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NEW SOUS IN TOWN

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

hello good people

 

so a little brief . 

i have been working with a french chef for past 5 years i  joined him as a commie 3 and have worked my way up today to be his sous chef ( have changed 2 restaurant ( followed him ) ) . 

i have learnt all sections and can fill in any station , have very strong hold on suppliers and my purchase guy . i organize to be more efficient and have always mopped the floor after service ( not compulsively )  but yes i find it helps me remain grounded . 

 

so now to the issue -:

 

he is opening a new place a french tapas joint ( fine dine of sorts ) . opening november 2016 . he told me to be with him( in the paricular city ) 3 months in advance of opening for a meager stipend..( as he cant pay me the proper salary yet )

 to assist him with food trials and organising the supplier database .

 

now what  as this is my first job as sous , and im only 26  . what i need to know is what level of aggression/ anger / strictness do i observeto make the kitchen function like a well oiled machine. 

remember im only 26 so i will deal with people older to me (that is the trickiest part ). 

 

please please seeking some good advice 

post #2 of 11
Using a scale of 1-10

Aggression - 0

Anger - 0

Strictness - 10

Another quality that you left out...Integrity...and make that one an 11.



Know your job, be knowledgeable, show respect for everyone everyday, work as a team member AND leader (instead of just barking at people all the time), show your staff that you're willing to dive in and get your finger nails dirty...and you won't have to worry about any age differences in the kitchen.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah that i already intend to (get in the pits) .
Tell me out of curiosity is being referred to as 'chef ' by subordinates necessary? Is that a way to detect respect . Sorry for such annoying stuff . But I find this place best to clarify my insecurities hahaha
post #4 of 11
It used to bother me in the beginning but there is nothing wrong with them calling you chef. I never insisted though. I have a name very hard to pronounce so I think it came very handy for staff to call me chef. You will get used to it I am sure.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

used to being called by my name?

post #6 of 11

If you're the Sous, then it really is your decision as to what the staff calls you (at least to your face).  I wouldn't personally care if they called me by a title or my name, but that's me...everyone is different.

 

Best of luck to you.

post #7 of 11

An empty title, is nothing but empty. 

What do you prefer to be called? What is most important is what you deliver, and you will get respect accordingly. Ive been lucky and gotten well along with my staff, and the respect has been a two-way thing. We have called each other whatever comes in mind, but it has always been with respect. Sometimes the apprentice gets Johnny, my boy, buddy, knobhead, Dopey, champ and sometimes he gets executive potato peeler, if he is peeling potatoes at the moment. 

 

I guess my point is, worry less about the title. Worry more about earning their respect, and you will be treated, thought of and titled accordingly. Here in Scandinavia we most of the time use "Heard" like the Spanish "Oido", or "Yes, thank you (Ja takk)" instead of Yes Chef. Personally I prefer the "Yes, thank you". Because it gives a sense of respect, but not the fearful kind, and the cooks get the same answer from me as well.

 

My thinking might be different, but Ive never seen the point of having titles and names embroided on jackets either. Unless it serves a function like in huge brigades, or in case you are expected to be among guests, and they might be more pleased being talked to by a guy with a fancy title in a fancy jacket in a fancy restaurant. If you work in a three-man kitchen without the possibility of interacting with the guests, embroided jackets are about nothing but grooming ones ego. If you need the title on your jacket in a closed enviroment to remember people of your position, you are not doing a very good job. /rant

post #8 of 11
I agree with the above - embroidered jackets are for photo shoots and are usually kept pristine clean, hanging in the office just in case chef has to meet a client or is personally asked for by a fussy guest.
Remember, Marco Pierre White, one of the fiercest head chefs, always wore the blue and white striped apron, the same as his lowest spud peeler. This was to demonstrate team over hierarchy.
I worked for an amazing chef who hated being called chef. It's personal. Choose your own path, lead by example and enjoy and reward success, but equally assess and kick arse when things fail.
Good luck!
post #9 of 11

The owner likes to call me 'chef' even though he's known me for many years. I think it makes him feel good to have a "real chef".:lol:  I'm fine with being addressed by my first name most of the time.

"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
Reply
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

i work in a briage of 16 guys under me in the kitchen. 100 pax capacity

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViditAren View Post

i work in a briage of 16 guys under me in the kitchen. 100 pax capacity

Is that big enough for any of them to not know your name and rank?

When I talk of big brigades I think of minimum the double. Big hotels with huge banqueting, breakfast shift, lunchshift, evening shift and a couple of restaurants more. When you work in the same kitchen as people you don't see. That is a valid excuse for titles and embroidery.
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