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How much do you shout in the kitchen?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello

I wondered how much do you shout in the kitchen? In my kitchen there is only the apprentice who is lower than me so I have no need to. As I get more experienced there will be more people below me.  Personally I don't think I would ever be a shouter and I don't like to work with chefs who are.  I don't mind getting a bollocking when I do something wrong but I don't like working with chefs who shout for the sake of it.

post #2 of 19
We dont shout in my kitchens. No reason too. The days of treating people like crap are over, in most places. I came up under a few shouters in my youth, now I dont permit that kind of abuse. Its counter productive and has no place in a professional work place.
post #3 of 19

Depends on what you mean by shout, I can get quite loud during a rush, but that's more raising my voice to be heard. I never yell directly at an employee as a result of a mistake, problem, etc. I do, however, regularly threaten my long term employees with horrible disfigurement, abuse, burning, and violence of all kinds, its kind of our thing though... we all get a laugh out of a situation that we're all quite upset about, tends to diffuse the tension from a big mistake.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

I 100% agree with you. In a stressful situation the last thing you need is more stress.  If someone is giving 100% they guidance not abuse

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagom View Post

We dont shout in my kitchens. No reason too. The days of treating people like crap are over, in most places. I came up under a few shouters in my youth, now I dont permit that kind of abuse. Its counter productive and has no place in a professional work place.


My last post was meant to quote this

post #6 of 19
We don't shout in anger, but if it's particularly loud in the kitchen or were trying to talk to a waiter/waitress we do have to talk louder so it's probably perceived as shouting. And I suppose if you're trying to get someone's attention and they aren't responding, then yes, we shout if we can't leave our station during busy times.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

It;s nice to see that chefs on here don't like to shout.  I'm fairly thick skinned but I do get a bit frustrated when I get shouted at.  The main reason is is that I am probably the hardest worker in my kitchen and I really acquit myself to it so the shouting doesn't really do anything. Unfortunately I still think shouting is glamorised on TV which doesn't help.

post #8 of 19

Not necessarily shouting but beatings will continue until moral improves.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBristol View Post
 

Hello

I wondered how much do you shout in the kitchen? In my kitchen there is only the apprentice who is lower than me so I have no need to. As I get more experienced there will be more people below me.  Personally I don't think I would ever be a shouter and I don't like to work with chefs who are.  I don't mind getting a bollocking when I do something wrong but I don't like working with chefs who shout for the sake of it.

The last part of this is the all important bit. Shouting because it makes you look good is not productive, and inevitably is the sign of insecurity. However, a good chef will lead by being firm and assertive, and must take control of his staff. As you suggest in a latter post, chefs like Ramsay and the like have glamorised shouting in a kitchen, but the ultimate point is that their reputations are such that they have to be that way to maintain their standards, which the likes of you and I will most likely never attain. Its that control of the kitchen that has got them where they are, and whilst many chefs slag him off for his behaviour, there are not many chefs who have his ability and can produce the goods the way he can. I guess you can say he can shout because he can back his mouth up.. Its chefs that shout but can't back their mouths up that are the ones who need dealing with.

 

During busy services where things are starting to slip then a head chef has to maintain control, and each member of staff will react in different ways. I have two apprentices, and one I can shout at and that is what makes him tick. If I didn't he wouldn't react as I want him to. The kick up the backside works on him. The other apprentice however, if I shouted at him would fall to bits, so I have to treat him in a different way, and be more of a father figure offering advice.

 

I would never say I don't shout. I do, but when I do its for a reason and with a purpose in mind. If for example you were in my kitchen and you  had a pan on fire and were going to pour water on it, believe you me, I would more than shout at you.. I'd let the pan cool down and whack you round the back of the head with it for being so damn stupid ( of course I am jesting but you see the point I am making... sometimes shouting does have its place in a kitchen, its just knowing how and where to do it, and what you intend to gain from it. )

 

If you can produce the goods then you have to do whatever it takes to do it, and the best chefs will know their team and how to handle them.

post #10 of 19

I've never worked in a kitchen where the chef shouted at cooks. I've only seen that happen on tv. I've witnessed altercations, and have been in a few myself over things like stolen mise en place, or lack of respect over personal space, but nothing more than that. I know for a fact I wouldn't be able to work for an ego-maniac who felt it necessary to yell at people. I believe in positive re-inforcement.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

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post #11 of 19

40 years in kitchen and I can tell you without reservation that shouting was always an integral part of the BOH scene.

