First "restaurant" job

Joined Aug 7, 2009
I finally got a job at a bar & grill connected to a hotel.At first I was in awe by just the fact that I was in a kitchen. They started me off as a line cook that is responsible for salads and the grill.. I explained to the person incharge that cooking is my dream and passion and he told me he will train me and explained they do banquets and catering and this is the place to learn classic techniques. too put it bluntly the kitchen looks like crap and very dirty .When closing there was crumbs all over the floor( not exaggerating) and the guy was said " ok we're done lets go home!" There is only room for 2 people in the kitchen and when someone was giving me a demo on steaks he opened the package on the same cutting board for salads which later on he cut some strawberries for a salad using the same knife and not washing the board( there was blood on it).Dropped some frozen chicken strips on the ground and put it in the fryer.  all the sauces come in bottles with the brand name kraft on it. I'm starting my 3rd shift today and I'm already depressed. Are most kitchens dirty or did I simply chose the wrong type of kitchen? Maybe I just watch too much food shows expecting that many places make a lot of food from scratch =/.
Joined Dec 8, 1999
I certainly can't make any excuse for the cross-contamination or the "floor seasoning" of the chicken strips. However, the dirty floor might not be the responsibility of the cooks. Some places hire cleaning crews ("swampers") or the dishwashers clean it. As far as the level of scratch cooking going on, that will vary from place to place. I would put up with your current situation for a bit to gain experience. That will make it easier to get a job in a place that does food the way you'd prefer. Ask questions when you interview for a new job regarding how much scratch-cooking goes on and ask if you can see the kitchen. Remember, interviews aren't just for potential employers to decide if you should work for them, they are also an opportunity for you to find out if you want to work for them.
Joined Aug 3, 2010
"Remember, interviews aren't just for potential employers to decide if you should work for them, they are also an opportunity for you to find out if you want to work for them."

Exactly.  When you decide to jump ship--and if you're serious about learning to cook, I imagine you will sooner than later--don't be timid about asking for a tour of the facilities.  Many places even insist on giving you a very brief "demo" shift before hiring you, to test your abilities, and that's a great opportunity to decide if their practices are up to your standards.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Get the salad station and the grill station down to a science where you are at and you will be much more desired when looking for a new job. Also mention your not afraid of water and that dishes don't make you cry. 

i like the fact you take exception to a dirty kitchen and bad food handling. I understand a floor gets dirty but I get uptight with a dirty floor and I am not in the weeds, if nothing else I sweep my station area debris into a corner (if not into a can,time depending), so i don't slide on a dropped fry, vege, or such.  I also don't like the feeling of food getting mushy under my shoes.

You have started a new life, don't rush can burn out easy in this career. EVERY place you cook will teach you something new, if nothing else, that they have a system you don't like. Best of Luck.
Top Bottom