6 months ago, I put my resume online to explore new kitchens. Nothing.
Last week, I got a call from an Executive Chef who is replacing one who has been let go due to his bad management. The chef told me that he's rebooting the whole deal: equipment, staff, menu, etc. At the end of that call, we agreed that I'd go in today to put in a couple of hours. I did.
I went in, did some simple prep so he could evaluate my knife skills, made a sauce, washed some dishes, and tasted some of his menu items. We briefly spoke about my schedule availability, which is sketchy, due to my being employed in another kitchen and my upcoming fall semester of school. He told me that he's willing to work with me. I appreciate that.
Now, this kitchen is a kitchen I WANT to be working in. The chef is on fire. The kitchen is about to be brand new. He's open to input and ideas. He's experienced, the kitchen is well-equipped already and the menu is unique. This is exactly what I want. After I filled out an application, he walked me out and told me that he'd love to have me on board. When I got home, he called and told me that he'd like for me to come in tomorrow night to interview with the hiring manager and to hang out for a bit. He told me he'd like to have me on schedule next week. I am stoked. I want to start working there immediately, but...what about the kitchen I'm working in right now?
I've been there almost two years. When I started there, there wasn't much traffic. At all. I was there while it grew. The traffic and demand grew so much that the owners expanded the restaurant; they added space, seats, and expanded the menu. I saw this happen and like to feel that I was a part of it. I am the only cook-other than Chef-who has been there since I've been hired. I've trained about 5 cooks, I think, none of whom is currently employed there. I'm currently training a new cook and I know that he won't last. Our kitchen has been a high-strung house of demand for the entire time I've been there. Even with a two-week notice, I feel like I'd be letting them down. Is that just my ego, perhaps? Am I obligated to them just because they've been tolerant of my school schedule and the occasional emergency involving my children? If I were to just tell them this Friday that I won't be in on Tuesday, am I hurting anyone? Am I hurting the restaurant? Should I even care?
I take pride in my work ethic. Even when things get rough, I just tighten my belt and push on through. I like to think that I'm a good cook. I want to be a great cook. I like my kitchen. I want to be in the new kitchen. Why is this a difficult decision for me?