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When did every thing change?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
When I started in this business I worked and learned my craft from chefs who were passionate some times border line obsessive about food. We worked hard but I had the best time and made friends I keep to this day. It seems to me that the cooks working there way up don't have the work ethic needed to be a good chef. Most guys that work for me cant make even the most basic sauces or proper culinary terms. I keep trying to teach them but they dont seem interested. I dont understand when it all changed.
post #2 of 19

When the LCB nine month program started?

post #3 of 19

They're too busy figuring out what tattoo to get next and where to score a bag of dope after work. 

post #4 of 19

Began in early 1980's.  In my opinion.

post #5 of 19

I think it is more the age of the person making such a comment, probably their mid to late forties or early fifties, rather than a calender date.

 

When I was young and starting out I worked for a chef that loved to talk about how things were in his day, not like today when you kids have it easy...keep in mind this was roughly 40 some years ago.

 

His mentor probably bent his ear with similiar stories and commiserations to him.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #6 of 19

I think it happened with the rise of the "superstar" chef.  Before that, we got into this business out of a love and passion for food and service.  Now, its trendy and, if you believe TV, glamorous.  Newbies, today, care about that stuff, not the food.  I know that is a gross generalization and there are plenty of people who still get into this business because of the love and passion, but it is also attracting many that don't have the love and passion, unlike in the old days.  Back then there was no other reason to get into this line of business, today there is.

post #7 of 19

It changed when things like this started to happen regularly  Need advice on Red seal exam wanna be Chef's that run to the internet begging for help asking for something that doesn't even exist. 

 

All  because they are too lazy to even read the rules / regulations / methodology of the certification that they have paid and applied for!

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #8 of 19
I think since the restaurant industry has boomed in the last few years there are more jobs than chefs, this means the pool gets diluted. And means many chefs who would have been eased out by now still have a job, employee law has also made it harder to get rid of bad chefs and basically some people can get away with coasting.
post #9 of 19
Coasting is very true cheftom, some times in Sweden we would love a coaster, tons of young "chefs" at a dead stop here. I generally interview at lesast 5 to get a good one. A lot of my staff, over 50% are just like me, from another land and used to working.
post #10 of 19
Wow now I feel ashamed to be a twenty something cook. Why should I even bother trying to constantly read, train and better myself when the current market is so hopeless- I don't want to be thought of as one of those NEW chefs that you say are so lazy and selfish, I mean I have tattoos.
post #11 of 19
Ink dont mean anything. My 73 yr old mother, retired nurse practionaner, ink. My brother, NC state police,ink. Sister, surgeon, uni of pitt medical center, ink. I employee 43 people, at least 10 have visible ink. Age dont mean crap either. It what you do while your working, the refining of your craft, the xtras you put into your self development. Thats what counts. If your not one of the lazy chefs that will be appearant when you stage. If your pationate about what your doing then you'll stand out and have a bright future. But you have to reconise lazy, if you havent seem it in our profession then you have been very lucky. Ive see and worked with lazy for 37 years. But not any more, i dont let them in the door.
post #12 of 19

There's no doubt "ink" is an interesting social phenomenon.  That said, the problems I had over the years with employees seemed directly proportion to the amount of ink/piercings they had.  I had one guy who must have had a serious five figure investment in tattoos and various piercings.  Quality stuff.  Always asked for advances on his paycheck.  I told him if he hadn't spent so much money on ink that I'd probably be working for him and not the other way around.  I also asked him to at least take a copy of Elizabeth David's French Provincial Cooking with him the next time he found himself sitting in a tattoo parlour while somebody else practiced THEIR art.  He was an OK cook, could have been better, should have been better - had a gifted palate I think, he just seemed distracted.  I'm not sure by what, but the ink seemed to me to be sort of a tip off with this guy. 

post #13 of 19

Im young enough (31) to not know the old, old, school but in my 12 years i've definitely seen a change in the way cooks learn, work and interact.  So many want to create by using form over function and everyone has an opinion.  When I was line cooking I did was I was told, didn't talk back and kept my opinion to myself because I was there to learn from my superiors.  Everyone's a little less focused, because of technology in my opinion, and everyone wants to follow trends as opposed to cooking food by repetition.

