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And miles to go before I sleep...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Today I had a short day, didn't go in for lunch, just dinner.  I smoked a nice pastrami yesterday and left instructions for the staff to feature it out for lunch.  When I got in they told me they sold a crapload of pastrami sandwiches.  So I go into the walk in cooler and find...the entire brisket on the speed rack, untouched.:confused:

 

So I went up to line and looked around the lowboy to see just what they were "selling the crap" out of and all I could find was some corned beef.  Long and short- the line cook went to the lead and the sous to see what meat to use and both of them told him that the corned beef was pastrami!:eek:  Even after he pointed out that it was kind of light and didn't smell smokey at all they insisted it was pastrami.  Guess they had no idea what that big hunk of pastrami on the speed rack was...:rolleyes:

 

I inherited the staff including the lead and the sous, and despite talking to them about how to make pastrami and even letting them try the last batch they can't tell it from corned beef.

 

Miles to go before I sleep!  The place I'm running is in a small town, and there isn't a deep broad pool of skilled cooks to hire from.  I once was sous of a restaurant in a town of 15,000 and I thought it was hard to get good help there!  But this is a whole nuther animal entirely.  It has been interesting to say the least!  It's been a challenge to get nice food in the window when some of the guys have no culinary experience at all.  At least some of them are hard workers and interested in learning.  I can see though it's gonna require baby steps.  It's not a matter of learning to walk before we can run- some of them need to be shown how to crawl.

"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
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"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
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post #2 of 13

I understand and feel your frustration........but..........YOU LEFT INSTRUCTIONS????

If your crew is that inexperienced, perhaps YOU should have been there, if for no other reason, then to point out the pastrami.

post #3 of 13

I have to agree with Chefross.  I probably would have gone in just to get things started, and to make sure that the crew knew what they were doing.  It sucks, I know, especially if this "short" day was the only time you were able to take off all week, but until you can trust your lead and sous, you will probably need to, at least, make an appearance every day.  The good news, hopefully, is that it will not last for ever.

post #4 of 13

In addition to time and date labels your guys apparently need identification labels. Signs on everything as in "PASTRAMI", "CORNED BEEF"… "CHICKEN"  "PORK"  You are just going to have to state the obvious because apparently it isn't. 

Hopefully not forever but at least for now. 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

They're not even inexperienced!  One graduated from a good culinary school 12 years ago and has worked steadily in the industry.  The other is young but has been a lead or line cook in high volume places for five years. Plus, we've been running the same pastrami sandwich all week!  Believe me, if I'd have suspected in my wildest dreams that between the two of them they couldn't identify a whole smoked pastrami I'd have been there for lunch!:lol:

"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
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post #6 of 13
I feel your pain.
post #7 of 13

of course, on the bright side of things, at least you know the corned beef is popular. :thumb:

post #8 of 13

...and that your customers cannot tell the difference between corned beef and pastrami either...

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMcPherson View Post
 

...and that your customers cannot tell the difference between corned beef and pastrami either...


That's what I told the guys.  If the customers don't notice or care...

"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
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post #10 of 13

Yea, that's fine and all but the next time you run pastrami you better have a bunch of corned beef back up. There was nothing sent back? How small is the town. Do they have TV?

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
 

Yea, that's fine and all but the next time you run pastrami you better have a bunch of corned beef back up. There was nothing sent back? How small is the town. Do they have TV?


Haha!  Probably true.  I have no idea why none came back. The sandwich had horseradish dijonaise and provolone, and it was on a stout marble rye.  I dunno, maybe the other stuff masked it a bit.  We'd been selling them strongly all week with the actual pastrami.  Not weak stuff, either!  Mine has a pretty powerful pepper kick and a nice heavy smoke.

 

Just one of those things that happens in kitchen life...

"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 #12 of 13

in au MOST customers don't send things back , they just don't come back. I feel your pain but I guess its ground zero time for your cooks. get them to EAT ! and really focus on their pallet, without it they are basically a robo' made of meat.

post #13 of 13

PLUS, this could be that opportune moment. EVERY cook remembers THAT chef that helped them take the step from OK to GREAT (or crap to ok) . BE that CHEF. You will live forever in their minds. I remember the couple of chefs that took me to places I didn't even know existed (they are still looking over my shoulder making sure my risotto has fried enough before the stock... or my kidneys are pink just right... oh god... ). You have a real chance to change lives. Not just of the cooks on the line but everyone they might ever cook for. Its kinda depressing right now that they can't tell the difference between two completely different products but as you develop them you will change maybe hundreds of lives, every week. Its a big hill to climb but the chance to change a whole community is all we ask as a cook , to bring a little better to life.

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