So what is that moment you realized you were a veteran? What sets you apart from the rookies, if not the 90% of the other cooks in your kitchen?
Me, the same as many cooks. Hands with a high tolerance of to heat. Constantly passing transfer plates and mixing bowls from my hot window to other cooks to see them surprised, that something i just held in my hands is damned hot! Many satisfying moments of watching some prima dona servers take plates out of my windows that I held seconds ago; immediately juggle it between their hands, cursing and gritting their teeth. That occasional blast of heat that actually manages to blister your seasoned hands, but still only manages to irritate you for an hour, and not cause any real pain.
Tonight, for a reason I can't quite figure out, was as busy as our typical romantic holiday. I noticed the night-and-day difference between my communication skills and that of my colleagues. For one, mine is the only voice being used loud enough for all the cooks to hear. Often the only one paying attention 100% of the time (that is, if you bother to use your voice like you have a pair) to other cooks, the KM, and servers constantly requesting hundreds of sides of various sauces and condiments.
Lastly. All of the cooks have started asking me for recipes, and a few have called me from home asking for advice on how to cook something. One of which I'm glad did, because he was 5 minutes away from catching his home on fire.