 

I HAVE worked for Chefs who shouted at cooks, others threw pans, some got so red in the face I thought they were going to have a heart attack right there on the line.

 

I found the main reason they shouted was not so much because of lack of motivation or attitude but more of ego.

Many had personality issues that carried over into their daily regiment.

I guess it was because of the demand of the job.

 

I worked for Chefs who met me at the back door, key in hand and a snifter full of booze tucked in the back pocket.

 

I worked for a Chef, who sent ME to the store each day to buy him his 5th of Cutty Sark. Each and every day.

 

I barely missed getting hit in the head with a saute pan, I've had hot grease poured on me, I've been tripped, I been stabbed.

 

This is the way IT WAS.

 

It is still around in places but it is getting better.

post #12 of 19
Depends on what you mean by shouting. I never, ever will shout at a cook in anger. It just straight up isn't effective. I've always been of the opinion that belittling people for their mistakes and opportunities causes them to hide their errors instead of letting you coach them through it.

Shouting on line though? I'm like a f'n auctioneer - loud and proud, constantly talking my boys through the rush, encouraging and organizing them. Inspire with your voice - never intimidate.
post #13 of 19

I work on a two man line with my Head Chef. It can sometimes get difficult to keep that mirage of a well tuned kitchen seamlessly pushing out food merrily. He's a bit of a hot head so there are plenty of times he's made a ruckus on the line unleashing his anger on whoever slowed his kitchen down.

 

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

40 years in kitchen and I can tell you without reservation that shouting was always an integral part of the BOH scene.

 

I HAVE worked for Chefs who shouted at cooks, others threw pans, some got so red in the face I thought they were going to have a heart attack right there on the line.

 

I found the main reason they shouted was not so much because of lack of motivation or attitude but more of ego.

Many had personality issues that carried over into their daily regiment.

I guess it was because of the demand of the job.

 

I worked for Chefs who met me at the back door, key in hand and a snifter full of booze tucked in the back pocket.

 

I worked for a Chef, who sent ME to the store each day to buy him his 5th of Cutty Sark. Each and every day.

 

I barely missed getting hit in the head with a saute pan, I've had hot grease poured on me, I've been tripped, I been stabbed.

 

This is the way IT WAS.

 

It is still around in places but it is getting better.


I used to work for a chef (Gretchen, if you're out there holla back) who used to send me to the Cubby Hole in Manhattan to get her drinks, in an actual glass, walking down half a block with it in my hand to the catering kitchen. But I thought it was funny and I loved it. It was nice to get fresh air.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #15 of 19

I'm definitely not a yeller. I like to appreciate my cooks, encourage them, teach them and learn from them. I also expect them to listen to me and respect me. It's a difficult balancing act, that's for sure. But at the end of the day, I'm happier with myself and my life that I'm not an asshole, so I'll continue to be this way.
 

The way I see it, all the experience in the world is worth nothing if you're a horrible person. A good, patient person with a desire to learn is a thousand times more valuable.

post #16 of 19

I think it's unprofessional to be yelling at people.  I'll admit that occasionally I'll lose it and get in someone's face but I always apologize; it's not the way things should be done.  But as far as shouting- I kind of do do that.  The busier it gets the louder I'll start to bark.  Not all people, not in a mean way, just speaking loudly over the din of a busy kitchen.  When things start to go into the weeds during service a good loud commanding bark will often get things back on track.  Again, not cussing or screaming but in a loud tone plainly stating what needs to happen.  I need a MR top to sell now.  Next up, two risottos.  Roast chicken- how long?  Stuff like that.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

It is good to see that there are a lot of chefs on here who don't shout any more than necessary.  What I get really annoyed about is chefs who throw their weight around and shout for the sake of it. Especially at the youngsters. A kid who has just come out of school needs to be encouraged not bullied.

post #18 of 19
I have publicly displayed anger exactly twice in the last seven years. I guarentee that every single cook working for me on those occassions will never forget it. In fact, on both occassions staff came to me and apologizedc for making me do that. The problem with shouting is that it is a blunt, unarticulate, toolmto motivate. And once that card is played, especially on a regular basis, where do you go from there? After a time it just becomes one more unpleasent thing in the kitchen.
post #19 of 19
I only shout at service staff.
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