China Experience

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by mgm0, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. mgm0


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    Sous Chef
    Hello everyone.

    I am Manuel and I am not exactly new here but this is one of my firsts posts.

    Let me give you guys some of my history before getting to my "Question".

    I love my job lets get that out of the way first, OK? I started my professional career when I was 15( as a side job to support several hobby's and vices). In my beautiful country of Costa Rica. After miraculously graduating from High School, I started college(culinary arts) being very close to to finishing the BA, I got a call from a friend and landed a job at sunny Maldives. So naturally I dropped out of everything and hopped into the first plane into Asia. Let me tell you guys something:

    Maldives Sucks.

    Don't get me wrong it is a wonderful place, the food is great, great water activities,the people are warm and the beaches pristine. But if you are working there it is a whole different ballgame. You guys know, the usual when you work within a closed community. Everyone knows everyone, cannot have any privacy, girls are pretty scarce, nothing to do, schisms because you are the new guy in the block(island). The usual. Now add that you are a foreigner, don't speak the language, different religions(Muslim country), cannot drink(Muslim country), cannot date local girls(Muslim country) and basically are confined to a 1 by 2 km island 6 days of the week. And it gets hairy. Basically everything that can possibly suck, sucks(including management of course).

    I assume that I sound like a pampered brat, but wait it gets better.

    So six months in my Costarican friend and boss leaves the building. This was a great guy and one of the reasons that I was able to do my job properly. That sucked. Around the same time I had been promoted to the fancy part of the island, with a whole new cast of characters and "special" demands. The job was hard but I am up to it, no problem.

    It is not all that bad. I made some friends for life, my first couple of those all important connections,found out a lot of the ins and outs of working with people with a very wide range of different cultures, learned a huge amount of things( a whole new language to curse with!!), and managed to sneak some things in and out.

    Eventually I get fed up with the place and want out( actually my contract was up and there is no way that they are gonna get one more drop of sweat out of me, so no renewal). After some calls and a little bit of searching I land a job in China. Sous chef (the first kitchen that is totally my own) in a proper business hotel and nice city(no more resorts if I can help it).

    Now I find myself in the position that I have always dreamed of anddd ..... something is missing.

    I feel kinda empty and more than a bit spent. I mean there are 1001 things that I could say are the cause of this, but I am not so sure.

    Been here 5+ months and the feeling is increasing bit by bit. I feel really bad not liking/complaining about my situation. I been working in every know condition know to man and keep my mouth shut and soldiered on. There are lots of guys that I know are better than me in my country in every possible sense and I am blessed to be here right now. And at the same time I know I have fought for everything I have and nothing has been handed to me, I feel proud of where and why I am here.

    I am 25 and kinda feel old and used.It is not like I am gonna quit cooking any time soon or anything, it is just that this is the first time I've felt like this and wanted to know if any of you guys could relate. And hopefully tell me to stop whining and get back to the line.

    Anyway it feels good just writing it



    (Ps)We don't have any exec chef or sous since Ive arrived maybe I miss having a top?