I am a pastry chef in a privately owned "upscale casual" restaurant. We've been open for 6 months now, and for the most part, things are going great. My major issue that seems to keep cropping up revolves around my boss, the Executive Chef and Owner. For the most part, we get along great, and tend to operate on similar wavelengths when it comes to food. My problem is, sometimes, he just doesn't get exactly how different pastry is from the culinary side. Sometimes this rears it's head when he expects my downtime to coincide with his, or he doesn't realize how much notice I need to complete certain items (ex: I can't just 'whip up' a batch of bread in a half hour!). My biggest point of contention is his insistence that I personally be there to plate desserts 3 nights a week. Personally, I feel that if I am the only person in the restaurant that knows how to properly plate the desserts I've made, then I've failed as a pastry chef. Aside from the obvious, 'How hard can it be to put a piece of cake on a plate?', I try very hard to make each item as efficient and accessable as possible so that there is little demand on the persons responsible for plating. I'm sure most of you know how unpredictable the pace can be in a restaurant--even if we're really busy, I could go hours between dessert orders, which means that I have a lot of time on my hands on the nights I'm there. I try my best to fill it responsibly by getting extra prep or cleaning done, but obviously the demands of the customers come first, and most of the time that prohibits my getting too involved in preparing items that need constant attention or careful monitoring. I end up feeling like I've wasted most of my time by the end of the night, even if I've managed to get administrative work done, clean or reorganize my station or common storage areas, etc. It seems so counter productive to require me to spend my time waiting for orders when I could be working different hours and making more food--a lot of times, I have a hard time keeping up with demand for breads, and our backup stock gets depleted far too often, and we often have catered events that require specialized items. My question is, is this a normal part of the duties of Pastry Chef in a restaurant? For some reason, every time I do it, I feel as though I'm doing someone else's job. In my opinion, I'm really only doing it because they need an extra person there those nights, and I'm helping out & paying dues. My Chef doesn't seem to agree. He approaches it from the point of view that naturally I'm the only person who could be responsible for that duty, and no one else is qualified to touch my things. I've been very open to doing extra things around the kitchen when they need it because I really want to see this place succeed, and I believe I am a responsible and dependable employee. I'm beginning to wonder, though, if his expectations will change when they can finally afford to hire extra people.