okay girls, lets rumble!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by durangojo, Jul 13, 2010.

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  1. durangojo

    durangojo

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    to all you females in the kitchen out there, and i think/hope there are more than a few...from head chefs to dishwashers...would love to hear  about your kitchen experiences...i know we are viewed differently, but does that get in your way, or do you or  how do you make that work for you? or do you?...is it tougher? are you  tougher?...do you let things ride more because you're a female or are you a kitchen nazi?...middle ground? no ground? do you care, or is this just a job, a paycheck or a passion..are you corporate or  a small indie op? punch a time clock and want to clock your boss? pet peeves? do you still go home and walk the dog,feed the kids, do laundry, clean the house and make dinner...are you having fun? any life, outside the kitchen? where do you see yourself in 10 years? come on girflriends...the good, the bad and the ugly...lets have it...time to rumble!

    joey

     what works for me?...i have pms and a handgun!....usually gets someones attention!...lets have some fun with this thread...
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  2. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Good thread! 

    We are viewed differently and I actually had a head office trainer say to me that he likes to see women in the kitchen and he finds us to be cleaner than our male counterparts.  That just said I had another trainer call me "lady" and that didn't sit well with me at all.  (guy is an arrogant a****** to begin with so I should have expected that out of him anyway)

    I don't think I'm a nazi but I expect the crew to do their jobs and not screw around.  When I call board I expect communication from the crew and if someone winds up in the weeds or runs out of something just tell me and I will make sure they have help to get back on track.  I won't hassle them for getting weeded.. it happens and it's just how the orders come in.  If I had a dollar for every time I've been in the weeds I could retire right now. 

    I work corporate right now but I have worked at indie shops. I'd still be at the cafe had the ownership not changed and things went south after that for food quality. 

    Pet peeves.... too many to mention!  But the biggest is crappy work ethic.  I'm not paying you to play on your cellphone so put it away and do some work!

    I go home, make dinner, tidy the house do laundry and on occasion walk the dog.  The kids tend to walk her when I'm at work and now that it's so hot my husband has been taking her at 9pm when it's cooler out.  Life outside the kitchen is there.. I do see friends and family.. not as often as I'd like to but working full time does that.  I sew, knit and garden so I keep myself busy in my offtime. 

    In 10 years I want to have my own place.  The kids will be grown and I can focus on my career.  It's starting now.. my younger one just finished grade nine but I have four more years at least until I can commit to owning a restaurant. 

    So that's me!
     
  3. ishbel

    ishbel

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    I am assuming this thread is specifically addressed to those working as cooks in a professional capacity...

    Perhaps it would be better posted in the Professional fora?/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
  4. durangojo

    durangojo

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    thanks, isbel, i thought about that later and have no clue how to move it over...do i have to rewrite the whole thing in the professional forum, or is there a way to move it...thanks

    joey
     
     
  5. gypsy2727

    gypsy2727

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    Sounds like you have it covered

    Gypsy
     
  6. left4bread

    left4bread

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    this thread offends my intelligence,

    ... however, sara moutlon rules.
     
  7. sosa

    sosa

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    So other than the OP and another user, we've had no replies that make good on the original question. Nice work, gals.

    Hello, my name is Sosa, I've been working in kitchens for the past three years - two on the line, one in the pit. After two cases of sexual harassment and one nervous breakdown, I've realized that I want to a chef one day. Not a good one, a great one.

    Day-to-day working experience? Well, it's varied so far. One of my pet peeves is when I try to show male coworkers a technique or trick I've picked up and they're openly dismissive of my advice and continue in their backwards ways. Lo and behold! A higher-ranking cook (so far, always male) walks by, gives them the same advice I gave them beforehand, usually with a deprecating remark, and walks away. Sorry bro, I guess if I had insulted you while giving out advice, things would've gone a lot smoother for the both of us. I'm not saying I know best, but it bothers me when I try to act positively and share what little knowledge I do have with others only to have in thrown back in my face.

    I'm a black anglophone (English-speaking) woman working in a male-dominated field in a (or should I say "the") francophone (French-speaking) province. I've described myself as an ethnic "cube" before. What the hell does that have to do with anything? Nothing in my mind. Yet sometimes I can't shake the feeling that I'm in Bizzaro Land, and when I do the best work I can, it's not recognized as such, and when I slip up and make mistakes, sometimes I feel like I get the lash doubly hard as other coworkers would.

