How to pick up my pace

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Joined Mar 14, 2010
Well I work at a hotel Restaurant and I'm pretty much a rounds man or swing cook,but I mostly work the line.

When we get busy I go as fast as I can but the other line cook always says go fast and crtiques me on everything I do  how can I pick up my speed expecially with the steaks and what can I do to not take things to heart when ever I get yelled at,but sometimes I get yelled at really bad then at the end of the day he says good job I dont get it? Just give me some advice I'm only 17 which is pretty young so I'm still learning.
 
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Joined Mar 3, 2010
nothing really u can do but do the best u can. work smart and fast. when people are in the zone, menaing busy, tempers flare and people get mad. the way i see it is its one of those things u get used to when u are busy, after the day is done everyhting is out and start fresh. i know when i work and its busy people get mad and yell and cuss each other out but once the rush is done and its calm everyone just jokes about it and puts it behind them. critisism is one those things u have to get used to and will probably get it alot, people have certain expectations. do the bestu can and work smart.
 
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I'm sure the line guys are getting you to work faster and harder and you are learning. At 17 you need to start to learn to grow some cahonnes.
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
Make sure before service you are set up, and Think Ahead.
 
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kuan

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Jun 11, 2001
When you get yelled at it means the chef likes you.

One principle is bring the work to you.   For example you can store your steaks closer to the grill during rush.
 
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Joined Aug 6, 2010
Like these guys all said, working the line when it's busy is stressfull... yelling is a by product. You will learn to let it go. Try to remember the criticisms the guys say. Some of it may help you get quicker, but don't worry if it's just them being pissed and yelling. Also, to get quicker try to streamline the way you do things. Go look at the line when you have spare time, or when someone else is working and their not busy. Keep in mind where they keep things, such as hand tools and their stuff. I always have my cold rail set up the same way so I don't even have to look to grab things. Once you have a personal system, you will be faster simply by having to make less movements to do things. Also, try setting up your grill, especially with steaks, so you don't have to check every one to figure out the one you need. The best way to get fast is to move less, setup your plates ahead of time so your not scrambling to plate your protein and sides and garnish together. Put all your plates out, put your cold garnish, then when your protein is almost done, plate your sides, then your protein will be ready to go, and you can send your plates. Of course, that is assuming that's how you run your line. If you give us more specifics, we may be able to point out how you can improve a little better. Just remember to keep your head up, I was in a similar spot when I was 17, and I was the head line cook/ expediter the next summer. Good luck!
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
Hey Travis, glad to see your still in the game. here are some comments from a similar thread figured I would give the link instead of just cut and paste my old reply. The only new advice I have is this...Just cause the Chef is yelling does not mean you are screwing up. If you have fired your tickets as fast as you can, try asking for the Uber grill that cooks a steak perfectly in 30 seconds.

anyway, check out: http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/60485/overwhelmed-help

best of luck
 
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Joined Oct 19, 2010
Just keep you head up buddy! I was like you, i started out young at the age of 14 working in a restaurant with a chef that thought the only way to learn was to yell until you got it right. so I bit my tongue, kept my head up, and critiqued myself along the way. I'm now I'm 20 and CEC managing a resort "falcons ledge" and i believe that from his hardness of teaching and critiquing helped me get where i am today. So be glad you have someone to ride you and critique your mistakes it will turn out for the better in the end. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 
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Joined Oct 22, 2004
Yelling is as common as butter in kitchens.... why does the Chef yell?  Adrenaline ....  if you are in fear you will move faster.....  poor technique?  Not really.  after a three hour service of turning over seats and maximizing profits for the business you are going to get tired... everyone does.  The question is when is he yelling?  beginning of service?  Middle?  End?  Each time he yells there is a reason.....   Do you slow down as service goes on?  (we all do)  Is the Chef getting tired and screwed around by the front of the house?

Can you operate so you don't get yelled at?  YES!  May sound strange...  but make sure that you eat before service and not after...  You are engaging in a challenging environment, both physically and mentally and your body needs fuel to do the right thing at the right time.  Properly fueled you will be a porshe and not a ford tempo.........   energy dropping after three hours? try a sugary drink...   

Try to anticipate what is next... can you see the dockets? read ahead.. only three at a time ... more than that is just confusing.  Make sure you are ready to put up all the items on the next three dockets and he will be amazed at how fast you are.....

