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CONFUSED COOK

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So Ive been cooking professionally for about 7 years now and decided that culinary school is next up to get me to the next step,as in further up the finer restaurants.Im still in school and I just landed a cook position that ive been needing wanting in a more elegant restaurant than I am used to.Most things are made in house.Firstly,I got a hired for hot line and then the first day I show up,they put me on pantry to train.The problem is,my interview didnt cover anything about my experience in pantry.....So now my prep seems very over whelming and all because my timing isnt all there with how long things should take to prep...for instance for my mise consist of...make bread daily,making cookies,ice cream,a few forcemeats,dessert sauces,salad dressings to name the basics....effing shit this is over whelming!!....Im writing in hopes to get some words because even though its difficult work,Im growing into the position,but still....I f*** up at least once a day.makes me question my career path.

post #2 of 8

You're going to mess up. At almost any place I've worked I started at pantry and worked my way up. in order to help with prep list things out according to time, and breaks they give. For instance I would start bread first because while its resting a rising I could get my ice cream in the machine then while the ice cream is going and the bread is rising I would get cookie dough in the mixer. Now while bread is rising, ice cream is being made and cookie dough is mixing you can knock out a dressing or two this way you're working 4 things at once.
 

post #3 of 8

Just keep at it.  Confidence will come in time as you gain more experience doing these things over and over.  As kingfarvito said, make lists of what you need to do each day (your own personal prep list if you will), that way you can look over it and see what should get started first, and then work from there to the quicker things.  Pantry always seems to have far more prep involved than the hot stations, at least in my experience;  especially if you're getting the dessert and bread prep stacked on ya too.  (Fortunately a lot of it doesn't need made each and every day, such as salad dressings and desserts;  they'll last a few days or so.)  So organization is extremely important.  

 

And really, these are the things that are vital to know how to make in order to grow as a cook and to one day be a chef and head a kitchen.  So this is a great experience for you to have.  I've seen a lot of cooks who've done nothing but hot work, so they can sear scallops and temp steaks, but ask them to make a raspberry coulis and they have no idea how to start.  Ever watch Top Chef and see how they all struggle whenever a dessert item needs made?  Just think, you're already ahead of all them...

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you Kingfarvito and Wvman,for sure that prep list and prioritizing is so essential.Needless to say,I love every moment of it because Im learning so much but Ive been stressing about the situation.Wondering how Im really going to think if I get fired.This position is where I need to be at in my career and Im worrying about it too much Im sure.

How good of a cook am I if I get let go because I lack experience in this position....

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by justpicked View Post

Thank you Kingfarvito and Wvman,for sure that prep list and prioritizing is so essential.Needless to say,I love every moment of it because Im learning so much but Ive been stressing about the situation.Wondering how Im really going to think if I get fired.This position is where I need to be at in my career and Im worrying about it too much Im sure.

How good of a cook am I if I get let go because I lack experience in this position....

If this is an issue of how you're doing in the kitchen, sit down with your chef and ask him how you're doing, where he wants improvement, and what he thinks you could do to help yourself. I personally do this at every job I've had about 3 months in. Just so they know I am indeed worried about my own progress.

post #6 of 8

They hired you.  They're not stupid.  You've got skills.  You don't suck.  We work in kitchens ... it ain'te rocket surgery.     You'll be fine. 

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank yall for the words,I need to vent about career situations like this and it helps for sure.

As for getting comfortable in this kitchen,the mise en place here gets deep for this position. Ive never had such recipes and techniques to follow before and I just found out from taking on this position that I do the recipe and no matter how long or thorough it is,I have it memorized from just that one take.Tasks become rewarding when you find that kitchen that brings you up after it cuts you down to size.Its the thrill for the challenge,sort of speak.

post #8 of 8

A few weeks ago i was in the same position. I was hired to expidite in a restaurante the owner clearly knowing i wanted to work in the kitchen , needless to say i took the job as the expiditor. 

 

One week later the person who ran pantry and salads quits , and they ask me to take her spot in pantry, i didnt understand much till now where i can basically knock out 5-6 salads in 1 hour along wiht get a majority of prep done. 

 

So round 1 1/2 weeks ago my head chef started to teach me how to work the line.... needless to say im now working the line usually running 2-5 entrees a day. 

 

Now i work at a seasonal family restaurante thta serves family style meals , basically its not a la carte so we end up changing the menu everyday depending on what we have fresh and what produce we can get our hands on , and also what we feel like cooking the next day , this only makes my job at pantry and on the line harder , because aside from all the prep i have to do , i never have time to memorize recipes since we are always changing so its situation where you have to " feel the flow " if you will and attempt to pay attention and not screw anything up. 

 

Just a few days ago the owner had commented that my expiditng skills werent as good as he had hoped ( note : im only in the kitchen 4 hours during the day while i expidite during the rush ) he probably was even considering firing me , till me chef made me get my act together , now whenever i feel a little less confident about my work on a certain day , i just go and ask how i did and ask for advice , which is really helpful because i end up correcting alot of thinhs. Now its just usually 1 or 2 things a day that i could have done better. 

 

I have only been on this job for a little over a month , after quitting my previous job working in a branch of hotels here in Brazil so for me to go from expiditing , to salads and pantry , and end up going to the line is a pretty fast situation especially during one month , but im loving it. So yeh if i could do it , who says you cant. 

 

First time me working in a kitchen like this and im loving every second of it. 

 

So enjoy your time , attempt to learn as much as possible , and stay productive as well. Since your questioning all of this it obviously shows you care about your job , so dont worry. Also try having a little fun too. 

 

Anyway i ranted enough on this thread but yeh you will be fine 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply
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