Advice for a new chef?

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Joined May 15, 2020
So I wouldnt exactly call myself a chef-yet, but I know that at some point I'll be able to earn that title and wear it proudly. But the issue is I feel like I make too many mistakes, I mean I learn from every mistake I make but it almost feels like for every one I learn from I male 2 mpre during my shift. I graduated from culinary school so I should know better than to do these silly things and I'm scared that my chefs would fire me for screwing up so many times
...but they havent yet and so far they've been very patient with me but I'm kind of worried that even that has a shelf life....so my question is at what point do I go from constantly screwing up to making progress and moving forward?
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
One of my mentors told me that I wouldn't be a chef until I had made my first 5,000 mistakes. :~)
Mistakes have the potential to teach me much more than when I do things correctly because when I do things correctly I am too busy patting myself on the back and saying "well what did you expect?". When I make a mistake I will delve into and pay attention to the why and how much more than when something turns out.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Where did you get the idea that chefs with a certain amount of experience never make mistakes?
What do you consider a mistake? Making new mistakes is a part of learning.
Sure you should never stop learning but you never reach the point where you avoid mistakes entirely.
What your chefs see is someone who works hard to do their best. Less stress over making mistakes and more concentration on simply doing the work should help you some. My only advice without knowing you is to mentally slow down a little and focus on doing each task correctly from start to finish. This may seem strange advice but better efficiency allows you to complete the overall day with fewer errors. Over time you build up speed at doing multiple tasks but by concentrating on each one at a time.
Eventually you may notice that certain tasks become almost automatic and you have become proficient without realizing it. Then you move on to more challenging tasks and conquer them.
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
Making mistakes is one thing, and making the same mistakes over and over is another. No one is perfect and we can all learn regardless of position in a kitchen. The important thing is to learn from them. I never really make a big deal out a mistake with my staff unless it is a huge health or safety issue, but if it becomes a repeat problem then it has to be readdressed.
 
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Joined Jun 8, 2017
I used to worry about this all of the time when I first started out. The great thing about a kitchen is team effort and understanding. Slowing down a bit is good advice because you can focus more on the task. Plus, a more experienced cook can always help you if they aren't busy. At some restaurants other cooks have helped me with my prep to help 'pick up the slack', and along the way I improved to where I could help newer people when they were struggling. As long as you show effort, progress and have a good attitude you'll be just fine. You can always ask your chef for advice if you feel you're doing terrible. Most of the time they will reassure you and give you some helpful tips. Just breathe and get the negative thoughts out of your mind. Those will slow you down a lot more than a couple mistakes here and there. Keep at it and stay positive! A good attitude goes a long way in a kitchen.
 
526
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
I used to worry about this all of the time when I first started out. The great thing about a kitchen is team effort and understanding. Slowing down a bit is good advice because you can focus more on the task. Plus, a more experienced cook can always help you if they aren't busy. At some restaurants other cooks have helped me with my prep to help 'pick up the slack', and along the way I improved to where I could help newer people when they were struggling. As long as you show effort, progress and have a good attitude you'll be just fine. You can always ask your chef for advice if you feel you're doing terrible. Most of the time they will reassure you and give you some helpful tips. Just breathe and get the negative thoughts out of your mind. Those will slow you down a lot more than a couple mistakes here and there. Keep at it and stay positive! A good attitude goes a long way in a kitchen.
I don't think people realize often enough that if you show you are a hard worker and a nice person, your coworkers will be much more willing to help you. And always return the favor if you can.
 
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Joined Jun 8, 2017
I don't think people realize often enough that if you show you are a hard worker and a nice person, your coworkers will be much more willing to help you. And always return the favor if you can.
I definitely can attest to that! I've been fired for having a horrible attitude but never for being slow in the kitchen. I had to take a hard look at myself and change some things. Lots of lessons learned in the kitchen that people wouldn't expect.
 
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