I have noticed recently that a lot of cooks/chefs and everything else in between are writing so called open letters to ….I don’t know who ,in regards to working in a kitchen.
Lets get one thing straightened out and made very clear from the very beginning…it is hard work and dedication that will dictate how far a newborn cook will go in the culinary field. Nothing else.
Working in a kitchen is hard physically and mentally and it gets harder as you get older. It is hot , stressful and sometimes ridiculously monotonous . It is not a place where someone can walk in and demand something from seasoned cooks, cry a river when things don’t go their way and have an attitude that says “look at my degree and I should be in charge”. No it is quite the opposite ,starting from the bottom in a kitchen and doing the chores that are assigned to you is a must and has to be done. So if you don’t like peeling potatoes or onions or just don’t like being told what to do you will not last very long and eventually hate everything in a kitchen. Showing an attitude of entitlement will only last until your first paycheck and that will probably be your only one as well.
But …if you put your head down, listen to senior members or the Chef of the kitchen brigade and follow their instructions there is a chance you can succeed. Doing what is asked and not argue will ensure your learning curve stays on the up and up. Walking in to a kitchen and stating I am not doing this or that because it is beneath me and I have a degree will almost certainly guarantee a miserable existence. Working hard , wanting to learn and just paying attention , never saying no will get you so much further and eventually to where you want to be.
It is not an easy job , but nothing is easy if it was easy then it would be no fun.
So my advice to young cooks wanting to succeed in a kitchen and move up the ranks is quite simple..
-you are not entitled to anything ,remember that.
-never say no
-don’t limit your self “saying I cant work this day or that ” will make sure you become the last person to move up.
If this seems impossible then a kitchen is not a work place for you , if any of it seems unreasonable working anywhere will become very hard.
Remember you have to start with something somewhere .
Work hard, be dedicated and success follows .