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How's it going /nom/

- Mon, 12 Aug 2019 10:18:26 EST lLm8Sw/e No.159458
File: 1565619506379.jpg -(45281B / 44.22KB, 480x480) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. How's it going /nom/
Hey guys,

I need advice.

I am unsure if I want to be a chef. I've worked in a restaurant environment since I was 16 (I'm 19 now) so I know how intense it can get at times. That's what bothers me though, I'm pretty sure I'm going to an hero from the stress and work hours, but then again I'm very passionate about food and cooking. I'd love the idea of making my own food and managing a kitchen.

I'm not sure if I want to commit to something like this though, is it really all that bad? Any chefs/culinary arts students have words of encouragement/discouragement.
Urbain Dubois - Mon, 12 Aug 2019 12:32:21 EST uo8eszVS No.159459 Reply
Idk but a cousin of mine was a chef. He got addicted to coke because of the stress and had to go to rehab. He's been clean for a while now and works at some charity/nonprofit thing where he helps ex cons, the homeless, junkies etc. cooking skills so they can get a job.
Marcus Samuelsson - Mon, 12 Aug 2019 13:36:53 EST 7PreVkZv No.159460 Reply
1565631413276.jpg -(1363270B / 1.30MB, 3024x4032) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
currently working in my first "proper" pastry chef position, fairly high-end london restaurant - honestly not *amazing* but charges an absolute fucking dime and as such gets some predictably expensive ingredients: wagyu, truffles blah blah

anyway got it on a bit of a stroke of luck, the previous head pastry chef was a bit of an eccentric (brewing his own kombucha in his locker, giving it to staff) and took a shine to me on my trial. Actually most cooking jobs ive got seem to have been lucky breaks...the right amount of passion and luck

but enough setting the stage i guess. What i can say from my year in this place, long hours, mad busy etc through my careful observation of both my section and the way the kitchens operate is that the turnover in pastry is slower and the sense of team effort is way more of a thing. Ive witness Entire sections of the kitchen (cold starters, grill, prep chefs) rotate out their entire team 5-6 times as people have left out of burnout or frustration. Conversely, the pastry section is more or less pretty solid

Now take me - i LOVE cooking, literally a day ago i planned an entire menu for my folks bbq party, provided and prepared all the dishes and brought them with me because i love to cook so much and get so excited about it. Im still in a food environment, as a pastry chef, im still friends with sous chefs and head chefs and asking about what they do, learning where i can, trying to recreate things at home

Personally i think its a pretty good balance, pastry at work, food at home. Maybe in some ways it even helps prevent you getting bored of just one thing. But i think it really can be said that pastry (while not without its challenges) is generally more cohesive and less stress. But our restaurant treats its staff like shit. not even just commis, everyones under the thumb of the exec chef. I dont think this is particularly rare, especially in "serious" restaurants with 400+ covers and five walk-in fridges. These are the places where youll actually learn things though, and not pick up bad habits

just hang in there, dont be a quitter. Someone tries to grind you down by busting your chops over every small mistake you do, show them you can be better than that. Youll come out stronger from never crumpling.
Frédy Girardet - Mon, 12 Aug 2019 20:26:59 EST lLm8Sw/e No.159462 Reply
Thanks for sharing, what are your work hours?

Tbh I'm not much of a "high end" kind of chef, I don't mind it as an internship. I'm more interested in the big family-type restaurant.
Giada De Laurentils - Mon, 12 Aug 2019 21:10:51 EST DFXMoKF5 No.159464 Reply
>I'm more interested in the big family-type restaurant.
If I may be a cunt, just stick to home cooking if you want to heat up frozen foods for people.

All that aside, I think the most enjoyable way to work in the food industry is to buy a small cafe and serve a small front-of-house with a small menu that you change whenever you feel like it. That's what I'd do at least. You can never get too packed, because seating is limited, and you don't have to have 50 dishes ready to go for people. You can focus on just 8-13 and blow people's minds with good food.

That's my take on it anyway. Good luck in whatever you pursue.
Frédy Girardet - Tue, 13 Aug 2019 00:38:38 EST lLm8Sw/e No.159470 Reply
Or a hotel kitchen, that works too.

I was thinking that or a small bistro like you said as well.
Frédy Girardet - Tue, 13 Aug 2019 00:56:43 EST lLm8Sw/e No.159471 Reply
Oh, but I don't mind working for say a 3-6 years in a professional kitchen, it's just something I don't think i can commit my entire life to. I want family, kids, social life by some extent. I'm fine with working 80 or 90 hours.

I do like this idea however, so thank you.
Chen Kenmin - Tue, 13 Aug 2019 05:16:14 EST 7PreVkZv No.159475 Reply
14-15 hours on a bad or busy day

> I'm more interested in the big family-type restaurant.

again i cant stress this enough, get your chops in a serious place that does things to strict standards. stick around a year or two, land a promotion or two, youll be able to have your pick for your next job with a strong resume and experience in managing yourself, your section, and people around you.
Frédy Girardet - Tue, 13 Aug 2019 10:27:11 EST lLm8Sw/e No.159476 Reply
I actually plan on going to some serious culinary school to get the real hands-on feeling.
Sidoine Benoît - Tue, 13 Aug 2019 12:28:09 EST XycWBqIj No.159477 Reply
You should get some experience in a kitchen before you go to school for it. It isn't for everybody.

Ps family businesses are usually good for the family. Everyone else, not so much.
Rick Bayless - Wed, 14 Aug 2019 00:00:05 EST vgjWj7yz No.159486 Reply
>I'm pretty sure I'm going to an hero

That's pretty wild to see a 19 year-old use a meme from over a decade ago.
Alain Senderens - Sat, 17 Aug 2019 13:07:44 EST 7PreVkZv No.159545 Reply
money down the toilet - most people in the industry will tell you that

pick up fundamentals in the kitchen, look at supplimentary courses to further your education later

i would even say that the internet is a grossly underestimated source of a huge amount of the information youll pick up in a 22k course. You just need to have the discipline to manage yourself, apply yourself, take notes, set yourself techniques to practice etc

dont get in debt for a piece of paper
Toshiro Kandagawa - Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:10:55 EST 4KmmhmSM No.159548 Reply
Don't kill yourself just develop and alcohol and drug dependence like everyone else
Rose Gray - Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:24:44 EST z6aPUCEb No.159552 Reply
yeah this. you're not getting a "hands-on feeling" from a culinary school. There's no angry servers, or coked out dishwashers, or angry drunk customers, or dirty kitchens, etc. I've never worked in a kitchen but the hard part isn't really the cooking, it's working with a bunch of misfits that didn't get into anything better.

Nothing against cooks but the barrier to entry is low, and until you're real fucking pro, you're just pretty much another line cook.

But like I said I haven't worked in a kitchen, but I've known lots of people who have.

Here's Bourdain's advice, 28:56:


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