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Learning In The Industry

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone, 


So I am new to this forum and excited to learn new ideas from everyone. My journey in the culinary industry has been an interesting one. Started out at the age of 16 at a fast food pizza joint, then joined the Air Force as a cook, separated from the AF and went to Le Cordon Bleu. After that I started a job as a breakfast cook at a hotel which I did not enjoy. Then moved to a resort hotel that had 5 restaurants. I enjoyed this job but it wasn't the quick paced, high volume restaurant that I was looking for. I now relocated to Seattle and found a job that I love and I am doing very well in. I can work every station on the line (broiler, fryer, middle, saute, pasta, etc) However I am looking for some advice to become a better line cook. Maybe some advice in creativity, techniques or anything that can make me a better cook. I am hoping to move up the chain and become a lead on the line but I know I have a lot of learning to do before that happens. I also have a problem with thinking that I am not good enough and EVERYONE is better than me which makes me think that I don't have a chance in moving up the chain. I know this is a personal issue but if anyone has any guidance it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening and I look forward hearing from everyone. 

post #2 of 3

Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. 


Just be prepared, always have your Mise ready to go. Constantly research fundamental cooking techniques. Read and re-read cook books. Explore ethnic foods. Ask if you can prepare a lunch/dinner special. Ask your Sous or Exec to help you cost out your special. Ask everyone you feel is better than you what they are doing, why they are doing it that way. Be a sponge. Taste everything you cook. Don't be afraid to change jobs once you have learned everything you can at a given place. 


A book called On Food and Cooking: The science and lore of the kitchen is one of my favorites. 

post #3 of 3

Hey @NintendoSkaChef


When I was younger I had the same issue as you, and I had all the experience with every station, etc., etc. I found out that when I focused on one station and kept pumping it out day in and day out, it built my confidence. For me it was saute, and soon I was rocking it out with the best of them, doing things I never thought I could do. The place I was working would have two saute cooks on Friday and Saturday nights for a 16 eye station. Soon, I was working the 16 eyes myself. Then I was able to move on to other stations with the confidence I had from saute, and built my career.


I learned I was trying to be good at everything, when I needed to be great at one thing which flipped the switch, to get me on the path to where I wanted to go. If you do not believe in yourself, you portray that to others whether you intend to or not. You have to look at yourself, and believe me its not always easy or will you like everything you see, and figure out what is holding you back. 


I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but you can read every book, literature, etc., but until you look inside yourself, nothing will change. I speak from experience. I think I speak for any chef who really cares, you will always have doubts, but it is how you handle them which can make the difference between being a good chef and a great chef.


A friend of mine who I was speaking to recently, asked me why are do some chefs come off cocky? I told him that some people take it as cockiness, I take it as someone who is confident and knows what they want for the end result. In my own experience when hiring a chef, I want them to have a bit of a swagger, confident. It can not be faked and is easily seen through when it is.

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