Okay time for my story.
I work in a restaurant, formal, not casual but not fne dining how i love.
I´m big on modern/contemporary cuisine, and i´m big on asian/african/latin cooking i love big flavors. The place is basically italian/brazilian very plane jane menu but it´s not the worst place to work at.
There are two chefs in my kitchen. The morning chef and the night chef. I work 2 weeks in the morning and 2 weeks at night, so i get to have two types of work experiences.
The morning chef is extroverted, very high on energy, very nice and i think he as a friend he is great, as a cook he´s terrible. He gets easily frazzled, he´s lazy, he doesnt prep, he kisses a lot of arse especially our exployers arses and he´s just down right a clown. He doesnt do paperwork, he doesnt develop menu ideas, he hardly even has contact with our purveyors. I have more contact with our reps, i develop and experiment new menu ideas, and some days i do my prep and his prep pre-service. So you can bet i get pretty mad seeing someone put in no effort while i do so much and get poorly rewarded (no $$$$ for me).
Not that i want to be the chef, but you know giving me a salary boost wouldnt be a bad deal considering im doing his job lol.
The dude is nice and all, but im there to work and progress, everyday i do my best or attempt to so i don´t know why he just cant put his best foot forward. Hés the kind of dude that marks his presence in the kitchen just for the salary, i´m sure if he could just show up clock in, sleep and clock out he would.
The other chef, the night chef is great. He teaches me a lot, gives me recipes, stays by myside and really tries to pass on his knowledge and positively influence me. He does paperwork, he also has contact with purveyors, and develops menu ideas. He works fast, preps a lot with the kitchen staff.
His problem is that he is not the cleanest in the kitchen, he cleans but very little, actually he avoids doing the tough/heavy cleaning in the kitchen, and i think its imporant for a chef to be that role model even during the pesky tasks so its a strike i have always had against him, that and aside from the cleaning he has a tough atitude.
Some may call him rude or harsh, and there have been cooks who have had verbal arguments with him in and out of the kitchen, but he is my chef and how can i not respect the dude teaching me something. So actually i accept the critics and try to be professional and take in what he is saying and interpret it as a form of showing he cares.
Actually he really doesnt treat me poorly, i´m probably among the few cooks that some may be considered priveldged by him, just because he does not treat me as poorly as the others.
What i do is always consider the positive. The place i work at has four partners, all are very good people, there not the best bosses, but there certainly not the worst, and they really do try to establish a relationship with the staff, and i being the professional i am and always trying to just be a good person, have a good relationship with all of them.
Since they are my bosses in reality and are the ones who pay my salary i focus on making sure my work is making not only the chefs happy but them as well.
With the first chef i mentioned, i just do all the work, i just work over him, put out food, and try to do my best. If he gets in my way i´ll just run him over. I work clean and quiet finish both our preps, let him think he is being vital to the service and finish the day on a high note not strangling him in the kitchen and getting good raves on my food. My bosses are well aware that he isnt putting in the effort and kitcen staff has been noticing i´m putting in a lot of work, I don´t want his position, but i do want him the hell out of the kitchen. Regardless of me liking him or not i´m there to work, and if i am unhappy and unsatisfied with myself and the food i am putting out noticing that my job is in fact the reason for any negativety i will just quit.
We already work in a tiring and ruthless industry, what we do is absuive to our bodies and minds, so what gets us through it is the ecstacy of working and enjoying what we do, if a line cook is unhappy while already in an environment like ours then he needs to seek happiness else where.
Thats where the night chef comes in. Even though he is labeled the a**hole, he is the guy that works the hardest, that teaches me and mentors me. He is the guy keeping sh*t in check, and even though he isn´t the best chef i have worked with it isn´t bad working with him. His personality isn´t the best, and he is very assertive and verbally aggressive in the kitchen, but i can understand that sometimes the mistakes i or the staff makes definetely would deserve a backhand slap lol. So the solution is to do my best, work had, double check, organize and not make mistakes or at least avoid making them as much as possible. So far its getting me well noticed and i´m winning him over.
If you are working, putting in the time and effort and your chef is obviously the weak link in the kitchen maybe it may just be your time to work else where. After all cooks look for guidance and mentorship, they are there to learn as well even if it is something involuntary. Do you feel like your progressing, learning, and feeling content with your job?? If your answer is no, then you probably already know the next step. Sometimes the chef may just seem inactive and could be interpreted as being lazy, when he is in fact "a jedi master, like yoda" who´s appearence fools you. In other situations he would maybe just be marking his presence to make sure he is earning his wage like the morning chef i work with.
Sorry for the long post, hope i offered something useful.
Edited by KaiqueKuisine - 5/31/16 at 9:03pm