During this time the company was looking to expand and hired a very experienced chef to spearhead a new flagship restaurant in Beverly Hills. When I began working with this Chef he asked me if I was interested in working at the new restaurant with him. OF COURSE. I was thrilled to learn from him. Also there was no other kitchen staff hired for the new restaurant at this point. I had a great position to stick my foot in the door. He assured me that this new restaurant would be fine dining at its best. All I wanted was to work in a world class fine dining kitchen where I could learn from great Chefs and make my bones.
Over the next year I worked as this Chef's right hand. Learning his recipes and techniques. Eventually he started holding tastings for a CDC,Executive Sou and Executive Pastry positions. I assisted all of his applicants during their tastings and when they were chosen I was already part of the team. As the opening date drew near we got hold of a test kitchen and the four of us ( Chef, CDC, Exec Sou and myself) spent 6 weeks developing the menu. During this time I learned countless techniques and skills essential to cooking in a fine dining restaurant. Fresh pasta, gnocchi, ravioli, agnolotti, killer stocks, sauce work, marinades, sou vide and dehydration techniques as well as fermentation and aging processes. It was truley a boot camp. Together we did promotional dinners for uber VIPS and tastings for owners and partners in the project. I would also like to add that I was NEVER LATE, always early. Always taking notes, quiet and very aware of the fact that I was in a very lucky position to be exposed to something on this level this early in my career.
We finally get into the restaurant and begin training. At this point a Jr Sou has joined us and the 5 of us worked 16 hour shifts 2 weeks straight before opening... I will be honest. At this point I thought that I was in line for a jr sou position. I had keys to the restaurant, A repor with the entire company, and I knew the recipes backwards and forwards. I waited. I worked an insane amount of time off the clock. I kept my head down and worked as fast and clean as I possibly could, knowing that every day the CDC would lay into me because he was old school. I liked it. Honestly I felt like we were going to make a name for ourselves.
Now we are near the 6 month mark and everything has changed. The CDC that was so focused on technique has been let go, also our amazing pastry Chef who I was blessed to work with is also gone. With them the standards have dropped. Our stocks have been streamlined for labors sake. Our new pastry Chef is forced to put out found that she is ashamed of. The owners/partners are making the menu now, and the kitchen team is not allowed to put up anything "unapproachable". Basically if you know anything about food our menu would just confuse you. I feel the Chef who I have worked so closely with become detached. He refuses to let his name be associated with the menu, though he still runs the day to day. The new CDC ( previously the Ex Sou( with whom I did his original tasting with)) mocks me openly in the kitchen. Keeping myself and everyone I know under constant threat of sodomy. Lol this is actually kind of funny but still irritating. Worst of all he has brought in his own team of friends/sous and now my position is back to that of a lunch shift grill cook.
I realize at this point that I must sound like a bitch. Any cook worth his salt knows that you have to STFU and so what your told by your superiors. I get that and trust me I follow that every day. ALWAYS YES CHEF. But the situation has gotten to be so abusive and heart breaking, especially coming from the prospective of someone that was a part of the intire opening process. I cannot even put up food that makes SENSE anymore. Not to mention the obvious lack of soigné.
My question is what do I do? Do I stay in this kitchen until I hit the 1 year mark? Should I immediately look for another job? Should I STFU and keep my eyes on the fucking cutting board???