WELL , from my point of view sautee is alot harder then grill.
Why u ask? Simple.
Sautee really reminds me of that shooting duck game you find at carnavals. In the game u gotta knock the ducks out as fast as possible , you have to see where they are coming from and the best and fastest way to kill the most ducks in the lowest amount of time. Get what i mean? Sautee is the same way , you have to view your station all at once , see what stays hot the longest , what doesnt , what you can cook quickly , what takes longer , where is all your mise en place at the time , have it all by you , you have to know how to control your flame , make the flame benefit you... etc... and a hundred other things you will get used to in time.
Now grill is different... Sure you have to be speedy , but it doesnt require you to stay and look over your food the entire time. You can leave a peice of steak on the grill knowing that it wont be done in 2 minutes. You can breathe put a steak on the grill , go get your mise , fetch other items , work another pan , and breathe , and organize yourself more since well ... meat takes awhile to cook...
During my first 2 months in the kitchen i worked both with entrees from grill and meat station , and worked sautee....
My meat would usually be on time everyday with few errors , while my sautee would get my ass kicked since i have poor flame control.
Now im responsible for 11 entrees on sautee and i knock them all out with little error , usually on time. My advice is to stay focused , breathe , and observe your station and your constant errors.
You have to be practical.
My advice is:
- Keep everything near you
- Have your mise done to the slightest details possible
- ALWAYS have a pot of boiling water by you , it has become a necessity for me , especially since i have 2 pasta dishes , 3 rice dishes , that hot water helps alot , especially when cooking.
-BE annoying in the kitchen FIGHT for your burners ( in my kitchen we have 6 burners i usually attempt to occupy 3-4 , but there are days when i can only occupy 2 and thats when hell breaks loose ).
-Set goals for yourself on plating , cooking , etc...
-AS GORDON RAMSAY WOULD SAY: TASTE , TASTE , TASTE , i have a bucket of spoons in my station , i use all of them by the end of my shift. I use one ,stir , taste , and into the dirty spoons bucket it goes.
-Dont be Afraid to wash your own pan if you need to.
-When ever you have a bit of free time ( even if its 30 seconds ) use it to of course breathe , and organize a bit of your station ( as much as humanly possible ).
-Be intelligent , if by helping a co-worker , can be of benefit to you , do it . I remember having hot water on the stove , and the cook responsible for meats and grill needed hot water , i didnt think twice , since he was using a burner a bit of boiling water wouldnt hurt if that meant him finishing and letting me use his burner so i could finish faster.
-Remember everything has its own cooking time , those that cook fastest you attempt to do last or close to the end.
-BE FRIENDS WITH THE DISHWASHERS , when your running of of pans , and the ones your using are dirty , you have no idea how being friends with a dishwasher can help you. The dishwasher at my place is so nice , i be-friended her as quick as possible and now 30 seconds after i send a dirty pan out , its back in my station nice and clean.
-Remember , a mess will only attract more mess , if your dis-organized the chance of you taking longer to find something ( equipment , ingredient etc... ) will only take longer , in the process you may end up dis-organizing your station even more.
-If something is burning take it off the stove , if its cold raise the flame , if its to hot lower your flame , etc.. etc... control the flame , it in no way controls you.
There are a alot of other things as well but that varies from kitchen to kitchen. I basically started getting used to sautee , and can run it just as fast as my head chef and sous chef ( who by the way i may be replacing by mid-june).
The restaurant i work at has 36 family style meals ( its a huge buffet , where we are usually sending out orders after every meal finishes ) we open at 11 , but the cooks are there by 7:30 to start building the meals , by 10:00 or 10:30 we are all usually cooking.
18 salads - i can make 18 family style salads in 3 1/2 hours pretty quickly... since well no heat
11 from Sautee - again i can have all my meals done , but im usually stresses since i start cooking by 10:30 working 4 burners at once
7 from Meat and Grill - By far one of the easiest stations to prepare family style meals as long as you have mise done.
The worst things about working at a family style restaurant or a buffet is the fact the menu changes everyday , but usually remains with the same rythm.
Everday I have 3 rice dishes , 1 vegetable , 1 green , 1 puree or mash , and one vegetarian style dish , and 2 pasta and 2 others , how the dish is made and the ingredients varies.
This way i organize myself usually knowing what takes longer then others.
Well my post is becoming huge , but anyway hope it helped in some way. A kitchen requires patience , and you will get used to as time goes by. Just keep your cool , remain calm , and dont forget to breathe ( especially since if you dont breathe your a dead man , and a dead man on the kitchen floor is useless and will be taken out like the trash ).
Edited by KaiqueKuisine - 6/9/13 at 1:23pm