food production cooking...

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by leeniek, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. leeniek

    leeniek

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    After months of anicipation I finally started full time at the commissary this month and I'm loving it!  Upper management is amazing and they appreciate alll of us and everything we do. 

    I did apply to work on the hot line as well as the deli and I am not going to lie.. I'm very happy they put me in the deli.  Being in the deli means that we are the helpers for the entire place so if the bakery is in the weeds we go there to help them out and if the hot line is weeded we go there and help.  I spent alot of time today with the exec chef and he actually apoligized to me for not selecting me to be a line cook but he felt that I was better off in deli as with my experience I could adapt to what he needed.  After I saw that they need to wear gloves when they were cooking I was counting my blessings that they put me in the deli.  To date I have been in the bakery, the butchery and the hot line as well as the deli for gourmet pizzas and cheese. 

    With full time hours comes the responsibility for my dept and there is an issue with one of the part timers.   She doesn't seem to be picking things up at all and she is slower than frozen molasses.  I had to take her to  her the back storage the other day and she was winded trying to keep up with me and it took her half an hour to do what should have been a fifteen minute task at the most.  She doesn't take responsibility for her actions and spends alot of time looking for somewhere to lay the blame as opposed to saying  ... I effed up, this is not working we need to fix it... and problem solving for a solution.  I am petrified of having to do pizza production with her as she is doesn't get the idea that we have to hustle. 

    I went to the exec sous over this issue and I felt like such an evil B****.    We all are new but I don't see her working out and I saw it from her first day.  Sadly I have a very good judge of people and I'm right more times than I'm wrong.  He thanked me for going to him and he and the exec already had concerns with this person so at least we weren't alone. 
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Leeniek... Maybe I missed it in an earlier post, but what does the commissary supply food to?

     and to what extent?

    Are you batch cooking and sending prepared foods for restaurants in a chain?....or is it an employee cafeteria type situation?  It sounds big!
     
  3. sherbel

    sherbel

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    I'd love to know more about your job as well, it sounds like fun.

    As for the 'problem' staff member...your instincts may well be correct, unfortunately. However, sometimes an unimpressive worker can have an epiphany and become a star, you never know.

    It's difficult to comment in a helpful way because I don't know what sort of commissary that you're working in. You're responsible for your department, are you supervising this person? Is it an HR situation? Is the person within the 3 month (or whatever it is in Ont.) probationary period?  Is it a union shop?

    It's rough working with an employee who isn't working out for sure. I feel your pain.
     
  4. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    You know, sometimes people just don't have the knack for professional culinary. It doesn't mean they're dumb, they just don't have the combination of memory, fine motor skills, operational organization  and taste to do the work effectively.

    I've trained (and attempted to train) a lot of people and some people with no experience take to cooking in a professional kitchen like a duck to water and others who've been working in kitchens for years are an absolute mess.
     
  5. leeniek

    leeniek

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    I'm going to try and answer everything all in one post...

    I think eventually this will be very big.  What we do at the commissary (well will be doing as of next week) is supply a grocery store chain with ready to eat meals made from scratch, bakery products, artisan cheese and deli pizzas.  Eventually fresh pasta will be added but not until sometime next year. If the parent company is happy with how things go with what we're doing, then it will go nationwide but right now it's  local.   I can't see it not taking off but time will tell..

    It's so very different from working in a restaurant... health codes are different, and even what gets used where is different as well.  They ordered a bunch of blue things for seafood and well in a commissary blue is for garbage... who'd have known?  But it's all a learning process for all of us.  The word of the day most days is "learning" and that's what all of us are doing.  The directors listen to us when we're having an issue and they work with us to find a solution.  It's an enjoyable job and even when the pressure is on it's nothing compared to what I have dealt with in the past.   I'm very happy that my time as KM at the diner was short because I really feel like I belong at the commissary and had I not left the diner I would not have had this opportunity. 

    As for the employee I did some observing today and I think part of the problem is that she's afraid to do anything without being told to because she doesn't want to get in trouble.  She does need alot of direction and I'm not sure if it's because she's a fish out of water like the rest of us or if she is just the kind of person who needs to have everything laid out for her.  She does have to work on communicating what she's doing with us as well.. every time I looked up today I asked "where is Sally?" and no one knew, she just disappeared.  I do like her and I think if we work with her and help her to feel more secure she will work out but.... I don't know if we have the time for that.  Full production starts on Monday and I do hope she will be able to handle it.. I still have many doubts but at least I have some insight now...
     
  6. left4bread

    left4bread

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    It's been a rough summer, eh?

    I'm glad you found your niche.

    Congratulations!

    Meh, don't feel bad about being evil. We need more evil people in the world.

    j/k

    You did the right thing.
     
  7. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Sounds like a good gig!
     
  8. leeniek

    leeniek

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    It is  good gig... after three months there are benefits and the head people respect us workers.  I had yet another issue with my effing cheese and I took the director for the kitchen aside and showed him what the blasted machine was doing and he told me to pack it up and we will problem solve.  He was there with us yesterday and today as we tried to get things to work smoothly. 

    How easy of a solve.. take the form out of the cooler and leave it in our production room  overnight.. next day it cuts like butter... that  is the plan for the hard cheeses.. the soft are good to cut straight from the cooler..  If I had never talked to the director (I was really annoyed and it was his lucky day as he happened to come across me first) we'd still be fighting with frozen hard cheese.. ACK!! 

    Now if the stinking doors will work and we don't need to do the He-Man thing to get the blooming things open we'll be in happy land....

    The directors really appreciate us and they always thank us for what we do and the other exec director actually came into our room before he left and thanked us personally for all of the support we gave him this week as it was a rough go for him.  There are going to be kinks and bumps and that is to be expected because what we are doing is new to us and we have to learn as we go. 

    I'm happy... the family is happy... this is a good thing....
     
  9. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Let me see if I got this right, when someone asks your husband what you do, his answer is " She is in the weeds cutting the cheese" Ok I got it.....
     
  10. sherbel

    sherbel

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     Ya gotta admit, it would be a hell of a conversation starter...