I have been working for a short amount of time as the Executive Pastry Chef for an upscale fine dining restaurant. I am having an issue with my Executive Chef and am wondering if it is something commonplace or not. This is not something that I have ever had happen before. that being said here goes....
I was hired as the Pastry Chef, but the Executive Chef won't allow me to add to or change anything on the menu. If it does get changed it is because he saw something on the internet and wants to give it a try. I do not have an evening dessert person for service. It is done by the barely non english speaking garde manger person. That being said he rarely plates or serves it the way I show him as the Chef comes along behind me and changes it, to look "rustic". The bread pudding is done in aluminum cups and set in the middle of a bowl, with whipped cream and some apples dumped on top. Any dessert must be able to be in a cooler and just brought out heated up and set on a plate. He likes to put his desserts in cast iron pans so they look "rusltic" but when I showed him that the egg custard was picking up a black discoloration due to the cast iron, I must be doing something wrong. He wonders why people aren't ordering desserts, yet he wont let me address the root problem. I can fix it if he will just let me do my job. Therein lies the problem. He is so controlling that he wont let me do my job. He has an idea for a dessert and tells me how he thinks it should be done, and when I do it his way it fails. Then I am accused of not knowing my job. When I make the dessert the "pastry trained" way. It will work perfectly, in the mean time, I make brownies, bread pudding and cookies for desserts. With the occasional pie, if he thinks it will sell.
Any suggestions on how to work with him and increase the dessert menu? The GM is his best friend so going to him will not work. I don't really want to go over his head. The Exec Sous chef agrees with some of my ideas but will not address the issue with chef for fear of creating additional problems. I am not proud of the work I do there, as it is bland and boring. I cannot use my own recipes, just the chefs.
Finding another job would be the logical thing to do, but pastry chef positions are few and far between. Is this common for Executive Chefs to do this? I have worked with many but never one who was this confining. When I applied for this job and cooked for him he loved the desserts and said they would be great, but I can't use them. When asked he said they would not be appropriate and too intricate for the evening crew to plate up. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Meanwhile, I show him new possibilities for the dessert menu in hopes he will like one.