How do you feel about your chosen field?

Joined Nov 5, 2004
Who is really happy with being a chef/cook?

I have found that - in my area at least - chefs are something of a dying breed. Many restaurants prefer to run with a head line cook - someone with experience, but not a chef per se. Many establishments are not looking for someone who can expand the menu, come up with new ideas and such.

I have found that owners are becoming more interested in ordering/hiring/scheduling/number crunching themselves and leaving the 'chefs' with only the line.

I want to go back to the days when I was more than just an assembly line cook.

-Vanwear :chef:
Joined Aug 15, 2004
One could expand your corrolary to say "Who is really happy with their line of work?"

In hindsight, I think I enjoyed working the line in a drive-in restaurant whilst in high school. Joking with the carhops, free hamburgers, the comeraderie.

But then I think we all tend to remember the highlights. If I really think about it, I remember that there were worker conflicts. One of the fry cooks was very jealous of his flat range, and when he went on break, would only allow the most incompetent to work the range while he was away. Why? We all could tell that he was worried about being replaced. I was 17, he was like in his 40's, which to us young people at the time was like reallyreally old!

Then there was the one boss/owner Del, he was a rude dude. Pinched the carhops, yelled at people, was always trying to set you up so he could yell. But then there was his dad, who was the best guy to work for ever there was.

I remember Del running suddenly one night out the side door that led to the alley, and punching a customer through his open driver's window as he was leaving the lot.

I remember one fry cook, Bill, who just hated it when someone out in the lot sent back a cheeseburger. The typical thing he'd do was scrape off the cheese, put the burger back on the flat, reheat it, and then he'd always add his special "chef's surprise" to the patty before melting a new slice of cheese over it. We were young, we were immature, but we'd all run to the window to watch the guy out in the lot eat his "special" cheeseburger. It really cracked us up when he sent word back that "That was great! Why didn't you make it that way the first time?"

But on the other hand that was a LOT of work for $1/hour even in those days of $.29/gal gasoline.

Joined Sep 21, 2001
I still love cooking after all these years. Of course nowadays my feet get sore and my back gets stiff from standing on hard tile floors but that is what medication is for... Not that I don't occasionally have a bad day, either. The rush I get from a day well done is worth the pain and frustration. Looking out in the dining room and seeing a sea of happy customers is as addictive as heroin.
Joined Aug 19, 2004
after 20 years i still love cooking. i think most of us thrive on the pressure
the joy of creating something new and someone else enjoying it.if i could go back in toime maybe i would do things differently but after a couple of years you get addicted i know i did
Joined Jan 13, 2005
I'm making a pretty good living working for owners who 'floated' their kitchen without a chef for a year or two. Eventually the program becomes tattered and falls apart. I'm rebuilding a place now, the crew are good guys for the most part but they've been led by a maitre d' for a year, by next spring I'm hoping an owner in Jamaica or maybe a nice mountain lodge is doing the same now and will see the error of his ways.
Joined Jan 18, 2005
I was in sales for a few years after graduating from college (associates in Marketing), never really liked it. Out of work, I came across a line cooks job at a family restaraunt. That was almost 7 years ago, and I can't picture myself in any other field. I have investors waiting for me to say I'm ready to open my own place. I keep learning more each day. You never go hungry. What's not to love? Hearing a customer's reply of "That was the best _____ I ever had" is probably the highest compliment I have ever gotten and kept me on a cloud for the entire shift.
Joined Jul 23, 2004
I'm tired as ****. I'm not getting rich. Retirement seems a pipe dream.
But I took this up after the post 9-11 collapse of the aerospace industry.
I'm 45 now. I left culinary school last april. I never worked in a professional kitchen before then, An exceedingly rare set of circumstances occured at my workplace, and now I'm the Chef. It was a last man standing situation, and I landed on my feet. I did have to prove myself to keep the job, but I got the chance and prevailed.

It just feels right. It feels like I belong, like this is what I was supposed to be doing all along. It's important to me but I can't say way, it just is. So i guess in spite of the hard days and nights, I feel pretty lucky.

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