Difference in title

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by blue_wolf, May 12, 2005.

  1. blue_wolf

    blue_wolf

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    I had an interview today that my boss sat in on to try to help the situation (we really want this guy). In talking about why he would leave his current position, he said when he was hired it was expressed he was coming on as an executive chef in training, when it turned out to be a kitchen manager position he was going to be placed in instead. This brought up a discussion with my boss on what the difference was between the two titles. To para-phrase, and this is how my boss put it, a kitchen manager runs the nuts and bolts of the opperation while the executive chef comes up with recipies and menu layout. I thought this was sketchy, but didn't want to say anything at the time. He then stated what I felt was a real slap in the face calling me the kitchen manager and himself the executive chef. Mind you, most of the recipes on the menu are his, with a few exceptions. We are heading twards our first menu change, with 3 of my recipes on it. The interview ended and I did the ordering for the weekend and left. By the point I left, I could barely talk. I know I shouldn't let "little stuff" get to me (as a fellow chef who worked with my boss previously told me), but it does. I really don't know how to handle this. I want to talk to him about it, but also know myself enough to know I really got to cool down or I won't have a job for long. I think I should ask what is expected of me to hold the title "executive chef", because after today I don't know if I do. He said, when I was hired, when ever your ready for the title it's yours, and I took it 2 weeks ago, or so I thought. I'm really confused and really hot under the collar right now. Any insite, past experience in simular situations or advice?
     
  2. logghib

    logghib

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    Chefs have two major sides to their work. The creative, artistic side, and the militaristic, nuts and bolts side. Kitchen managers are definitely the latter. Exec. chefs straddle both. If you feel you aren't doing enough of the menu design and creative aspects of the restaurant, then just step up and attempt to do it. Write down ideas. Bust balls to get those ideas in there.

    However, if it makes you feel better now, a nuts-and-bolts, get-stuff-done chef is way, way more valuable than someone who can think up of a new way to present an avacado. If you're making the kitchen actually function, your crew probably thinks a lot higher of you than the other guy. Just because the other person comes in and whips up a fanciful idea about some saffron poached skatewing in apple-plum fondue doesn't make him like, an asset. The guy who makes that dish taste good on the order of 30 a night, in a timely fashion, is the one who can't be easily replaced.
     
  3. britt

    britt

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    Titles are titles.
    The only operation in need of an exc., would know if they needed one. a large hotel or club with multi-theme kitchens and dining rooms. The execs. job is to oversee the entire operation.
    A friend of mine left his job as exec at al large C.C. Took a job at a big club running the "formal" dining room. His title there is execeutive sous-chef. He has a back of the house staff of over 50 people(including a chef and 2 sous-chefs). He has full control over his part. Reporting only to the executive chef.
    Now this place has 5 different restuaunts, a coffee shop and two outdoor facilities. They also provide food service to boats that tie up to the dock and eat onboard their boats.
    If I was doing all the work of food production manager or working chef. I would never be offended by being called such. That is the job and I'd be proud of how well I did it.
    At that point my question would be KM or chef? How many hours do I work and how many $
    britt
     
  4. chef_bob

    chef_bob

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    Some times all we have is our ego. Titles are just titles but they exist for a reason. The reality is that a more accurate definition of what you do may be Chef de Cusine. If the title is important to you, mention it. Pride is a very important part of what we do
     
  5. blue_wolf

    blue_wolf

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    Well, I realized my ego got out of control and I didn't listen to my old chef who taught me the most important lesson of all, be humble. After having a few talks with the GM, we got things cleared up. I hired a soux chef and life was good. He has more experience than me and is a good asset to the restaurant. Yesterday, the GM called me into the office and asked if I wouldn't mind stepping down and switching spots with my soux. I agreed it would probably work better that way. What bugs me the most is I was trying to learn everything, get the move to Madison done (which it is) and be support to my depressed wife. I made mistakes, I know. But, dealing with that kind of pressure wasn't easy. I was told if I hadn't hired Pete (my soux, soon to be executive), it wouldn't have been a question. But, I guess sll things asside, things are working the way they have to. Just a real nice blow to the ego. That's that. And, in truth, it was getting to be too much for me to handle. I wasn't ready for it yet. I do prefer baby steps to jumping in head first. And, Pete can teach me a lot, so I guess it's okay.