Originally Posted by ChrisBristol
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.