I guess what I'm really asking is what the best things i can do to be an asset to the company i just started at a small local restaurant after not working for the last two years I've been a stay at home dad. before that i was in culinary school and quit to stay home with the baby cause my wife could support all of us without a problem and now that the baby is almost two I've decide i wanted to get back in the kitchen. i realize I'm kinda out of shape as far as my skills go but i want to help this restaurant grow and just need a little advise on what i can do to really become apart of the team.
any good advise for getting back into the kitchen
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Practice, Read and Observe.
Cook for your family and friends, you know they're going to like most everything you cook so that should boost confidence, but when you're cooking concentrate on the basics. Make sure your knife cuts are perfect...your season everything...and then work on your speed.
Read everything, forums, magazines, online articles and cook books.
Watch what goes on in your kitchen. If you think something can be done more efficiently go try it at home or speak up, just do it professionally.
I hope this helps.
May I suggest keeping a low profile. Work fast and efficiently all day, but don't talk and ask questions too much. Pay attention to what is going on so you can step right in when the time comes (and it will). Study everything about the menu items so you know them in and out - i.e. techniques used, properties of foodstuff used, history of dish, price on menu and popularity etc.