or new gig are always the first to leave and when they do, the doors open even wider.


 

post #11 of 23

She should get out of this business. Her reactions to me symbolize someone who is a pesimist and not happy. She should try Welbutron or Prosak for a while and she will improve. In a way I feel sorry for this kind of person. But 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...

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post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

Well the last week has been a good one. My boss promoted me to "head chef" and we hired a new girl. She is young, doesn't have too much experience (she worked as an expo for a couple of years before she went into nursing school then realized it wasn't for her). We interviewed her last week and I had her come in for a couple hours on Monday and she did good. She jumped right in when I asked her to. She was a little timid, but she'll get over that when she gets used to us and our "special brand of humor".  But what she lacks in experience she makes up for in passion and eagerness. As I told my boss, I can teach some one how to use a knife, I can't teach them to love food. She is coming in tomorrow to shadow me for the day, open to close, which will be good because Friday is one of our busiest days.

 

Today was the other chef's last day, I am sure it wasn't without drama. Frankly I am surprised that she stayed and finished her 2 weeks. Especially after her diatribe, which I was told that my name came up several times. Apparently she didn't like the changes I made to the menu because I created "too much work". She didn't like that I was getting a lot of attention, and when the local paper came and did a review of us, 3 of my origional dishes were singled out as being favorites on the menu & she threw a fit with the boss. (like my boss had any control over what the critic wrote about!)

 

She was just a very un-happy person. I'm glad she was gone. Now none of us will have to walk on egg shells at work. We can get back to having fun and cooking some good food!

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momandchef View Post

Well the last week has been a good one. My boss promoted me to "head chef" and we hired a new girl. She is young, doesn't have too much experience (she worked as an expo for a couple of years before she went into nursing school then realized it wasn't for her). We interviewed her last week and I had her come in for a couple hours on Monday and she did good. She jumped right in when I asked her to. She was a little timid, but she'll get over that when she gets used to us and our "special brand of humor".  But what she lacks in experience she makes up for in passion and eagerness. As I told my boss, I can teach some one how to use a knife, I can't teach them to love food. She is coming in tomorrow to shadow me for the day, open to close, which will be good because Friday is one of our busiest days.

 

Today was the other chef's last day, I am sure it wasn't without drama. Frankly I am surprised that she stayed and finished her 2 weeks. Especially after her diatribe, which I was told that my name came up several times. Apparently she didn't like the changes I made to the menu because I created "too much work". She didn't like that I was getting a lot of attention, and when the local paper came and did a review of us, 3 of my origional dishes were singled out as being favorites on the menu & she threw a fit with the boss. (like my boss had any control over what the critic wrote about!)

 

She was just a very un-happy person. I'm glad she was gone. Now none of us will have to walk on egg shells at work. We can get back to having fun and cooking some good food!



Good luck to you and if you have any questions ask,somebody on here will have the answer

One other thing that you can't teach is TIMEING /  EdB

 

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 #14 of 23

Nice one Gunnar,

I am betting that the angry little chef has an angry little addiction! Go-orn get outa here....an don't come back now.

I love my job
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I love my job
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post #15 of 23

I worked with someone similar to that once ... it sucks. I can not respect someone who complains about something that they have the power to change but does nothing! People like that just like the sound of their own voice too much for my taste. Keep us up to date with the whole 2 weeks drama  tongue.gif

post #16 of 23

I just joined and thought I could post something here. I have been a Chef for about 4 years and I am a vegetarian so any of the meat dishes that go out of the kitchen someone else checks. I dont even like making the stuff. I do it because it is what I am here to do.... So personal choices cant get in the way of doing our jobs. However under no circumstances will I eat meat =)

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LPCharming View Post

I just joined and thought I could post something here. I have been a Chef for about 4 years and I am a vegetarian so any of the meat dishes that go out of the kitchen someone else checks. I dont even like making the stuff. I do it because it is what I am here to do.... So personal choices cant get in the way of doing our jobs. However under no circumstances will I eat meat =)


So how do you know that the meat that some one else checks is cooked properly and taste good? YOU are the Chef.

 

post #18 of 23

If you are sitting as you say on other side of table. Listen don't talk a lot , jot down important comments. As Confusus said "" If you talk , you repeat what you already know,  but If you listen you learn.

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 #19 of 23

I check for proper food temps, I just dont eat it =) All the food that goes through my kitchen is always up to temp with proper seasoning and presentation. I should not have to give up my lifestyle choices for my career.

post #20 of 23

How do YOU KNOW it's "properly seasoned"?

temps, sure.

presentation, sure.

 

But it's YOUR food. How'd you come up with the standard recipes?

I was a vegan for years, I still tasted everything. I didn't "eat" it, but i tasted it all. It's my name, my food, my reputation. I chose to work in a place that served meat... therefore, I chose to ensure that every single dish was cooked properly. That's what I get paid for. Not to let someone esle make the call.

 

I can hand off temperature checks, it's black and white, it's either right or wrong. I can hand off presentation checks, it either matches standard or it doesn't.... but not tasting, tasting is subjective. I've been hired for my ability to cook, create menus and manage kitchens. My dishes, my palate, my personality.

 

You're right, you shouldn't have to give up your lifestyle for your career... but why aren't you the chef at a vegetarian restaurant, then?

post #21 of 23



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LPCharming View Post

I just joined and thought I could post something here. I have been a Chef for about 4 years and I am a vegetarian so any of the meat dishes that go out of the kitchen someone else checks. I don't even like making the stuff. I do it because it is what I am here to do.... So personal choices cant get in the way of doing our jobs. However under no circumstances will I eat meat =)



So who checks the long list of other dishes that are made with meat stocks or soups? Sounds like your tasting spoon does not get used much.

Are you "The Chef" at the place where you cook, or are you "A Chef" because you have been cooking for about 4 years?

I don't understand how someone could or would be hired to be the chef of a kitchen that can't eat or even taste the food that they are responsible for.

How do you create a protein dish if you don't know what it tastes like?

Does meat include fish and poultry? If so, you should be working in a vegetarian restaurant.

 

post #22 of 23

I can't really comprehend your post.  I you don't taste and customer complains about it. Do you take the blame or shift it to someone who did taste it.??  I would not advertise this fact to anyone , that you don;t taste finished products.

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 #23 of 23

I have had many dishes that were the correct temperature (Hot food hot, cold food cold) but not the correct taste or seasonings.

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
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