Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by jellly, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. jellly


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    I am new to the restaurant industry and would like some feedback from someone with a bit more experience.
    I am a career changer (from big business) and graduated culinary school not too long ago. I felt very lucky to land a job at a new, small fine dining restaurant that has the potential for being great. Though I have experience working in a bake shop, I have not worked in a restaurant before and thought this would be a great chance for me to learn from some talented individuals.
    But here is the reality: The pastry chef/part owner is only working part-time and those hours are in the early morning before other staff arrives. I have worked with her once since I started. After a brief training period with the assistant pastry chef, I am on my own and any thoughts I had for learning from others have been reduced to me getting feedback via post it note.
    Coming from the business world, this seems to me to be a very strange way to manage a department. She is not there to see how the desserts work, what the department needs or how the employees are doing. I feel as though I am too new to presume to make suggestions, so I have kept many opinions to myself, but I can’t help but feel that though some of the desserts are very good, some of the components just don’t work (i.e. they may have tasted good when she tested them fresh, but when reheated for service aren’t as great).

    Forgive my long preamble, but is this a fairly common reality in this industry?
  2. dominique


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    Sounds like a difficult situation. At the very least, you can take it as a lesson in what 'not to do'. :)

    Though you feel uncomfortable commenting on the situation, it probably wouldn't hurt or offend if you simply asked her to come check on you one night.. or pop by in the morning to talk with her.
    and I sure don't see why you can't communicate about the food at least! Just tell her you feel it's not reheating well and ask her if there's a better way to do it or ask her to reheat one and let you know if SHE feels it's OK to serve.

    Sometimes we have to work for people whose standards are very different from ours and just grin and bear it.
    Good luck!