Greetings to all chefs and food enthusiasts. I am a new member on this board. After speaking to a few friends and realizing that i don't have any real 'foodie' friends, i decided to join this board in order to have discussions with other chefs. First, a bit about myself:
I'm 26 years old. I've been cooking in professional environments since i was 15. I've been taking it seriously since i was 24. In mid 2013, i got my diploma in professional cooking. After that, i applied to work at what is considered one of Montreal's best restaurants. Since then, it's been very easy to find work in Montreal. Today, i got hired at a French bistro... as head chef no less, and to be honest, i am scared!
My biggest concern is staff not accepting my authority. This happens to me quite often. Due to my impressive resume, i often get hired as 'chef de partie' or 'sous-chef' Now upon entering a new workplace i often notice that i'm one of the youngest at 26 years old. So i have cooks in their 30's and 40's who have been at a given restaurant much longer than me, who have more life experience than me, who are getting paid less than me, and who now have to accept my direction. Ego's often flare up and result in yelling matches in the kitchen. I must avoid this at all costs, and i don't know how. I don't know how to direct people who have been doing the job way longer than me. It always comes across as "This guy thinks he knows everything" when in reality im just trying to do what im being paid for... which is delegate and run the kitchen. Obviously, everyone wants to protect their position, and most people want to move up and find it difficult to accept a chef that gets hired from outside the restaurant.
I need some good solid advice on how to enter a new workplace as the head chef, earn everyones respect and learn how to work in their environment simultaneously.
Culinarily i'm pretty well rounded. I have all of the qualifications to do this job. However i also welcome any advice on how to learn and execute a new menu. During my first month at a new place, i always tend to panic a little bit during a rush. It usually stays that way until i get comfortable. In this case, i don't have time to get comfortable. I need to show everyone that i can do this job from day 1 and not be dependant on others. After all, i am their new chef. They must respect me.
Thank you in advance for the advice and support!