Good luck and work clean!!!
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2010
Work clean. It takes more time at first, but ultimately it results in faster, more organized cooking. Keep your cutting board spotless, your knife clean, your towels neat and within reach. Think about the way you lay out your world. Why is that sixth pan where it is? Is it close to your hand? Is that the thing your going to be grabbing the most of? If not then why is it taking up valuable space?  Every thing where it should be? Is your knife on the right hand side? Are your tongs on the right hand side? Are you left handed? Should they be on the left hand side? Do you have a damp towel? Do you have a dry towel? Are they neatly folded and within easy reach? Do you have a stash of extra back up towels squirreled away some where close at hand? Do you have every thing you need to run your station for the night? Working fast and well is working organized and clean. Everything on your station, near your cutting board should have a place, a well thought out place. Your knife shouldn't be in 7 different positions through the night. It should have one 'home'. Same for your tongs. etc. Thats how I stay on top of things. Maybe other people do it different. I'm kind of a control freak. lol
 
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Joined Oct 28, 2010
All I can really tell you is that the two most important questions a chef ever asks himself are "How about if...?" and "What if I tried...?".   Get really comfortable with asking yourself those questions, and constantly having those gears turn, and thinking of potential solutions to problems or shortcomings that you come face to face with. Ask the guys next to you and the sous chef(s) for their input, as well. In my experience, if you're thinking of quality and speed of service to the guest, without compromising the vision set forth by the chef, you'll be granted all the leniency you need to execute, so long as what you do works and meets all the necessary criteria.
 
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Joined Nov 16, 2010
Hi Travis.

   There is such a thing referred to as "the ***hole hour". Or two,three, four hours, what have you. When chefs are in the thick of the rush and the adrenalin is pumping the best/only way of communication is being short, concise and loud. Short because the less words someone (expeditor?) has to speak the sooner they can move on to what ever is next. Loud because the chef etc. wants to grab your attention NOW! And it is after all a busy kitchen filled with lots of metal and china banging. As for as your speed? My best advice is to FOCUS on what you are doing, what will be your next move. Do I grab the tongs or the plate first. Dammit...wherer are my tongs? I thought I set them down here...Alright, who took my tongs? Oh, here they are. FOCUS. Have a place for everything and put everything in its place. Anticipate your next move as well as your fellow line cooks.

 Steaks? Read your grill. Know where the hot and cool spots are and use them to your advantage.

A busy kitchen/galley is not for the faint of heart. Just remember "the asshole hour".

 Some advice: Be an information sponge...a seeker of knowledge. All good and knowledgable chefs LOVE young people like yourself who ask guestions. That's how they learned and that's how you will learn. We love to pass on the knowledge that was so freely given to us. When someone tells or shows you something NEVER EVER use the words "I know". Shut and listen. If it doesn't apply....let it fly. When you find yourself spitting out "I", follow it with "appreciate your help".

   Good luck! Dan
 
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It's not that hard.  There are three major tricks to doing things faster. 

First is learning that your brain is not your friend.  Stay in the moment.  Cook, don't think.  If you're thinking about trying to go faster, you're not going faster you're wasting time thinking.  If you're thinking about what you did wrong the last time you cooked a particular dish, you're not thinking about what you're doing but what you've done.  If you're thinking about letting down Chef or the line, you're really just thinking about yourself and what a miserable little **** you are (which you aren't).  Quit thinking about yourself.  If you just got reamed, let it go.  Stay focussed on what you're doing, nothing else.   

Perhaps even more important is slowing down to the point where your movements are as smooth and spare as you can possibly make them.  Ironically, nothing makes you faster than slowing down.  Be as smooth as possible, don't lean on yourself to be faster, and speed will come.  As with fencing and boxing.  Repetition to the point where reflex supercedes thought (back to step 1) is the key to success.

Be prepared.  Mise, mise, mise and mise.  Keep your station clean, organized, and well stocked, always.   Sharp knives, even if it means sharpening every day.  Tools which work for you and are comfortable.  Dry rag and a damp one.  Etc.  Nothing slows you down more than a messy station.     

BDL
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
DON"T do it fast  DO it right..   As you keep doing the same task you will get faster.
 

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