Hello, again

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Joined May 30, 2015
Hey guys, I'm back. I was a member here years ago (seems most of my old posts are gone now, probably purged for server space, but no big deal) but left the food industry near the end of 2016. I kept up with the forum for a bit afterwards, but gradually grew disconnected from my culinary roots until about a month ago when I took a position as a garde manger.

My culinary bio:
Growing up, I always wanted to be a chef. It was my life's dream. We didn't have Food Network when I was a kid, but we did have PBS - Chef Pasquale, Wok with Yan, Yan Can Cook & Graham Kerr. When I graduated high school, I got a scholarship to study journalism. Not wanting to turn down a free education and having no money for culinary school, I decided to become a journalist. After about a year working in radio news, I got laid off when the station changed formats from news talk to R&B. I took a job as a catering assistant and did that for about a year. I got a better offer from a nearby grocery store to become a butcher, and so I worked with the old guys mostly cleaning shop but learning bits and pieces until I learned enough that they started letting me work solo and run the shop when they weren't there. After doing that for a while, a job came open in the same grocery store for a bakery assistant which paid more money, so I transferred and followed the same path (cleaning & learning for about 6 months) before I got promoted to a full-time baker. When I became a baker, my employer paid for me to take a cake decoarting class, and they also contracted with a supplier that did bi-annual seminars/workshops and came to your bakery once a year to train employees one-on-one. I did that for nearly 5 years and loved every minute of it. However, as many bakers will tell you, it is a dying profession in many ways. The store I worked at decided to go the route of par-baked frozen loaves that only needed to be heated up, and no longer required the services (nor was willing to pay) for a trained baker. While searching for another job, I took some bartending classes and got my license before eventually finding a job working at the local TV station. While there were certain things I didn't miss about working in food, I absolutely hated every second of working at the TV station. After a year, I was a burnt-out alcoholic whose life consisted of coming to work hungover, spending half the day out back chain-smoking with the engineers and going home to get drunk. I decided something had to change, so I quit my job, spent 5 months on a sabbatical sobering up (I still drink, but nothing like before) and took a job at the garde manger at a local fine-dining steakhouse. In addition to the cold foods I make, I'm also in charge of receiving all of our food/liquor orders and pantry organization/layouts.
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Welcome back! The reason why you liked the Catering, Bakery and Butcher job is because it gave you instant gratification. It's the same reason I loved all my food service jobs. The real success in this business is when you make that instant gratification into a self-fulfillment feeling by just being proud of yourself for your achievements. This way you will never need any pats on the back from anyone other than yourself......ChefBillyB
 
113
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Joined May 30, 2015
Welcome back! The reason why you liked the Catering, Bakery and Butcher job is because it gave you instant gratification. It's the same reason I loved all my food service jobs. The real success in this business is when you make that instant gratification into a self-fulfillment feeling by just being proud of yourself for your achievements. This way you will never need any pats on the back from anyone other than yourself......ChefBillyB

I think that probably fueled my alcoholism as well - instant gratification. While I've always thought of myself as having thick skin, working in a restaurant is definitely a different environment/culture than any of my other food service jobs. I'm dedicated to this field though, and I'm learning to tough it out. I will say, however, nothing compares to the wrath of getting called in the middle of the night by an executive producer to ask me where I put the press passes for the Miss Tennessee pageant. Mercy!
 
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Joined Oct 1, 2006
Welcome back capricciosa!

Garahm Kerr was an early hero for me as I had never seen someone so excited to cook!
 

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
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Joined Oct 5, 2001
Welcome back we actually don't remove old posts unless they are spam. Please update your bio in your profile section that way it will be more visible to other visitors.
 
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