New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Crazy Days Ahead

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Three years ago I graduate college, useless liberal arts degree, with a man-crush on anthony bourdain.  I do about 3-4 months at a upscale italian place, then spent doing souless temp work and being a "cook" a few insipid little chains.  I'm pretty at whits end, the idea of going back to school again for anything, even culinary, makes my blood boil.  I end up giving my resume to a local super upscale asian fusion place, get an interview, make a terrible california roll and a thankfully perfect salmon with veg, and I'm hired on the spot.  He says he's going to train me at another one of his kitchens, then back to the japanese one.  

 

Paid position, the places despite being in ohio look about as lovely as anything I ever saw in Park Slope of Tokyo.  It all seems too good to be true, like at any second they're going to figure out I'm a pretender.  But I've never actually been amped for a first day before, so who knows, maybe I just found a honest career I can give a s*** about.       

post #2 of 13

Good for you, man.  Got an update for us - I mean, how's it going so far?

post #3 of 13

why did you go from an upscale italian joint to working at apple bee's. defiantly leave where ever you worked during that period off your resume but sounds like you already found a good place to get experience. and by honest career i hope you mean honest living haaa

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

 

It's going as well as I could have hoped my first week there.  This restaurant is something of a glass tiger.  You look in off the street, and it looks amazing, just a elegant little bistro place.  But the menu, including all the ridiculous variations of salad, soups, apps, pastas, entrees and deserts it comes to like 50+ items, with portion changes thereon depending on if its a happy-hour order or not.  The quality of meat, fish and produce is a little above cafeteria for a restaurant that charges 16 dollars for a steak salad.  There is nothing I can do with the 10+ squeeze bottles of pointless stale sauces to give people value for their money.  On top of that, this kitchen, it is the older smaller one in a larger empire, is traditionally a one man show unless they need emergency man-power.  Customers are paying to have a bunch of waiters buzzing around them, but their pasta is made in giant batches, and warmed to order on saute.  So, its a little distressing.  If the place could cut the bull, and put out a small crack menu of local stuff with some actual braised slow and simple bistro type dishes, maybe the place wouldn’t be so dead all the time.  But, it seems like a catch-22, cause I feel like I’d need to master their giganto menu before I would have the right to start correcting their bravado.

Is it possible to get a sunburn from standing under a heat-lamp?

How do I make sure my chef’s callous comes in “right”, rather than just puffing up and flaking off eventually.

Edited by tabla kid - 9/16/11 at 10:39am
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabla kid View Post

...before I would have the right to start correcting their bravado.

Um, that "right" is reserved for the owner, GM, or Chef, in that order, period. No matter what you do or learn, you will not gain that right until you are one of those three, preferably the first.
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #7 of 13

I ran into your situation at the diner and well.. I  quit.  It was far too much stress and BS than I was willing to deal with even though I was being paid very well.  The money was just not worth the toll that it was taking on me and my family.

 

All the best to you.. do what you need to do and always be proud of everything you do!

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 13
Thread Starter 

I'm not talking about writing the menu for them, inventing insipid dishes to stroke my tiny, untrained ego.  I'm talking about making pita and bread from scratch, because I don't want to serve worse-than-subways Italian loafs brushed in butter and heated in the oven at insanely inflated prices.  I don't see any reason why my wanting to do the best job I can, and my owner having a bottom line, should be so opposed to one another.  I made my status clear when I got hired.  That I had minimal experience but that I was young, energetic, and competitive.  If he didn't hire me to do my best, I might as well stop giving any care about my job.  Keeping my mouth shut, never working to improve the kitchen, is moronic.  I have no problem working with management, but don't tell me there isn't enough money for me to buy some flour, eggs, and yeast, and for me to work a couple more hours a day.  If the place had good reviews, if it was busy, if I was impressed with the food, if the cooks were always proud about what came out of the kitchen, then I'd be happy to keep my mouth shut.

post #9 of 13

Um, tabla kid,

 

My comment does not refer to your youth, training, skill set, desire, commitment to excellence, or whatever else EXCEPT, regardless as to the establishment, unless you are one of the top management, you have no right to change anything.

 

Certainly you may offer your opinion, whatever suggestions you may have, or anything else on your mind. Just be prepared for rejection. By your own words, you are a trainee, optimistically, a part of the production crew eventually. Understand that clearly, production crew, you produce. As long as you produce, you are of value.

 

You ma\y be offered the privilege of offering or doings something new, different, or better, but, again, unless you are the chef or higher, you have no right to do so.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm glad you learned your management techniques from Ayn Rand.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Also, I don't know who the Chef is... there seem to be an anarchy of line-cooks with various fiefdoms in the various establishments of the cooking empire.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabla kid View Post

I'm glad you learned your management techniques from Ayn Rand.

Didn't say it was my management technique and did not mean to infer it was the way to manage.

 

As with any generality, there are always exceptions, however, do not be surprised when most kitchens "follow the rule",laser.gif just be pleasantly surprised when one doesn't crazy.gif
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabla kid View Post

Also, I don't know who the Chef is... there seem to be an anarchy of line-cooks with various fiefdoms in the various establishments of the cooking empire.

Oh boy, good luck, claim your territory, keep your shield at hand and your sword sharp, it is difficult to know who are friends when you don't know who is the enemy talker.gif
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs