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Best piece of advice you ever received?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I can remember coming out of culinary school thinking because I knew the basics I would immediately be promoted within 2 years and be an Executive Chef by 25. LoL. I worked under a James Beard nominee chef for 3 years and the best piece of advice he gave me was 3 months after I knew him. He said (I was 23 at the time) "From the age you are now to 30 you should be like a sponge, not chasing money, but knowledge and soaking in all information and you will know the moment it is time to move up." I took that piece of advice and ran with it. Eventually becoming an Executive Chef at 30. So it made me curious, what is the best piece of advice you all had received? 

post #2 of 11
I dont know if its advice or more just words of wisdom that I got when I was a wee nobody hacking vegies and washing dishes when I was 13, "Dont serve anything you wouldnt serve your mother and proudly charge her full retail for". Also " treat your staff like family"
post #3 of 11

""Get out of the restaurant business and get into banquet catering"" That's where the $ is.

I was told this in the early 60s by a Chef who represented the USA in the culinary Olympics in Lucerne in 1954  his name was Ernest Meir. I thanked him in my head everyday for the next 50 years. "" God bless you Uncle Ernie''

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #4 of 11

Would have to say the best advice I ever got was when I was promoted to Sous Chef in my very first hotel and the Executive Chef took me aside and said:

Treat your kitchen as you want it to treat you

 

Must say, never had many problems with cooks / chefs / service due to that.

post #5 of 11

being late is disrespectful.

being on time is late.

being early is respectable.

being to early makes you look like a fool.

 

this is also said when working a line you say 2 minutes make sure your food is up and ready before a minute and 59 seconds hits. but not shortly after a minute is up and your food is dieing on the pass for another minute.

post #6 of 11

Watch your sense/cents and the dollars will take care of themselves.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #7 of 11

While at a food show many years ago I met a retired Master Chef. I asked him, "Since we will never work together and I will never see you again, What is the most important thing you could pass along to me." 

After thinking for a minute he replied, "Keep learning".

He was right.  

post #8 of 11

When I was at the CIA, I did several interviews with the administrative staff and a few chefs.  Their advice to me: was be defined by how you get up rather than how you fall down.  In my own words of course, but the jest of their meaning is: your going to fall down, cut yourself and at times hardship will befall you, don't stay down too long and get back on your feet with a smile on your face!  Be thankful in all things.

post #9 of 11

"Refuse the t-shirt, remember the lesson."  

Essentially my favourite old chef I looked up to said this to us all. He said this industry is rife with egos, how you take things that happen in the kitchen and what you do with it will ultimately determine how far you go and the impact you will have in this industry. So when they say been there done that got the t-shirt.............he said refuse the t-shirt as that is the burden of the past and ego driven and take the lesson so that when the situation comes around again you will be more prepared to handle it successfully and with grace. 

post #10 of 11

Was 18 at the time, and was told to make dessert for one of the bosses and his friends by the head. Made a choc truffle torte. So afterward, head chef goes down to the bosses party to chat and after a while I get called to their table, I got so much praise for my dessert and all I could do was stand there smiling. Head chef walked me back to the kitchen and said "Give Credit Where Credit is Due"

So now, when ever one of my minions does something, and gets praise for it, or a compliment from the table, I make sure he knows about it, and gets the credit.

post #11 of 11

There are a couple quotes that stand out.

 

You ain't shit, be humble.

 

Chill, it's just food.

 

Show no emotion, a good cook is a machine.

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