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Washing dishes

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

To all head chefs or sous chefs.  I am now working in Salzburg Austria after 20 years cooking in Canada  The "learned cooks", this is the cook from school and it is a caree choice to be a cook, in Austria that i have worked with or are now woking for me, have a problem with washing dishes.  They say "i am a learned cook not a dishwasher".  I am the kitchen chef of a smaller sized gasthaus so we sometimes run short staff on the not too busy days.  I take alone shifts and do the dishes the floor and make out the garbage at the end of the shift.  This was the way I was taught.  When I have a full kitchen and there is a person for every job, dishwasher, kitchen helper, then this job is done for me and the cooks.  But I find the cooks here dont like doing this.

 

Any sugestions on how I should deal with this.  My method so far has been "i see the chef doing it so maybe i should do it too."  and this has worked a bit but still i have to say WTF it is just washing a few dishes.  

 

thanks 

post #2 of 15

Its an attitude with people today.  When you arent the one responsible for the bottom line its hard to understand the "At all costs" mentality of putting profits to the bottom line of a business, ESPECIALLY a restaurant.  If they arent willing to help out every once in a while then I would say they arent worthy of a check in your kitchen. 

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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #3 of 15

I regularly strip off my coat and bust out pots to help my dishwasher.  Half of cooking is cleaning, and I never leave a man behind.  Semper fi.

post #4 of 15

No problem, if you're too good to clean it, you're too good to get it dirty. Here's your check, don't let the door slap you on the way out!

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Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

some good advise thank you.  it would be nice to just say "hit the road jack" but salzburg is a tourist town with so many resturants and so few good cooks.  when i have one that is good the problem is they think too good to do dishes.  i am in a tough spot here.  firing good people may not be the choice i need attitude changing tenique without giving them the old back to front with the hand not holding the knife.  

post #6 of 15

If you're running the kitchen, show them that you're not afraid to get in there and do dishes.  Chances are if they see you do it, they'll follow suit. 19 years ago, I was a dishwasher and my chef would help me out if I was getting buried (which wasn't often, but it did happen).  I had more respect for that man, I think, than any other chef I've worked for, purely because he wasn't above anything.  He understood that certain things NEED to be done, and if you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean.  I asked him once why he, as the chef, would lower himself and help me out washing dishes.  He told me "Rich, never tell anyone to do anything that you're not willing to do yourself."  Words to live by in the kitchen, really.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBandu View Post

If you're running the kitchen, show them that you're not afraid to get in there and do dishes.  Chances are if they see you do it, they'll follow suit. 19 years ago, I was a dishwasher and my chef would help me out if I was getting buried (which wasn't often, but it did happen).  I had more respect for that man, I think, than any other chef I've worked for, purely because he wasn't above anything.  He understood that certain things NEED to be done, and if you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean.  I asked him once why he, as the chef, would lower himself and help me out washing dishes.  He told me "Rich, never tell anyone to do anything that you're not willing to do yourself."  Words to live by in the kitchen, really.


Exactly the way I was taught and exactly the way I work. I tell them "not my job" are words I never want to hear, I take out trash, wash dishes, work the line,  whatever it takes, hell you might find me playing barista if that's whats needed to get the job done. Too few cooks, (and people in general) have the wrong mindset.

post #8 of 15

Instead of "firing" a problem guy, maybe just send one home for a shift. I've done that and everyone seems to get the idea and fall in line. Pick out the guy you can easiestly get along without on a slower night. 

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #9 of 15

Oesterreich (Austria) is just a weee bit different from Canada

 

"Ausgelernte" or "learned" cooks are apprenticed, as most cooks are in Europe.  To do so means to work in a kitchen that has an apprenticed Chef, and a minimum of of 50% of apprenticed cooks in the kitchen.  Should an apprentice be made to wash dishes as part of his daily duties, the "Wirt" or owner/operator of the establishment may loose his apprentice and get fined if the apprentice complains to the apprenticeship board.

I should mention that apprentices make as little as 25% of a "learned" cook's wages, but still work the same hours.

 

Granted, none of your cooks are apprentices, but this attitude still prevails.

 

I'm not saying this attitude is right (I washed dishes in S'toon, Sask. for years before I started cooking) but it does provide some insight as to why they belly-ache and whine. 

 

Hope this helps,

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

thanks for the advise.  i have been doing these things latley with my first cook and he seems to have changed his attitude.  staying a bit longer to help clean more mise en place and dishes.  sending a person home does not work here because you get paid the same no matter how much you work it all balances out with time worked more and less.  but i hope this method will continue to work with more of the cooks i will deal with here in salzburg.

 

thanks again

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

yea foodpump i am learning this in austria.  there are some good cooks because they learn at a young age and if they stay with it there is much experiance ,  but a attitude with it.  i learnt a new deutch word the other day "hoinsussi" they dont liked to be called that.  thanks again the advise is good. 

post #12 of 15

No problem.

 

Went through the "system" in CDN-- washing dishes throughout highschool, then culinary school, then a couple of years cooking, then I went to Switzerland.

 

Huge wake-up call...

 

At the time I was 20 so I still "had time" to do the 3 year apprenticeship.  Was the oldest guy in the class.  Suffered through a lot of the Staatskunde stuff, but aced the Kochkunde and the practical.  Glad I did it.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #13 of 15

Good advice.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kostendorf View Post firing good people may not be the choice i need attitude changing tenique without giving them the old back to front with the hand not holding the knife.  

 

I am always all for doing everything possible to try to improve problem workers before showing them the door. That said, exceptional companies will tend to have staff who all share to some extent the same positive attitude. You clearly know what the correct attitude is. If you lead by example or try to correct behavior, the people that you want to still work with later on down the road will understand why everyone needs to pitch in. Are those who are unwilling to change their attitudes and pitch in really "good people"? I have seen the same issue with "learned cooks" here. The ones who were really the best cooks were also the ones who were willing to pitch in on any task that needed to get done. I'll take a hard worker over a genius any day.

post #15 of 15
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 never tell anyone to do anything that you're not willing to do yourself."  Words to live by in the kitchen, really.

pure gold

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