or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Training Cooks

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone 

 

I'm living in Barbados and having a lot difficulty training cooks.  They seem to have issues with remembering the most simple things and everyday feels like a restart.  The food on our menu is pretty basic and doesn't take a lot of skill to prepare.  And the morning prep isn't a lot but for some unknown reason they can't get it right.  I've written out detail description of every dish and a step by step list of how to make a the dishes.  I've work side by side with every cook and  it's getting frustrating having to step in everyday.  Any ideas on how to help retain more when it's being taught.  

post #2 of 11

What makes them retain is pure repetition. Coupled with their DESIRE to learn it.

If thats present, then they need to stick to one element of prep, etc, until they can

do it in their slleep, before moving to something else. Some people need baby steps.

 

But there could be sveral reasons for the lack of retention and it can vary with each person.

The first thing that comes to mind is how motivated they are to learn it. In other words,

if they've come to feel they have all their lives to get it right, then they probabbly never will.

If on the other hand they're made to feel they have say, another week to learn it....

or ELSE.... well its amazing how nicely the fear of reunemployment effects the learning curve.

 

Next question is the source--where did you find these employees? Newspaper, resumes....

a sign in the winder? Pre qualifying potentials can help a lot.

We had one 22 year old in the restaurant, a decent resume, hired as a line cook trainee.

Same thing-- you had to retrain him every single day as though it were the first,

even to do simple things like ... look at the ticket.

 

After a month of this, he finally admitted he was staying up almost every night

drinking and smoking dope with his buds, courtesy of his new found kitchen income. lol

1 more week to clean up his muddled mind, he failed, and he was pinked.

post #3 of 11

It seems that your cooks never ever  worked before ?

Mice-en Place is right when he says repetition is one way of straightening things out.

Threateing of getting kicked out of the kitchen is useless. Your guys do not have any motivation yet to keep their job, Somehow you must find something in everyone of them to find their desire to always do things right.

It is going to be hard if have to deal with such individuals who are lacking any ambition to succeed.

Barbados rum can have many negative side-effectson its users.

10 years ago ,I almost retired in Barbados and think I do know the general attitude of its population.

With persistence you might be able to train some of your cooks to be useful and responsible  employees,but not all will respond the same way.

Best of luck, hang in there and pray for the best

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply
post #4 of 11

What are they smoking on their split ???

 

On a more serious note make idiot cards -

Flip books of each step with a photo and a brief description of the Mise en place / service procedure required .

We also had a large photo board in the kitchen with each dish photographed .

My posts are different , I speak in cm , Celsius , kilo's and call stuff weird names like Glad Wrap , Bicarb , Capsicum & Gravox . Might take you a little while to get my lingo but we're basically speaking the same language 

 

http://sneakykitchen.com/Glossary/translations.htm

 

Good onya...

Reply

My posts are different , I speak in cm , Celsius , kilo's and call stuff weird names like Glad Wrap , Bicarb , Capsicum & Gravox . Might take you a little while to get my lingo but we're basically speaking the same language 

 

http://sneakykitchen.com/Glossary/translations.htm

 

Good onya...

Reply
post #5 of 11

If you throw them out, the government will support them anyway.So why work? They are lazy and do not really want to work.. I once stopped in Florida to pick up a guy flashing a sign Need Work Please Help .. That day I was short dishwashers, I asked him if he wanted to work explaining $9.00 per hour plus meals ;

He said no, claiming he made more out here pan-handleing? and doing nothing but taking in sun and fresh air.  Only in America

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...

Reply

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...

Reply
post #6 of 11

Ask them what you can do to help them retain more when being taught. "Help me to understand why you are having difficulty with this." "What suggestions can you come up with that will help you to remember how to do this again so that we can work better as a team." In my experience, they are a proud people so sting their pride a bit. Just be sure to do it in a bit in a non-aggressive manner. Put the ball in their court.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #7 of 11
I don't want to sound mean but it seems like you're coddling them too much. It's hard to find good motivated people but worth the effort. Lay down some rules and expectations. I'm a big fan of the three strikes rule. Three screwups in a week/month/pay period and you're canned. We have an idea we borrowed from the show BONES. Every week someone is crowned king of the kitchen and gets to wear a crown for their shift. It's stupid butbthe competition is pretty fierce. It is good to be king.

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

Reply

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

Reply
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Bilby View Post

What are they smoking on their split ???