    There was one point when I became self-destructive over this, but at some point I also came to the conclusion that this world is full of jackasses. And it might take me a while for these fools to recognize what they're dealing with, but one day, it'll be undeniable, even to the most dense of them. And that thought keeps me going.

    I've been described as "macha" - the female equivalent of "macho" by an associate before. Does it show through my post? ^_^

    All that being said, I am a rocker of the double X and damn proud of it. Well, as proud as you can be of a random genetic assigning. Which in my mind equates to being a pretty empathetic, sweet, and sensitive person... without taking other's manure. Well, as much as I can help doing so. I feel like this job requires of fair amount of shit-eating/grinning & bearing it. Any thoughts?

    Oh, and sometimes when I'm on the line, it takes all the mental strength I've had not to kick a coworker in the cajones.

     Example:

     Myself: "Hey, what are we are we going to do about XYZ?"

     Coworker: [grunt... I'm not joking]

     Myself: "Uh, so what are we going to about XYZ?"

     Coworker: [more grunting]

     Myself: "Yeah, so I'm going on a smoke break right now, be back in 5."

    The thing that keeps me going so far is that it seems to be getting better over time.

    Oh! And I'm a knitter too. Absolutely need music to keep sane. I like my bike, his name is Charles. I've had a brief taste of the Muay Thai and I LIKED IT VERY MUCH. Also, I like stupid movies, especially if they're framed by a TV show that's hosted on the "S.O.L." +10 points to the first person that gets the reference. These are a few of my favorites things. Other than food, duh.
     
  8. durangojo

    durangojo

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    if you get offended this easily, perhaps a kitchen is not the best place for you!...chill left4bread, just trying to peak a little interest here a have a bit of fun...where's the insult?

    joey
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  9. gypsy2727

    gypsy2727

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    well we are all intitled to our opinion are we not? Take a second look at your original thread girl....just sayin
     
  10. durangojo

    durangojo

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    i did just take a second look at my original post.. and still remain confused about what offends exactly, which was definately never my intent...what exactly in the post is offensive.?..i just don;t get it..call me on it, specifically, please..the pms /handgun thing was , like a joke.(i live in the wild west remember)..you remember kitchen humor dontcha? geez..the only reason i even started this thread in the first place was to gather  opinions of working females in all sorts of kitchens with  their experiences in tow, that' s all..simple ,simple....guess i should  just leave laying dogs lie and forgettaabout it.but if you or  someone could enlighten me, i'd be thrilled...aboslutely no offense meant here...ever...i was thinking about more on the lines of women in kitchens... possibly solidarity on some level...guess i'm the wrong tune  in the wrong place...so , why don't you new kitchen mavens start an interesting thread your selves...double dare you?

    joey
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  11. left4bread

    left4bread

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    whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa

    I forgot to put the winky face at the end of my post.

    Everybody put your guns away.

    I formally apologize for my capricious post.  It was a failed attempt at humor.

    I didn't mean to pique anyone's contempt.

    Good thread idea .  I hope it continues to grow and stay on topic.
     
  12. titomike

    titomike

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    ....and what are we learning about women in the industry? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif

    Seriously though, I've noticed a huge increase in numbers of women in kitchens and, more specifically, running them. The genders are not the same therefore your influence on the evolution of the work enviroment remains to be seen. A change is as good as a rest so I hope young female chefs dont succumb to '...if you can't beat 'em join 'em'.

    Since, after reading various contributions, I respect most of the above posters professionally I too look forward to some insight into your perspective, motivations, aspirations etc....the chuckles are just a bonus!

    If nothing else, may this post serve as a reminder that the girls may be writing but the boys are reading.....at least the smart ones!  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

    I'm out.
     
  13. gypsy2727

    gypsy2727

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    I am not offended jo .I personally don't understand what you are asking. My kitchen experiences have been pretty good with the male gender ...I don't separate myself from them professionally,considering that is all there was in the kitchen 30 years ago....About your original thread it just sounded like you were looking for a male bashing session ....if that's not the case ...right on keep up this woman thread...good ,bad ,ugly ...whatever...lol
     
     
  14. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Pardon the intrusion.  One of the privilges of being male is sending a bottle to the ladies. 

    [​IMG]

    To truth, beauty, and your good health.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  15. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Why thank you BDL! 

