- Joined Dec 9, 2011
As a new entrant to the culinary world I have a question on dealing with younger "chefs" with the above issues. So I have been working at this venue now for 3 months. It's my first real cooking job. My prior experience has been doing prep/cooking/dishes/setting tables etc at masonic lodges for dinners over the years. And over those years I worked with some really great chefs. I never had a problem taking instruction or doing what I was told I know my place and am eager to learn. I am very quiet and try to maintain a peaceful calm environment. I try to be friendly to everyone at work, the waitstaff, the bartenders, kitchen staff I work with etc. I try to lead by example in my life. So the chef is a woman who I get along with pretty well. She has no formal training or experience. She comes from a catering/gardening background. She is incredibly high strung and is constantly bouncing around like a meth addict talking to herself, did she forget to cook the mushrooms or wheres my butter out loud. She is going to have a stroke! Anyway in order to help her out and help get the kitchen running better and get a Sunday brunch up and running they hired this other "chef". He is 32, and while he has worked in some decent restaurants here on the east coast and has had 30 people under him before his attitude is in need of dire checking. Since he has started working there he has belittled or screamed at just about everyone. I think everyone in the kitchen has threatened to walk out and quit at least once after his tantrums. He seems ok 70% of the time when we are not busy. It's the 30% of the time when we are busy the problems come out. Like tonight when I was serving salads from our second kitchen across the building. Apparently they got swamped with 6 tickets and he has one of the younger girls in the kitchen come into the other kitchen and tell me to get my ass back to the other kitchen now! So I already knew he was having one of his tantrums on the walk back to the other kitchen. And the second I walk into the kitchen he is literary throwing this hot pan filled with chicken Marsala across the kitchen right in front of me onto the station I usually occupy to make nachos. It came 2 inches in front of me as it went flying by. And he is screaming to "get the hell out of my way NOW!" Now I am not one to start fights. But I don't handle being threatened or someone trying to intimidate me well. I don't care who you are. So he is ranting and shouting and acting like an 8 year old that didn't get a lollipop at the bank tellers window. My gut reaction is to just take him outside and beat the piss out of him. Teach him some effing respect for people. You simply don't treat people like he does. Sooner or later someone is going to clean your clock. Now I know and have read attitudes and ego's are rampant in kitchens. But I call BS. You simply can't treat people like this. No one will respect you, no one will give you 110%, and they will constantly be looking for another job. So I tell the female chef "I dont need this shit" and just about walked out. Right after I said that though he started to calm down and get himself under control. So I went to work trying to help him with whatever he needed done. There is an old saying I am sure everyone has heard, If you cant stand the heat GET OUT of the kitchen. Thats what I feel like he needs to do. If you cannot handle the pressure when things get deep GET OUT! I dont need your shit and neither does the rest of the kitchen staff. It brings morale way down. Maybe im wrong and im sure you will all say as much if I am. I don't have respect for people like this that cant handle pressure and take it out on those around them. What do you do with someone that has bouts of child like tantrums in the kitchen? I think hes an arrogant little prick who thinks he is way more important than he is. The only thing he has on anyone in that kitchen is experience. Thats it. He doesn't create boundary pushing food, he isn't a master of the culinary arts. But he has the attitude of someone that does. What should I do about him?