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Being more "confident" in the kitchen.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

If someone tells you work with more confidence,
how do you become confident without coming off cocky, egotistical, or know-it-all


I was told to be more confident, I don't second guess my work , or nervous to do anything. Maybe I need to show more leadership confidence ? I feel very confident with my personal work, but I see people do things wrong in the kitchen and I would rather not say anything because I am new. I don't feel comfortable just yet to step up to the plate and do things the way I know is right / wrong because I am not the chef.

Thoughts ? Personal experience ?

post #2 of 10

I've been told the same thing.  The other day I had a new guy working with me on the line and the Chef told me it was time to step it up and be more confident. I  saw him doing things wrong,but I didnt call him out on it as much as I think I should have.  I see people do things that I would never think about doing and they have been in the industry for along time,but I've only been in for 3 years so who am I to tell them its wrong? 

 

 

I think confidence comes with experience!

post #3 of 10

Been there, the way to go about it is to ask. Don't say, "hey, you.re doing that wrong!" instead you say, "Hey, I thought we were supposed to do it this way?" That way they know that you know the specs, understand the difference between doing it right and wrong and have the discipline to do it right even when no one is watching.
 

post #4 of 10

Share with co-workers, what in your work experience and habits, makes life easier and is in keeping with the ultimate goals of the operation. If it is valid and applicable, your co-workers will naturally gravitate more towards you concerning professional and job matters. As a result, your confidence will grow more.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #5 of 10

When your chef tells you to have more confidence, he is looking for you to take a little more charge and ownership. There's a clear line between right and wrong here: what the chef wants and what is being done. It is your job to figure out what the chef wants. Once you know this, you can gain more confidence in your work. Then the chef's confidence in you grows. Then you make more money, get more hours and get promotions. Once you know what the chef wants, you need to make sure it is getting done every single time, with no deviations. Consistency says a lot about an individual. Develop a set of balls, speak up. People will respect you. And when you get respect, you become confident.
 

post #6 of 10

Just be glad that criticism actually makes sense. I had a chef tell me once that I need to plate more like Chick Webb and less like Benny Goodman.crazy.gif (Both were famous swing band leaders)

post #7 of 10

Confidence is indeed a result of experience.  I think perhaps the meaning here is a bit twisted.

 

Which part of the line do you work, iamdog90?

 

If you're working my broiler and I call "Firing table 22, picking up Filet 9oz, mister (MR) <etc etc etc nothing else has anything to do with you>" and you slide me the filet, I poke it with my finger and ask you "Are you sure?"...are you going to take the time to retemp it?  Or are you going to tell me "Yes, it's mid-rare, send it."?  It's an acid test, really.  Confidence.  You obviously know the steak is at temp, otherwise you wouldn't have given it to me.  How dare I question you, you're working broiler tonight.  "That steak is dead-on."  That kind of thing.  Don't second guess yourself.  Be precise.  If you know something is true, don't recheck because you're afraid of being wrong.  That keeps people waiting, it overcooks food and it ends up getting you fired because you don't stand behind your own decisions because you're afraid of God-knows-what. 

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocktrns View Post

  I see people do things that I would never think about doing and they have been in the industry for along time,but I've only been in for 3 years so who am I to tell them its wrong? 

 

 

 

 

The better chef. 

post #9 of 10

Confidence is the most important thing along with timing I had to teach in school. I used to tell the students  "Don't worry if you make a mistake we will try to fix it or worse comes to worse eat it''  You can  break down student morale by constantly finding things wrong and scolding. If you do this he or she will be afraid to try anything in the future. Remember they are students and newbiees not seasoned pro's.

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 #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBandu View Post

Confidence is indeed a result of experience.  I think perhaps the meaning here is a bit twisted.

 

Which part of the line do you work, iamdog90?

 

If you're working my broiler and I call "Firing table 22, picking up Filet 9oz, mister (MR) <etc etc etc nothing else has anything to do with you>" and you slide me the filet, I poke it with my finger and ask you "Are you sure?"...are you going to take the time to retemp it?  Or are you going to tell me "Yes, it's mid-rare, send it."?  It's an acid test, really.  Confidence.  You obviously know the steak is at temp, otherwise you wouldn't have given it to me.  How dare I question you, you're working broiler tonight.  "That steak is dead-on."  That kind of thing.  Don't second guess yourself.  Be precise.  If you know something is true, don't recheck because you're afraid of being wrong.  That keeps people waiting, it overcooks food and it ends up getting you fired because you don't stand behind your own decisions because you're afraid of God-knows-what. 

i just had to reply to this because what RBandu said really resonated with me.  We have two main leaders in the kitchen i work in ex. and ex. sous both have 20 plus years in the kitchen as proffesional chefs and the chose their job because they love to teach everyone else in the kitchen has about a years exp. and maybe a 6 month degree under there belt if that.  Anyways the Sous is always telling me to be more confident its his mantra with me (the old mantra was "slow down" but i dont hear than one anymore unless i slip into old habbits).  I have a lot of trouble with this and he tests me a lot he will randomly come up to me and ask things like "are you going to put that out?"  "does that plate look like its worth $18?" asking as if somthing im doing is wrong and it throws me off and makes me second guess myself when it turns out after all the plate looked fine.  How do I exude confidence without having a ton of exp?  As chefedb put it "these are students and newbies not seasons pros" is it good that the sous is expecting that from me? idk after hearing somthing over and over and over and thinking about it way to much its very easy to lose sight of what needs to be improved.

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