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Bad Experience or every restaurant?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I really was intresting in cooking for a living from the age of 15. At the age of 16, i got a prep cook job at a decently high up restaurant for my area. (35-40 per dish US.) I worked on weekends only, and 16 hour shifts at the age of 16 with no breaks for food, or anything on that matter. THe chef couldnt have given a shit less about me and in the two week mark was angry because my knife skills were not up to what some of the other preps were pulling out that have been there for a few months. It was also about 85-90 degrees in there. Is every restaurant like this or should i pick a new path? 



post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

I also did cater outs which involved me working stations, prepping it beforehand and cleaning everything, taking it down and driving it back. 

post #3 of 8

I'm a little confused here......the story you're telling is all in the past tense, and your title says "At home cook".

And you seem to have been unhappy with your job, employer, coworker, the long hours and even the temperature.

How old are you now, what is your current profession, and what are you looking for in the culinary field?

post #4 of 8

 Wors of wisdom   Stay out of this business, it is not for you.

post #5 of 8

Hi Mike, welcome. We heard what you didn't like about your experience thus far in this industry. What were the things that you did like?


No two kitchens are the same. Some are hotter than 85 - 90 degrees. Some are cooler. I have had jobs where 100+ hours were the normal work week. I have had jobs where 40 hours were the normal work week. As to personalities involved in kitchen work, I am pretty sure you get my gist by now.


This career path was the right one for me without a doubt, but I won't deny that I can relate to a lot of the experiences that you shared. It is a hard and demanding profession.


Luckily love of food, cooking, and the culinary arts doesn't require a person to pursue it as a career in order to reap the rewards. For many folks, they can quite comfortably enjoy all the rewards from the confines of their home kitchens without having to subject themselves to the rigors of this profession.

Edited by cheflayne - 10/30/12 at 8:07pm
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #6 of 8

You should get use to getting yelled at.  It is not that the chef is a mean guy its just how you get new people to step it up.  Think about it this way - can a drill sargent get his new boys to become hard and mean by saying please with a smile?  Ask yourself if you want to be good (I mean really good), if yes you should be thankful for a chef who pushes you. 



post #7 of 8
Some chefs don't demand better out of their cooks, which is unfortunate. Yelling or stern talking because XXX is done wrong is necessary. Not only because he(or someone) has shown you the proper way, but it can also effect the revenue that comes in to the business. Negative revenue is bad

As far as temp goes, we all have stories of the time a hood went our or the power went out and it hit 115-120 on the line. It's regularly at 101-104 on our meat thermometers in our coats and laying around

When you're first starting, especially, you'll be asked to do long hours and otherwise less desired hours. Like Thanksgiving or the day after or Christmas Eve, etc. How well you perform on those days can really help you out in the long run. Generally most of the higher ups will have most of those days off or a small shift. Nature of the job
post #8 of 8

Kitchens are as varied as the chefs who run them. Some yell, some don't.  Some are organized and efficient and some are not. All kitchens tend to be warm to hot in temperature. You are standing in front of hot cooking equipment after all. You should be concerned with understanding that there is a proper way of working in a kitchen. Maintaining strict self discipline is a big part of that. Punctuality is first. Good knife skill development is one beginning area. Maintaining a constant effort to work clean and neat is another. There are lots of professional level cookbooks available you should be reading to help broaden your understanding of basic cooking techniques so you more quickly understand what is going on in whatever kitchen you find yourself in. Take your work, and your involvement in it very seriously. Avoid or ignore those with negative attitudes. The stress in any kitchen comes from two areas. First from the nature of the work itself. Producing multiple meals in a timely manner is a challenge in any environment. The second source of stress is from the managerial attitude prevailing in a particular place, whether from the chef, manager or owner or all three. The more competent each is in doing their respective jobs, the less secondary stress you should encounter. They should be keeping the staffs' focus on the daily operation of the establishment and not allowing personal issues to take prominence. Too much interpersonal stress in the kitchen is a good sign that you should find another place to work.

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