Can some one please help.

Joined Jan 19, 2016
I have just started a new job 2 months ago after completing 3 years of culinary college. I started a new job at a one star restaurant and after two months i am still struggling to speak to the people their and i believe half of this reason is due to the topic of conversations they have, which constantly evolve around sex in graphic detail and their personal experiences and when i keep quiet as i am not comfortable with the topic of conversation in such explicit ways, they tend to make fun of the fact.

Because i don't join in on the conversations i also find my days tend to drag more and find my self counting down the long hours. Now i have worked in restaurants before whilst at culinary college doing the same hours and none  of them were as graphic as this but they were also not at this level. So I'm wondering if my expectations of a more moderate conversation in such a high level kitchen is too high or whether it is like this in every Michelin kitchen.
Joined May 5, 2010
Welcome to ChefTalk.

More often than not, you are going to find some pretty rough language where ever you go.

This is not endemic to the restaurant culture alone.

Best advice is to grow some thicker skin.

You are there to do a job.

Small talk that goes on in the kitchen is almost always ego driven.

If you ignore the talk, you are labeled. 

If you join in, that makes you the same as them.

Finding a happy medium will take time.

2 months is too short a time.

Your fellow mates are testing your fortitude and stamina.

Don't let them win.

Don't give in.

Best of luck.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
In general, from my experience, kitchen conversations tend towards the sexual, sophomoric, and low brow.  While this may be true, it's also true that there are many, many kitchens out there, run many different ways.  If you don't like the situation at one place then move on to another until you find a place that you fit in.  But don't expect to get away from it completely.  In most of the places I've work, many very high-end, the discussion could go from an in-depth debate about whether European butter is better than American butter, to "your momma" jokes, to which Latin American cuisine is the best, and then to how drunk so and so was last night and who they ended up sleeping with.
Joined May 25, 2015
I agree that you need to grow some thicker skin. You don't have to initiate a conversation or join in but I find that a sense of humor and sarcasm goes a long way.

You don't say whether you are male or female (I assume male). Reason I ask is that if you are female and the male co-workers are making you uncomfortable with their sexual talk it could be construed as workplace harassment. But I don't think I would go there, rather move on. 
Joined Jan 20, 2013
So far everyone has said the same thing.
This is part of kitchen culture, surely you couldn't have been surprised. You need to have a thick skin. You should expect hazing, pranking one upsmanship and trash talk. It means you're one of the gang. And there is always more of this when they is a new person. You are the low man (or woman) on the totem pole. They're testing you, they're trying to make you one of them and they are putting you in your place until the next low man on the totem pole comes along

 And if you prove to be a jerk or too thin skinned you're not going to last long, not just at that house, but in the industry. you don't need to participate. And you can always redirect a sexual innuendo to a non sexual one but still with some attitude or sass..
This has nothing to do with it being a Michelin starred kitchen or not.

If you've worked in restaurants during your internship you know this. But if this place exceeds your level of comfort, move on.
Joined Nov 15, 2015
Suck it up princess, you need to be the one starting the conversation topics if you want this to change, gain the entire crew respect first through your work

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