 

I must say, cooks these days do have a hunger for knowledge.  They constantly read, look at the internet and talk about food, which is all so important.  

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaminute View Post

Wow now I feel ashamed to be a twenty something cook. Why should I even bother trying to constantly read, train and better myself when the current market is so hopeless- I don't want to be thought of as one of those NEW chefs that you say are so lazy and selfish, I mean I have tattoos.

 

Cool, you have tattoos.  Is your home kitchen and your professional library as equally tricked out?  If one nickel of your expendable income went to ink that should have gone to your chosen profession then it's tough to be taken seriously.  I don't know for sure.  But you do.  Is it time to get serious?  Maybe so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cacioEpepe View Post
 

Im young enough (31) to not know the old, old, school but in my 12 years i've definitely seen a change in the way cooks learn, work and interact.  So many want to create by using form over function and everyone has an opinion.  When I was line cooking I did was I was told, didn't talk back and kept my opinion to myself because I was there to learn from my superiors.  Everyone's a little less focused, because of technology in my opinion, and everyone wants to follow trends as opposed to cooking food by repetition.

 

I must say, cooks these days do have a hunger for knowledge.  They constantly read, look at the internet and talk about food, which is all so important.  

Too many think there is a shortcut to craftsmanship.  There isn't.  But you're right about trend-following.  A while back it seemed to be harissa.  I swear somebody probably served it on oatmeal for breakfast.  Too many guys and gals mindlessly trying to "layer flavors" with not a clue about what they're doing.  I've eaten dishes that were an absolute trainwreck of discordant flavors and textures and these came out of the kitchens of chefs who should have known better.  It's like the nouvelle cuisine movement when it hit the extremes - the pendulum always swings too far.  That said, it's still shamefully easy to be served three, dinky "pan seared" scallops smack in the middle of a 14" diameter white plate with something that's supposed to be a julienne of carrots on top. 

post #15 of 19
Wowwie kazowie again!! Such ruthless generalizations!; my comment before was snide and for that I apologize but now I feel like I have to defend myself: I'm twenty eight, have three fairly large tattoos on my neck and arm which I got on importantt occasions costing me a whopping $200 total. I also have two kids and THAT'S where most of my free time and money are invested. All this being said my 6" utility is a $153 takeda and that's my cheapest knife. I spend every moment my kids are asleep pouring over the exorbitant amount of cooking literature I buy and when I'm at work I play the part, every fine burnoose I make faster and finer, yes chef no chef. My point is that every person is different, everything is circumstantial, not every young chef sucks. Was every cook you worked with twenty years ago a commited ninja on the line and at home all the time? Even Ducasse has given praise to chang
post #16 of 19
*fine brunoise
post #17 of 19

Its just work ethic, its nothing new. Some people have it, some people don't. If your parents didn't beat it into you there's little chance of learning it later in life in my opinion. Cooking is all about discipline and work ethic. Learning to cook is pretty easy to be honest. My tattoo is to remind me of the boss that put a boot in my ass regularly, told me to stop being weak.

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by CStanford View Post
 

and where to score a bag of dope after work. 

 

Since when has the kitchen not been the place to score a bag of dope...

post #19 of 19

When mommy and daddy gave them everything without them doing nothing . I have been doing this since the mid fifties,

     I worked with the best and the worst. The worst do not last, the best do. You push yourself to do that little bit extra and it will be noticed believe me.

    When I taught cooking in the NYC school system I averaged 28 students per class 4 to 5  were good and had great potential  they worked hard and were not lazy. The others were hopeless. I did not give up, they did. I concentrated on the good ones They made it. I looked at it as 4 to 5 lives salvaged.

    I am talking kids from the ghetto and bad neighborhoods here.   I was rough on them to. It was gratifying for me years later to be invited to their own restaurants as well as fine places where they held the Exec. Chef jobs.

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