Allow me to introduce myself..

Joined Sep 2, 2016
Hello all, I would like to introduce myself and explain my intent and expectations from participating to this forum.
& a bit of a long read but I d like to share a brief part of my introduction to the kitchen and my current position in life.. please leave a comment

My name is irrelevant, 26 year old high school drop out. Recovering drug addict '''still drink, working on quitting''' . Found passion and possibilities of a bright future working as either line cook or chef '''oh this story again'''. But my hunger for becoming a chef is growing much faster than I expected. I see mistakes where many lack to figure out or even want to work on. I see potential where there is lack of motivation. I see lack of appreciation and heartless non participant people in very important positions. I also see and experience the 'special treatment' which can be devastating to a team of underpaid and overworked staff. I have many of the VERY important skills and attributes many lack to have such as - cleanliness, loudspeaker, very attentive, energetic/hyperactive, love to learn, passion. My weaknesses are : plating, colorblind, weak palate, sharp tongue, women & of course liquor.
I never was allowed to make food at home as my mother would always make food because she didn t trust me with using stoves or anything that could be destructive. I couldnt even clean the dishes... So as the years passed by i grew up without ever learning how to cook ANYTHING else than pasta and eggs. I was useless.

My introduction was as a busboy at the age of 18 i quickly realized I wouldnt last long because human beings can be such worthless crap to other humans when allowed the opportunity to be. So I tried working other jobs, years passed by, events were damaging to my ego and self esteem and my well being in general. Turned to drugs, hard drugs until it became a habit. I eventually found a job as a dishwasher and I felt some kind of interest in being part of the fast working, violent speaking and rough lessons kitchen work has to offer. I was very intimidated because it did not look easy.. First raise after a few months felt great. Became a cook at my 2nd dish washing job after being refused a promotion at the first one. Became sous chef after 8 months because our sous chef rage quit. At this point I was at my very lowest, I would do a few grams of blow every couple of nights until I realized all the potential I had. I was working as sous chef, leading a team of 3 cooks serving between 10-80 clients a night getting every order out with close to no returns, being kind, attentive and most importantly FAIR to my cooks with a pretty angry and depressive chef. We very quickly grew a good relationship which helped our teamwork EXPONENTIALLY. Now I quit this first cook job because of all the drugs and bad influences, coked up boss who wouldnt pay the full hours I was working, new cooks with no experience messing everything up and not wanting to change with very bad attitude.

I'm currently working garde manger in a 4 star hotel which lacks motivation and teamwork in the kitchen staff. Racism and special treatment is making me want to leave for something new and i m looking into Italian restaurants to stick to my roots.. Also trying to get some good habits such as boxing and cooking at home, dropped all my bad influence friends, sex as much as I possibly can and staying far away from coke. Im also trying to figure out ways that i can work on my palate and plating... I sometimes feel like these are hereditary skills that many people lack of but those who have it, are VERY impressive. But I'm also open to believing i can overcome and become a very strong and experienced chef who can share his knowledge as this is what I live for.. experiences.

I would very very much appreciate people to share their stories as I can t find anything more interesting than REAL HUMAN FEELINGS. Sharing your personal experiences which you think most people don t wanna hear can help yourself and others reading this.

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Joined Jul 7, 2017
First of all, don't feel like the lone ranger. Lot's of people fall into this line of work out of desperation, or just a total lack of marketable job skills. The good part is that in the right environment, everyone can learn and progress. It is important to find a mentor who can keep you focused on learning and growing. That can be hard, since we are all busy people. Taking the time to help the next generation of cooks and chefs achieve their dreams takes a lot of patience and dedication. As far as the bad habits, I can tell you that if you ever want to grow beyond a journeyman chef at a so so Italian joint in Indianapolis, you need to get that stuff under control. The restaurant industry is not like Anthony Bourdain talks about in Kitchen Confidential anymore. Human resources departments, and increasingly bottom line oriented corporations have put an end to that. As a mentor of mine always said, you are only as good as your last P&L. You may not have the greatest palate or plating abilities, but can you make money for the owners. That's all that matters. Surround yourself with solid people who possess the skills you lack and together you will make a formidable team. I will never produce food like Jose Andres or Guy Savoy, but I can wrangle $250,000.00 a day in F&B revenue into profitability, with year over year growth. That's what makes me valuable to my employer. Prove that you have his/her best interest at heart when you make decisions, and you will find you have a very rewarding and stable career. And remember, don't get your meat where you get your bread. It inevitably leads to problems.
Best of luck to you.
Joined Sep 2, 2016
Surround yourself with solid people who possess the skills you lack and together you will make a formidable team.
I couldn t agree with you more... that s exactly what im working on right now.. i need to find a new restaurant that I will fit right into the team and be the missing puzzle and eventually build some network/ressource/reputation with big names... I know I have it in me I just have to get steppin.

Thanks man
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