I'm hoping someone could give me some words of advice about my career, which is currently at a standstill. I've been beat down more than Id care to, to the point that I doubt I can even cook at all. I'm awake at night trying to decide if I even want to. I know deep down that I do, that I love food and the line too much to throw it all away. The kitchen is where I want to be. People talk, I need a thicker skin, but I've gotten more negative comments than anything helpful lately. It'd be a trade-off if I were learning while getting my butt-kicked but that doesn't seem to be happening.
Almost all of the restaurants I've been in seem to be stuck in some kind of time warp and never change their menus.There were two places I worked at that hadn't changed their menu in over four years. They're either getting out of season product that looks and tastes terrible or its all frozen. So I'm not being exposed to new and different kinds of foods, preparations or techniques, stuck cooking and prepping a handful of items. I'm armed with a pad and pencil, only for it to become a joke of the chefs and kitchen staff that I need to write everything down and ask too many questions. I've tried to help out on others' prep only to get yelled at and humiliated in front of everyone because of something done differently, instead of being shown how things are to be done. Because I graduated from culinary school I'm supposed to know it all? I've only been doing this for 3yrs and have a long way to go. I've tried to stay positive in all this but I feel like I'm putting in a lot more than I'm getting out of it. One chef told me that I wasn't getting paid to think, and that all he wanted me to do was cook and go home. I walked out of my last place after being humiliated by a pissed off cook ranting for an hour about how I must have lied on my resume to get that job and basically how I couldn't do anything. He was upset about how I did some of his prep work and when I confronted him about it he sugar coated it and told me everything was fine. I'd had enough. Every kitchen is different and do things their own way so I'd like to be shown YOUR way of doing things. Reading books will only get me so far, I need the hands on experience too. What else can I do? I haven't found a place that actually values teaching their cooks and helping them to grow. Do they exist?? What do I say to them? Where do I go?