Chefs who don't like food...

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by momandchef, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. momandchef

    momandchef

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    I have been struggling with this for a few months. I have been working at this restaurant with another chef since Nov. of last year. She is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. She has been working as a chef in the restaurant for about a year, however she says that she is not a chef. There is literally NOTHING on the menu that she likes or will eat. All but 1 kind of cheese we carry in the cheese cases she hates. She had derogatory names for all of them, I just pray she never said them in front of customers. (One she called "Stinky goat pee".)

    I was brought in by the new owner to fill in and to help out with the menu. I (along with the owner) made some changes to the menu, adding some things, taking some things off, etc. She never missed an opportunity to tell me how much she didn't like any of the new dishes, even going so far as to telling me (in front of a customer) that my french onion soup was "disgusting". The owner had asked me to try making some new things (candies, tartlets etc.) for the store (even tho my background is not in pastry/confection) and frankly they have been hugely popular. She had asked this other chef before to and she refused.

    I guess my question is, how (or why) would one be a chef when there are so many things that you hate about food?

    It's not like you get into this business for the money or the flexible work hours.

    Personally, I am a chef because I love food, I love cooking and feeding people. I love working at the cheese counter, educating people on cheese, seeing their faces when they taste a cheese they thought they'd hate and love it. Or pair a cheese with something like honey and the realize how it can completely change the taste. I know I probably sound cheesey, and I'd love to be able to say that I am fresh out of culinary school, but I am in my mid/late 30's and I have been working in the industry off and on since I was 16.

    btw, my boss told me today that she (the other chef) gave her 2 week notice yesterday, then threw a fit when my boss didn't beg her to stay. So next week should be interesting. My boss is un-sure if she even wants her to come back at all given how she acted.
     
  2. aric87

    aric87

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  3. momandchef

    momandchef

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    Oh yes, we have LOTS of cheese jokes between us :)
     
  4. gunnar

    gunnar

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    Well it sounds like a Gouda idea that she leaves. Brie-live me,  people like that just Chevre their opinions on everyone else like a Muenster in a horror movie. If she is feeling Bleu over not being asked to stay maybe she needs to be told "Go back to Stilton, Jack!"

    ok, was reaching for the last two...it's hard to put that many cheese puns in a sentence though.
     
  5. chefross

    chefross

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    OK OK That will be quite "E-NUP" out of you.........
     
  6. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Congrats momandchef on the good job you are doing at your place! 

    It sounds to me that the outgoing chef took the job in need and found out that she really was not cut out for this work.  It is definitely not for everyone. 
     
  7. momandchef

    momandchef

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    Well done! Even my husband was cracking up at those!

    Thanks Lenniek! I am just trying to do the best I can. I believe in the restaurant/store and I want to see it do well.

    We have people coming in this week to interview for the position. My boss told me yesterday that she'd like me to sit in on the interviews. I don't think I have ever been on the other side of the interview table. Any suggestions?
     
  8. gunnar

    gunnar

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    two words: Quickfire Challenge!
     
  9. momandchef

    momandchef

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    Oh I darn near spit out my sweet tea when I read that! LOL. Some days the kitchen does feel like a quickfire challenge!

    I sometimes get a box of random things from the farmers market and have to come up with a lunch special in less than 1 hour. I love a good challenge!
     
  10. deacon

    deacon

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    Congrats momandchef. I know from my personal experience that the ones that bark the loudest after you come come into the picture albeit a promotion or new gig are always the first to leave and when they do, the doors open even wider.
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

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    She should get out of this business. Her reactions to me symbolize someone who is a pesimist and not happy. She should try Welbutron or Prosak for a while and she will improve. In a way I feel sorry for this kind of person. But Good luck to you
     
  12. momandchef

    momandchef

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    Well the last week has been a good one. My boss promoted me to "head chef" and we hired a new girl. She is young, doesn't have too much experience (she worked as an expo for a couple of years before she went into nursing school then realized it wasn't for her). We interviewed her last week and I had her come in for a couple hours on Monday and she did good. She jumped right in when I asked her to. She was a little timid, but she'll get over that when she gets used to us and our "special brand of humor".  But what she lacks in experience she makes up for in passion and eagerness. As I told my boss, I can teach some one how to use a knife, I can't teach them to love food. She is coming in tomorrow to shadow me for the day, open to close, which will be good because Friday is one of our busiest days.

    Today was the other chef's last day, I am sure it wasn't without drama. Frankly I am surprised that she stayed and finished her 2 weeks. Especially after her diatribe, which I was told that my name came up several times. Apparently she didn't like the changes I made to the menu because I created "too much work". She didn't like that I was getting a lot of attention, and when the local paper came and did a review of us, 3 of my origional dishes were singled out as being favorites on the menu & she threw a fit with the boss. (like my boss had any control over what the critic wrote about!)

    She was just a very un-happy person. I'm glad she was gone. Now none of us will have to walk on egg shells at work. We can get back to having fun and cooking some good food!
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Good luck to you and if you have any questions ask,somebody on here will have the answer

    One other thing that you can't teach is TIMEING /  EdB
     
  14. gareth

    gareth

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    Nice one Gunnar,

    I am betting that the angry little chef has an angry little addiction! Go-orn get outa here....an don't come back now.
     
  15. linny29

    linny29

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    I worked with someone similar to that once ... it sucks. I can not respect someone who complains about something that they have the power to change but does nothing! People like that just like the sound of their own voice too much for my taste. Keep us up to date with the whole 2 weeks drama  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif
     
  16. lpcharming

    lpcharming

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    I just joined and thought I could post something here. I have been a Chef for about 4 years and I am a vegetarian so any of the meat dishes that go out of the kitchen someone else checks. I dont even like making the stuff. I do it because it is what I am here to do.... So personal choices cant get in the way of doing our jobs. However under no circumstances will I eat meat =)
     
  17. chefross

    chefross

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    So how do you know that the meat that some one else checks is cooked properly and taste good? YOU are the Chef.
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    If you are sitting as you say on other side of table. Listen don't talk a lot , jot down important comments. As Confusus said "" If you talk , you repeat what you already know,  but If you listen you learn.
     
  19. lpcharming

    lpcharming

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    I check for proper food temps, I just dont eat it =) All the food that goes through my kitchen is always up to temp with proper seasoning and presentation. I should not have to give up my lifestyle choices for my career.
     
  20. prairiechef

    prairiechef

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    How do YOU KNOW it's "properly seasoned"?

    temps, sure.

    presentation, sure.

    But it's YOUR food. How'd you come up with the standard recipes?

    I was a vegan for years, I still tasted everything. I didn't "eat" it, but i tasted it all. It's my name, my food, my reputation. I chose to work in a place that served meat... therefore, I chose to ensure that every single dish was cooked properly. That's what I get paid for. Not to let someone esle make the call.

    I can hand off temperature checks, it's black and white, it's either right or wrong. I can hand off presentation checks, it either matches standard or it doesn't.... but not tasting, tasting is subjective. I've been hired for my ability to cook, create menus and manage kitchens. My dishes, my palate, my personality.

    You're right, you shouldn't have to give up your lifestyle for your career... but why aren't you the chef at a vegetarian restaurant, then?