Two months ago I took an offer to be a sous chef at a new seafood concept. The restaurant has still not opened. I was working one-on-one with the exec. Chef in our test kitchen and I have been involved in every aspect of creating the menu. I personally made about 30-40% of the menu items and I was involved in all spec decisions on breads/proteins/etc. As of two weeks ago, we hired anyone person who was working in the test kitchen with us. He told me that when he asked them if he was a Sous, they said "I don't know", but he is acting like he is, which, needless to say is really frustrating. I give him instruction and most of the time he just says "yes I know...." Within 2 days of this new person being hired, my exec. Chef found out that he has cancer. I don't know the severity of it but I do know that he is in a very bad place mentally. He took a few days off and ever since has been M.I.A. The last anyone has spoken with him was over a week ago and the last coversation was the Chef telling him that he quit. Within this short time period, HR has hired 2 other guys to work in the kitchen. One being a sushi chef. The problem that I am coming up with is that I have since absorbed all of the responsibility that my chef had. I finalized the menu, I am working on all documentation and pricing, and I was brought on to the hiring team and have been involved in interviews. Yesterday was the first day in our new kitchen and I placed all of the orders. The first gentleman who was hired insisted that he was capable of receiving the order because he has been doing it "all [his] life"... He messed it up and I spent over 2 hours correcting it. I calculated it and told him that if it happened every order it would cost of over $26k/year and tomorrow *I* will be receiving the order. I know that he is acting this way because I am young, 21, and fresh out of culinary school. He has been doing this for almost 15 years after he was out of the Air Force. I might be young but I know that I'm doing. End of story. We need some level of authority drawn out in this kitchen. Part of me is afraid to ask the owner to verify this because he is not in the kitchen 24/7 and this man could have been hired on to be my equal, so I don't want to "put my foot in my mouth" if that is the case. Should I ask for an outline of who is who in the kitchen? How should I go about handling this guy in the kitchen in the meantime? As for as I am concerned, the sushi chef IS my equal, and the 4th gentleman hired has not tried to step on my toes, he does what he is asked and nothing else.