or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › A "life" question, I guess
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A "life" question, I guess

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Background Info:

 

I've been working in kitchens since I was 14.  Started by busting suds, moved on to prep/pantry, took off from there.  That was 16 years ago. I've worked as Sous under very reputable people in my area and I've run a few kitchens of my own.  My commitment to my work is legendary.  I've never said "close enough" or "5 second rule."

 

Issue:

 

I've got a 10-yr old son.  I missed a lot of his childhood, working 70 hour weeks at times, but I strive to be a good father.  He's coming of age now and he tells me that he wants to be a chef, like me.  Part of me is intensely proud, that he wants to do what I do.  He's very receptive to what I teach him and I can proudly say that he can turn root vegetables blindfolded.  Another part of me is hesitant...he doesn't have an eye for detail, he cuts corners on chores...maybe that's all part of a 10-yr old's mentality, but I wasn't like that when I was his age.  Heck, I did chores because I was told to, not because my father would pay me to do them.  I'm at a loss here.  I guess what I'm asking is, what do you guys think about pushing him either into or out of the kitchen?  I don't want him to make a life choice just because he thinks it'll make me proud of him; I'd be proud of him not matter what he chooses to do, but at the same time if he really DOES want to begin cooking I think I can get him started at a really early age.  He could be much much more than I could ever hope to be if I start him on the right path so early.

post #2 of 14

Easy pickins since he is only 10. Let him have fun and keep it that way as if he does continue to wish to follow dad as he gets older his teachers can break him of the bad habits and leave you to be the good guy.

Of course gently keep encouraging the correct work ethic but I would not perseverate over it.

I remember when I was 10 granpa asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up and I blurted out

" I want to be an astronaut or a lumberjack" and of course these awnsers were defined by me growing up in the 60s and all the nasa coverage as well as having just read Paul Bunyan recently in school. Gramps gave me a quizzical look and replied well ya better figure it out cause there aint no trees on the moon.

Good luck...... 

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
Reply
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
Reply
post #3 of 14

chefbandu,

i'd tell him just exactly what you wrote....perfect, honest and to the point, with lots of love thrown in....

joey

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

Reply

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

Reply
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

There is certainly no lack of love in my house.  Should be choose to be a doctor or stock broker instead, he'll always have my love.  But this is a decision that condemns him to a life of stress, mostly caused by people that have no freaking clue what real food is.  I live his future frustration every day.

post #5 of 14

If I may..........You seem to have the qualities that make for a good Chef....and this is something that is either in you from birth or comes by way of experiences in life. Your son, of course, won't have those same experiences to mold and guide him. You as father can shape him and guide him only so far, The rest is up to him.  At 10 years, you can probably pretty accept that he will change his mind many times before he decides.  I'm thinking that time will solve this for the both of you.

 

There are a lot of jobs that "condemn him to a life of stress," not just in food service.  

post #6 of 14

Passion is never pushed.  It cannot be taught, but it can be quenched by regiment. Fortunately he's young (my eldest son is 10) and there is time. As to guiding him in the path best for him, my personal feeling is it just takes knowing the person that your son is and who he is becoming.  If you listen carefully you can sift through the various interests and find the passion. Sometimes it's apparent, other times it seems hidden.  What I would caution is not to underestimate the power you wield as a father to shape him...sometimes a little goes a long way.  Nobody wants to wake up when they are 30 and realize they are living their father's dream. Not saying you are doing that, just offering it out there as food for thought.

 

<Edited for content>

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you, everyone, for your replies.  My own father (who is indeed still my hero to this day) was a carpenter.  He'd always stressed the importance of a "good education" and told me things like "You don't want to have to do what I do for a living."  He was right; I just wanted him to be proud of his son, and he is.  I think my son is the same way.  He doesn't want to "be" me, but he wants me to be proud of him (which I would be regardless, as long as he loves what he does).  I remember eating at a restaurant in the Carolinas back in maybe 1986.  They had an open kitchen and you could see the cooks preparing everything a la minute.  At that moment, which I can still remember as clear as if it were yesterday, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  That was a pivotal moment for me.  I'm just wishing that perhaps he would have one of those "moments of clarity,"  and then look me in the eye and say "Dad, I want to be a <insert job title here>."

 

Maybe this is a little off-base for this forum, in which case I apologize.  Thanks for humoring me thus far.

post #8 of 14

he will chef, he will, not to worry...but he is only 10...hopefully he will just enjoy being a kid...your kid.....not to get all mushy but time is just so damn fleeting....the relationship between a father and son, mother and daughter, father and daughter, son and mother are so very very special and needs to be nutured and tended to like a garden... i must add chef that it is a treat to see the obvious love and respect that you have for your young son and the kind of support that you offer...cheers to you!

joey

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

Reply

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

Reply
post #9 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by RBandu View Post

 

At that moment, which I can still remember as clear as if it were yesterday, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  That was a pivotal moment for me.  I'm just wishing that perhaps he would have one of those "moments of clarity,"  and then look me in the eye and say "Dad, I want to be a <insert job title here>."

 

I'm pushing 38 and just had that moment. Life is weird man.  I think though, a HUGE difference in your case is your son has the role model and guidance to help him discover who he is.  I find, as a parent, this is one of the greatest services we can do our children, our society, our country, our world, our humanity.  Think about a world where more people were just happy because they were pursuing what they truly wanted to at heart. Granted it's never that easy in terms of challenges, but ceteris paribus, we have one life to live as who we are....live it well, live it true. 

post #10 of 14

I think, IMHO, the best thing you can do is to expose your son to as much about cooking, kitchens, eqpt. people, etc, as possible.  Never pushing, but always exposing as much as possible.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hahaha, believe me, he's exposed.  He already speaks "kitchen french," right down to "HIER, PUTAIN DE MERDE!"  I've never even trusted my sous with any of my knives, but my son, he can use them, because they're always treasured, as if it was me lending him my car.  One time (and bear in mind, he's 10, almost 11) I picked up one of my my paring knives and it was like a razor.  Seriously, as if someone used a 30,000 grit stone on it.  I asked him "hey did you grind my paring knife?"  He said "yeah, did I mess it up?".  Blew my mind.  He's got it in him, totally.

post #12 of 14

Not a parent, not even a chef ... but I'm a 20 year old who still lives at home, still trying to decide on what the hell to do with the rest of my life... contemplating culinary school, new to this forum although apparently I'm not supposed to post here! I just wanted to say RBandu, that you really do sound like a good parent, you really do sound like you are doing the right thing and it's so nice to see you so supportive of your son, open to him changing his mind, happy for him if he wanted to be a lawyer or stockbroker, caring enough to teach him the tricks to the trade... you really seem to be doing a good job! 

post #13 of 14

I know this is a little late on this thread but RBandu im only 18 and just realized that what i want to do with my life is be a professional chef nd just like your dad my dads a carpenter and ever since i was little hes told me to get a good career/education "because you dont want to be doing what im doing when your 45". i guess i just posted because ur dad reminded me of mine.

post #14 of 14

I always kept in mind what Benjamin Franklin said years ago. ""A man with a trade is a man with an estate"""

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
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › A "life" question, I guess