Hi, I've been on these forums for a while but this is my first post. I apologize if this is in the wrong forum but I need advice...
I've been in this country club kitchen now for 2 years. I've worked my way up to the saute station (Lead Line Cook). There are two people in the kitchen that I consider above me and those are the Sous Chef and the Executive Chef. When I started out I was considered "green" as in I had next to no experience. I worked at a Chili's before but nothing even close to the fine dining atmosphere. I started at Garde Manger, then moved to Grill/Fryer and finally to Saute.
I've learned absolutely everything that I could learn in this short period of time. I've learned things from everyone in the kitchen including incredibly fun things and the things that nobody else wants to do. At first it was an amazing feeling, learning to do things and asking questions about everything. I felt on top of the world and I couldn't get enough. I soon realized that the more things that I learned to do, the more responsibility I was taking on. When I realized this, I asked for a raise and I was given one to compensate for the new responsibilities. Once again, I was on top of the world. Doing what I love, learning new things every day and getting paid accordingly.
After training new people to work the stations that I had previously worked, I continued to do some of the prep from each station to help out in addition to the prep for my new station. I thought that this would be temporary like it was for the guy before me (the Sous) Little did I know that this help would be taken advantage of. On a daily basis, I do the entire prep for my station and a majority of the prep for the other stations. At first I didn't mind because I considered it practice for me and help for the other guys.
As a result, the cooks under me are lazy, slow, corner cutting, and disappear without notice while I am stuck doing their prep. They use the prep and don't even let me know that things are getting low until they are gone. This leaves me frustrated and scrambling to prep things. I even made a prep list for everything that needs to be prepped for the stations. I called a kitchen meeting and told everyone that these things need to be prepped when low or to let someone else know that these things need to be prepped.
I don't want to go to the Chef because I want to be able to handle things like this myself. The Chef has no problem with the way things are going because everything gets done. BUT IT'S ME DOING ALMOST ALL OF THE WORK! Am I expecting too much of the cooks below me?!
I don't want to be a line cook forever but I don't know how to change the way things are. I I live for this, I want to be a Chef. Someone please give me some guidance!!