Advice needed

Joined Jun 6, 2009
Im a chef de partie at an italian restaurant in Vancouver. Its a very well known company and there are alot of really good opportunities to be had within the company (7 restaurants). My question for the seasoned chefs out there: I am pulling 14-16hr days (i dont mind) but am doing it to pick up the slack of my sous chef, who deems it okay to pull an 8hr shift and go home because "there's nothing to do". I am a young buck(22) and want to progress further in the culinary world. I dont really care about getting to the sous chef position just yet. I just want to cook and to learn. I feel like because im just mopping up the mess of other people im putting on hold the learning that i want to be getting right now. I know i want to move to a different restaurant, but ive been asking around and it seems like this time of year is not so good for looking for a stable job. I am on salary right now, so the guaranteed money is very nice. What do you all think i should do? Jump ship and get into a finer dining restaurant where i can learn more.. or stick it out and see what happens?

I appreciate the time.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
I would stick it out for now but keep your eyes open for something better, but keep in mind... the grass is not always greener on the other side so be careful in your search. I'm a little concerned at the work ethic of your sous... in my kitchen the KM and I are on the line working just like everyone else and we feel that we set the example for the kithen staff to follow, and if that means rolling up our sleeves and working the dish pit then that's what we do.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
No one says you can't learn AND mop up other messes. If you're there the whole day you can observe what happens on the lunch shift as well as the evening shift.

If the chain has 7 sisters and you quit, you're passing up an opportunity to work for some of the other 6 sisters as a fully trained staff.
Joined Oct 18, 2007
As you said, there are a lot of opportunities where you're at.
As far as your Sous, is this a regular occurance or occasional?
Sometimes a Sous will take advantage of an opportunity to cut out if they regularly put in long hours.
Besides the guaranteed money, that's one of the perks.
Right now I'm extremely busy, but you know once the chance arrives I'm squeezing in a 3 day weekend.
Joined Apr 5, 2007
A couple of things to remember about a sous cutting "early" (or before you)

1) It generally means that they trust you to your breakdown correctly. If the sous hung around until you finished your sides it could indicate that he/she has a reason to think that you're doing something wrong.

2) When it comes to end of night tasks it financially makes more sense for the sous to leave before the rest of the kitchen. Why have the highest paid employee mop the floor or put out the last deserts?

Ypu are in the doing your time phase, and it sounds like you're doing it right. If you are thinking of leaving I would recommend sticking it out into the new year, ideally until after Valentines day. After these two major crunch times you can leave with respect and probably a good reference.

Joined Aug 21, 2009
I always try to make sure the kitchen is in good shape for closing before I leave (we close at 3pm daily) and if they are behind I will stay back and give them a hand until I see they're ok. I try and watch my hours though as I know I am the most expensive employee on shift when the KM is off, but it is my responsibility to make sure the kitchen runs smoothly and is in good shape prep wise for the morning.
Joined Dec 4, 2009
If you feel the Sous is taking advantage of you and your working harder then him, I say continue working harder then him. If the higher ups(Exec Sous or Exec w/e title it may be) are good at what they do, your hard work will be noticed and appreciated. I would personally say something to the sous straight up, although I am sure the Chefs have already noticed and the sous won't be around too long and by the time he is canned you might feel ready to take his position.
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