or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › What happened to taking pride in your work?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What happened to taking pride in your work?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello all I'm writing this hoping to get the opinions of other professionals and long time restaurateurs. I'm 25, very experienced and formally trained with some college under my belt. I've been trained by CIA graduates, worked for a few as well as doing food competitions(3 to be exact) and have always placed in the top 3. My childhood was rough, high school sucked and I was lucky to have gotten into a vocational trade school in eleventh grade. It completely changed my life, changed the way I saw the world and I made life long connections with people I care deeply for. Everything good in my life has come from kitchens, being able to have a car that doesn't break down, not being hungry, taking the mom to mets games, it's amazing. The respect I have for this job and lifestyle is immense and overwhelming and I understand the level of dedication to be great. I've been working for this guy for a while, running his place while he's upstate renovating and preparing a new bigger place to open. He went to school for management and has a strictly just make money attitude about food. I do love the guy but his attitude lately has been getting awful. He is constantly hiring the wrong person which costs us money and my time to train people over and over. He thinks cooking is just that easy and he has no sense of wanting to change that. I've entertained some offers at other local places only to find staff of cooks that don't care, don't really wanna cook but just get paid. I've seen whole filets on floors of walk ins,ribs underneath the line during service, you name it. I hate the direction of all these self taught cooks who don't have a sense of sanitation and how to keep your menu up to date. Everyone thinks being a cook is something like just showing up and working a stove. I've always wanted to go the culinary institute and the fact I couldn't go when I was accepted after high school bothered the shit out of me. So here I am at 25 realizing how the connections I'm making are only going to keep me circling In a world of amateurs so I am in the process of getting into the CIA for the winter semester. I wanna surround myself with people who are as into this as I am and learn and create. I wanna be scolded for breaking a sauce and let my good work be my praise, I wanna take an externship somewhere cool where I can get tortured and beaten down by quality chefs. I wanna see respect for ingredients and equipment, respect for passion, money's nice but I don't really care about it all that much. I've been just as miserable with and without but working kitchens as always filled that for me. I've tried to get my boss into food for years but he still would rather have a night at outback than try the new gastropub. I just don't see our relationship advancing in a healthy manner and I can't imagine his new place will be much different. I don't wanna be the next keller or anything similar but working at a place like the spotted pig would be awesome. Thanks for giving me somewhere to vent!
post #2 of 4

I understand your frustrations. Much of the culinary world is full of experiences as those you're eluding to. It's hard to keep personal standards up when everyone else in the kitchen is performing in a substandard manner. It's also hard to deal with it on a daily basis without getting somewhat discouraged. Regardless of the situation I've always insisted on keeping my personal standards a priority. It sounds like your making a good decision on accellerating your learning because this is one way in which one eventually enters the upper brackets of the culinary culture. Once your prepartation meets the right opportunity you will experience the success you're looking for. Sounds like u have good head on your shoulders and are moving in the right direction. Good luck to you.

 

Joe42

post #3 of 4

I think most fields are full of a mixture of people who like what they do and folks that just want a paycheck.  It's frustrating, though.

"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
Reply
post #4 of 4

Mmmh, as a restaurant you CAN do great food and make money. In fact, any successful restaurant is about making money from customers that love the food being served. Obviously, there are those owners that are only about milking their customers, but they won't last. They often won't even see the end of their first year in business. Then there are those owners who know their market and make the most of it. Then there are those owners who are merely idealistic, ignore the business side and eventually go belly up. These are your three options.

 

You're not telling us enough about your boss. Is he the restaurateur with the magic touch that sets up places that just work? You could be on to a good thing if you were willing to match your ambitions with a business-minded approach.

 

I don't know the Spotted Pig, but if you want to work for a top-notch restaurant rest assured that they will teach you how to make money!

 

I do understand your frustration, though. If you have any say in the kitchen you're working at, make sure you find people you enjoy working with. Easier said then done, but they are out there!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › What happened to taking pride in your work?