Hey all, just looking for you all to share your thoughts on something.
I've been working in kitchens for almost five years now. I landed myself a nice sous position a year ago at a brewpub in PA, that does some pretty cool stuff. Local foods, etc., and I have thus far enjoyed the freedom the position gives me to do what I want in regards to specials and running the line as expediter, learning more about the ins and outs of food costs, inventory, hiring and firing, all that good stuff.
I never went to culinary school (something I almost daily wonder if I should do), and this job felt like a reward for slaving away and working my way up in kitchens, doing all the shit work and paying my dues. I don't think I'm anything special, I got into this line of work late at age 24, and am completely aware that in the grand scheme of things, 4 or 5 years of work experience is pretty unimpressive. At the same time though, one of the reasons I picked this business is that I love the challenge of constantly being on your toes, making shit happen, and being good at what I do. My borderline ADD self thrives in the kitchen, and what I don't have in terms of experience I try my hardest to make up for with work ethic.
So my dilemma is this: I work under a chef who is clueless in a lot of ways. He's a horrible manager, and I can't figure out if he's burnt out or if he never had "it" in the first place. At this point he's working fewer hours than everybody that works in the kitchen, disappears for 2 hours on Saturday afternoons to get high, and is pretty much depending entirely on his staff for menu ideas and specials, which is a huge part of what we do using fresh ingredients. The list of things he does wrong goes on and on, and aside from going to the ownership, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do.
Now, this is small town America, businesses work differently out here, and it's generally a bit more laid back, but just looking at the numbers on this place, I think the guy is on the verge of running it into the ground, and the ownership and investors seem to have no idea it's going on. I feel trapped and that with my lack of education or a bunch of high end restaurants on my resume, I can't exactly go out and find a job that affords me all the perks this one does. I know this is all part of what you have to go through to make it in this industry, but should I just bail and take the pay cut? Should I talk to the owner? Confront my boss?
Sorry for the long post, I hate the drama and soap-opera b.s. that this has come down to, but I've really not been in a situation like this before. Thanks in advance for any advice.