 

On a more serious note make idiot cards -

Flip books of each step with a photo and a brief description of the Mise en place / service procedure required .

We also had a large photo board in the kitchen with each dish photographed .

Our chef actually requires everyone in the kitchen to keep the recipe book open and in front of them while prepping. We don't have pictures lol, and he doesn't expect us to read every line, or any line really, but it's a good fall back for that day, when you're making something that you've made 400 times, and for some reason you have a blank moment. 

 

As far as the actual cooking goes.. I honestly feel that if you can't get a grasp on your station within a couple weeks, it's probably not meant to be.

post #9 of 11

In addition to the recipes sheets, you also need prep lists for each station. These are not only for training, but for day to day management as well. Eventually, they may not need them. A prep lists is a list of every item in the station, how it is cut or prepped, what size container it goes into, and what size measuring utensil is needed for cooking. The prep list should list how much of the prepped item there should be on the line before the start of the shift, with separate amounts for slow days compared to busy days. This is called the "par". A good prep list has a column to write down how much is already on the line so the employee can subtract it from the par to calculate how much they need to prep for the shift. It should also have some blank lines at the bottom to hand write in any prep needed for featured items not normally on the list. If you would like a copy of a well designed, blank prep list, I'll give a link to download one for free. Just email me at brandon@bodellconsulting.com.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #10 of 11

I just started working in a kitchen as line cook. I've been on the section for about a month. I also started working as a piano teacher in another job ... and I also happen to be doing culinary school at the same time AND I am studying music too. So I just wanted to give a few learning tips - though I guess it should be straight forward. Mind you, I was the worst in my culinary class, I caught up half way through the semester and that was really a huge relief - I was ready to fall onto my safety net and stick to music (even though I sincerely didn't want to). 

 

People on the forum already pointed out that there might be some very fishy things - the drinking, drug taking, sleep deprivation to be the reasons behind why the line cooks are unable to retain what they have learned. 

 

Here are some things that I have been doing to assist me in retaining some of the new information from the new job - maybe you can suggest or even enforce the cooks into doing certain things to retain what they have learned 

- Writing down the ingredients and methods for their standard recipes 

- Asking questions - mind you, I am very curious and inquisitive, in my first week of culinary school I asked the teacher whether the orange moved or the peeler moved when he peeled the orange, I also asked if Aspic had a taste - both answers that he had to think about and check on when I asked him. I am shy when it comes to question asking but I don't get shy when the instructor invites me to ask questions 

- As Brandon said - prep sheets help 

 

Somethings I learned as a teacher and as a student 

 

- Detail, or too much detail can be overwhelming- Keep it simple and don't confuse them with too much detail. Be basic about it 

- Writing can be a passive way of learning. Demonstrating - and delegating tasks to the cooks or watching them whilst instructing them are usually more effective when it comes to retaining things. A recipe card should be there for them in case they forget and understandably don't retain everything that you said. Don't rely purely on writing.  

- You seem to be doing all the work, sometimes when you get the student to do more stuff on their own, they have to use their heads and think and normally what you have taught would be retained. When you teach them next time - get them to write it down, or ASK them what ingredients are needed for this recipe, what prep needs to get done... If they still give you a blank look, say we've been through this before, several times, remember (insert occasion) to jog their memory

- When you get them to do something, ask them why do we do this: e.g. why do we fry the pork belly skin side down? This should reinforce their memory, and give them hard tangible 'rules' to remember 

 

And I like Cheflayne's answer- asking them what you could do to help them retain helps. My culinary teacher did something similar. Here are some of the things he did: 

Gave me tips - basic ones -  e.g. start one job, finish it, start another job - have a workflow never do seven things at once (I was messy at a certain time)

Reflected by asking me: Why do you think you as so slow/bad? How do you think we can fix this?

Setting up an intervention: Made me work closer to him so that he could watch me and so that I could ask questions more directly 

 

I hope this helps. All the best. I know that teaching is a hard job. It's rewarding when students get better though. 

post #11 of 11

Did you ever contact the Barbados Hospitality Institute at the POMMARINE HOTEL in Christ Church for their students who just had finished thair culinary training there ?

One of my grandsons did start his culinary education there a couple of weeks ago .I have no idea of the quality of the education there and wonder if this school is any good ?

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply

Every smoker quits smoking sooner or later!

Only the smart ones are doing it while they are still alive.

Wer den Pfennig nicht ehrt,

Ist des Talers nicht wehrt !

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs