A lot of jobs are like that. A lot of *life* is like that.

They get hired and they come in with stars in their eyes. Everything they know about “being a chef” they learned from TV. And the instructors at the community college sure aren’t going to say anything to break the news to them. So they come in on their first day ready to help the chef plan out the next menu together. And the sous sends them into a corner to chop 5 gallons of onions. Every day is more scut work, and people yelling and cursing, and there are no breaks and they can’t work fast enough and no one will tell them where anything is. Before long, you can see the bitter disillusionment set in.

Then they think, it must just be this kitchen; I landed in a terrible kitchen, that’s all. I just need to find a normal kitchen where they will appreciate me for being me team task management. So they start looking around and asking around, and discover they had completely unrealistic expectations about cooking as a career, and that they made a huge mistake. Maybe they should move back home before their bedroom gets turned into an office…

This was written over at Reddit a couple of weeks ago.

Thrilling if you can afford it

New York restaurants merge the low-margin world of food businesses like grocery stores with taste-predicting industries like Hollywood browse around here.

Source: The Thrill of Losing Money by Investing in a Manhattan Restaurant – The New Yorker

The money quote:

The two decent young men who opened the restaurant remained decent throughout, if numbed by how hard it has been to support their families with a business that has grossed, consistently, two million dollars per year.

This was written by someone who had the money as opposed to the cooks and waitstaff who worked there. Where is their interview? While I’m sure they’ll find to survive in the city the fact remains that they will have to find ways to temporarily cope with their reduced incomes.

As an outsider to the entire scene in NYC, it’s easy to say that if you’re looking to do more than feed elitist economical minorities you need to leave the big cities and head elsewhere.

Came back out of retirement to post this. I still have one or two more things to say, I guess.

More skin for more shifts? No thanks

Should you have to dress sexy to keep your job? Many women working at some of Canada’s popular restaurant chains say they do, which some experts argue is discriminatory.

Source: <a href="http://www Recommended Site.cbc.ca/news/business/marketplace-gender-specific-dress-codes-1.3474289″>Restaurant dress codes: Sexy outfits for female staff may be discriminatory – Business – CBC News

“Yo nada mas vengo al busy”

That’s Spanish for “I only come here for the busy time”

As a fellow cook it’s not something I can say I’m glad to hear. While working during the busy hours makes the time go by that much faster, it also means that you consider anything else beneath your attention, including cleaning up, restocking your station, and letting people know what else should be prepped so there aren’t any nasty surprises for someone else to find.

Cooking in a kitchen is a team effort; you come in, you do your thing, you do it well. But it also means that a certain standard is kept up by everyone in there. If they’re weeded, you help; if you’re weeded, they help you project management team.

When a cook is leaving the kitchen it is a manager’s responsibility to make sure that the cook has stayed up to the standards in that kitchen. Maybe it takes more work, maybe it takes less work, but it’s not just announcing that you’re leaving and then just… leaving, no matter what station’s condition is. The cook has to be held responsible for it.

For myself it is also a question of personal pride. Not just that nobody else will find fault with my work, but also knowing for myself that I did a good job and I can look someone in the eye when I talk about my job.

It’s slow at work

You know what you do when it’s slow?

You clean.

Then you clean some more.

Then you clean the little crevices with a toothpick to get all the gunk out.

Then you wipe everything down with a clean towel and sanitizer and spray the stainless with polish to make it look all nice and pretty.

This is a time where the real cooks prove their mettle. Cooking is not just about how good your food tastes or how delicious it looks. It is also about how clean you keep your station.

Don’t forget to cook those tickets that do come in though.