How to master garde manger station

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by elliot782, May 27, 2017.

  1. elliot782

    elliot782

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    So I got my first job as a line cook working the salad/cold app/desert station at a Very nice restaurant in town. I'm 20 and I want to move up in the cooking world and learn and become a badass line cook. I feel like I need to work on some things first before I get promoted or moved around tho. i feel like I make small fuck ups too often, like accidentally nocking over some soaking blanched fries in the walk in, or that one time I dropped a plate or accidentally made the flatbread dough slightly too wet. Like I want to be perfect yet keep up with everyone else. So far my speed has been good. I just want to step up my prep speed a lil and also step up my plating. I feel like I have a slight tendency in the rush to make things a little too sloppy or make a mistake like forget onions were 86'd on that mixed greens for 35 etc etc etc... I've been working at this place for a month, luckily the chef is super chill and very knowledgeable. He likes me and is willing to teach but I still feel like I should do better. I'm tired of making small bone headed fuckups, yes they don't really matter a lot but I should still do better.
    Thanks
     
  2. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Congrats on the job....

    I knew 3 lines in you were a bit clumsy so just some advice from another person who sometimes  trips over her own feet.

    Slow down...get your head in the game and focus on one task at a time.

    You will gain muscle memory and then the speed will come naturally.

    The badass part takes a bit longer.....

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif

    mimi
     
  3. jimyra

    jimyra

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    Start by cleaning up your language.
     
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  4. elliot782

    elliot782

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    Fuck that this is the kitchen man... u know how it is
     
  5. jimyra

    jimyra

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    That language should not be used in a professional environment. Your speed and knowledge in the kitchen will build with time.  Doctors, lawyers, and indian chiefs do not use foul language, maybe that's why they make more money.  I have spent much more time in the kitchen than you and poor language is frowned on.  Speak inh the kitchen as you would with your guests.  Hang in there your young and have a big wonderful life in front of you.
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Actually this is the internet.

    Speedforthesakeofspeedisacounterproductivepursuitlendingitselftoineffiencyasyouhavetogobacktofigureoutwhatyoucouldhavedonetomaketheprocessclosertotheoriginaldesiredgoalandresults.

    Speed does not equate to efficiency. Efficiency is the more desired trait. If you plate a salad in 30 seconds but "make a mistake like forget onions were 86'd on that mixed greens". It  possibly goes out to the dining room and gets served to the guest, who then has to call the waiter over to say I ordered it with no onions, who then has to carry back to the kitchen to be made as ordered. That ain't effiicent! Multiple people's time was wasted. Food was wasted. Dishwashing chemicals were wasted. Etc. etc. etc. The guy who plates a salad in 45 seconds, but without onions...who would you want in your kitchen?

    Speed comes from efficiency. Minimizing wasted motions. Learn from mistakes. Realize why you made the mistake. This builds efficiency.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
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  7. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    You will notice that I edited my last post, this because in my haste, I made a grammatical mistake that I went back and fixed. Inefficiency in action :~)
     
  8. gunnar

    gunnar

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    first off, I follow Cheflayne's reasoning. secondly, do not aspire to be a "badass line cook". Aspire to be a Chef. I passed up line cook positions for years cause I recognized that prep cooks learn. they learn how to cut meat, they learn how to make sauces and they get instructions directly from the Chef. I made more money as a prep cook than the line cooks I worked with. Speed come with experience, knowledge comes with trying. most line cooks look cool cause that's all they do. They cook what you cut, they ladle a sauce you made. half of them don't know how to make a simple pesto much less a hollandaise. and yeah, want to be treated as a professional?  clean up the language. good luck.
     
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  9. eyelicks

    eyelicks

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    Well I don't really know how basic to make it but this is basically what I do when I'm running larder section:

    Get in and check everything in the fridges, write your own Mep based on what you see. Check all your deliveries to see if you need seconds before it's too late.

    Get a board and a bin setup. Go to the fridge with a tray and your Mep list and get everything you need out in one go.

    Then start with the big time consuming jobs. Move down to the urgent need for service jobs. Move down to the little jobs like herbs and things. Setup half an hour before service even if you have little jobs left on your list so you are at least basically ready for a check.

    I find that if I do things this way service is always fine as if you have anything that isn't ready it'll only ever be a small job that can be done a la minute until you're fully set!

    Larder is a fun section. Enjoy! 😎
     
  10. someday

    someday

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    I take issue with that statement. Maybe a lawyer doesn't curse on court, of course, but in real life or at the office? I would say yes, they do. A lot. Your overall point is well taken though.
    As a new cook you will mess up a lot. No way around it, really. Your goal is to not keep making the same mistake over and over. Learn from them. Muscle memory is learned through repetition, and unfortunately there aren't really any shortcuts. You have to put the work in. The best thing to do is to put the work in at a place where you will be taught properly and have room to grow. Sounds like you found a place like that, so good start. 

    If you were studying, say, mixed martial arts (for example), you'd first have to learn how to punch, and kick...footwork, balance, grappling, defense, angles, etc. You'd do that first...you wouldn't start out on your first day fighting the champ. Right now (in the kitchen) you are learning how to punch and kick. The rest will come in time..and maybe someday if you are any good, you'll get your title shot. 
     
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