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  16. durangojo

    durangojo

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    thanks for the boo boo buddy bdl, but i'm a big girl now..thanks gypsy and left4bread for you both taking a second look at the original post...i don't even think i mentioned males in the post and i'm just not the male bashing type..i enjoy the comaraderie of  everyone in the kitchen as its usually such a tight crew working towards the same end goal...a wonderful experience for the customer...i view them(customers) basically as my paycheck..if they don't have a good experience, they don't come back, if they don't come back, business is down, if business is down,eventually i'm out of a job...even though i'm the boss...in my career, i have taken the long way home...i was a private yacht chef in the caribbean for many years, a caterer, a restaurant owner, restaurant starter chef  in the caribbean, which is another story altogether, chef on a small (more goats than people, and only accessible by boat small) island a ski resort chef where i had to ski to work everyday, and now i have been the chief cook and bottle washer at an historic, seasonal restaurant on a high mountain lake in the colorado rockies for the past 17 years..boy, it sounds like i should be atleast 100...i never went the corporate route..i think i did a short stint ( 1 year) in a resort club here because i wanted to be cross trained in all positions...pantry, garde manger, line cook, banquets etc..it was a really good experience, and i learned a ton..but in the end,corporate just ain't my thang. the challenges of running a 'historic' restaurant are many, and most have to do with faulty plumbing, electricity,water heaters, refrigeration,chipmunks, bears, and most recently a bobcat prowling around... i feel like a character in 'don't stop the carnival'..i have a kitchen the size of a postage stamp...i don't have a walk in and most of our refrigeration is ancient. most people have larger kitchens in their homes, and its at least 120 degrees on a cool night.....i am the only cook and we do about 50 to 70 dinners nightly, which doesn't sound like a lot, but its plenty, out of that tiny space trust me...guests come for dinner and they really spend the evening..its an adventure as its 25 miles outside of town...and its local...we are only open 4 nights a week, but we cater on other nights...it is a very busy place...food is eclectic and fun...its rumored to be the best restaurant in town, but its a small town and that comes with its own price tag as you're only as good as your last meal, in my opinion...hard,hard work , but i love it...okay,enough already.... so where do you work? what do you do in the kitchen? are you still having fun? or are you into 'serious' food?...good day all...the handgun is safely put away! (for now)!!

    joey

    thanks bdl...cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  17. leeniek

    leeniek

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    I think that while more and more women are working in the kitchen, in general it's still considered to be a male dominated industry and I think the media does play a part in that.  I think it will be a while as Titomike said before we see just what influence the genders have on the industry as a whole. 
     
  18. leeniek

    leeniek

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    Joey.. wow!  You've done alot in your time in the business.  Corporate for me works right now.. steady pay but there is some room to be creative so I'm never bored. Yes I get frustrated sometimes and tempted.. there is a coffe house opening within walking distance of my house that is hiring a cook.. but having done the coffee house/cafe thing I know that while the potential for creativity is huge the potential for the owners taking over cooking in slow times is also there so... I am staying where I am.  Not to mention I really like where I work and who I work for.  I will approach the coffee house though and see if I can offer cooking classes using their site as a venue.. I did that at the cafe and they were well received.  I left the cafe because ownership changed and with the change came a downward change in food quality and I just couldn't serve what they wanted me to.  The new owners wanted us to use purchased dry mixes for muffins instead of continuing to use homemade muffin mixes (it cost too much to have me in there making the mixes so they figured they could save a couple hours pay and buy the mixes in bulk) they started cheaping out on the portion sizes and  at the same time, raised the prices!  They went from homemade soup to campbell's frozen (again to shave another hour or two from labour cost) but honestly that was done to the detriment of the place.  I've seen reviews of it on the web and every single person has said that since changing ownership the place has gone down.  Interesting too.. since becoming AKM where I am now, we make our soups on site.. and even though they're paying me to be there and make the soup... we're still saving money at the end of the day and our soups sell well because customers know they're really homemade. 
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  19. gypsy2727

    gypsy2727

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    That's really cool Joey and Leeniak,....I get ya now Joey ....I guess I just needed to hear a little bit about you.

    I'm on Sabbitcal for the next year...we'll see what the future brings. I guess that is why I have so much time for this site!

    I started in the kitchen of my parents restaurant when I was 12 washing dishes and busing tables. I got the culinary bug then and it never left. I have been the Chef of high end fine dining establishments,catering companies,pubs,conference centers,even corporate chef to a concrete company! It's been a wonderfull ride and I loved it ...but the world's not done with me yet! it's my time and I'm going to enjoy it!

    Peace

    Gypsy
     
  20. gypsy2727

    gypsy2727

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    Merci Beaucoup BDL.... simply gracious of you...chivalry is not dead   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
     
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