Joined May 28, 2013
Ok. So cooks have the worse schedules. Worse pay. Not a chance of having a normal life.
So what do I do. I move a couple hours away to get a city job in San Francisco that pays 80k plus. M-f 7-3:30. Full benefits. Sounds awesome right. One problem. The rush keeps calling my name.
After 6 months or so I pick up a part time gig at a cool little bistro on the weekends rocking out brunch. Let the chef know right away I'm not here for the money. Just passion and I want a couple shifts....don't burn me out because I have a full time job. He agreed. Of course 2-3 shifts in my schedule changes and I'm coming up w specials, soups, And running brunch which somehow ends up being 9 hours days. I burned out and had to let it go.
So now I'm back to just the job I don't want but thought would be great because I could have a life in my sparetime. That didn't last. The craving for the rush is too strong. So what I did was got a lil gig at the Biergarden down the street and it's really chill and the menu is small and everything is sourced properly. Really great gig. Since I started this gig I have told myself no matter what I'm gonna cook. Forget the money and forget the time off and great benefits.
The beirgarden is part of another restaurant where I was asked to work last Friday. GUESS WHAT!!!! I got my rush.

I'm still working the day job and I don't have any days off/ no time for life but I am glad to be back on the line rearning the moves and spanish communication ha. I hopefully be full time cook as soon as I find the gig that will pay me enough to pay bills. But in the meantime I got my Friday night in the hot spot where pressure builds and the time flies.
Joined Dec 23, 2004
I have loved living the life of a chef for these many years, but damn- I'd trade it for an $80,000 gig M-F!  You're nuts, pal./img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
Joined Jan 31, 2012
Sheez, at 80k a year, being used to the frugal lifestyle of a
food cooker upper, i could work 2 or 3 years and save plenty to
open my own business. Wth the only ones telling me what to do being,
me myself and i.
Joined Apr 11, 2013
I defintely know what its like to miss the rush. 

I was workin earlier this year at a nice little bistro, good salary, good hours, sunday off....

But no rush... like ever. 

Then i started doing gigs over the weekend and a nice little hidden casual restaurant, serving some really good food, at realyl good prices in a pretty nice environment. Didn´t think that a place like that would have a rush but boy was i wrong. 

The menu´s been pretty simple, the food is a step up casual dining with a great twist. We were putting out 50-60 dishes (middle of the week) during the lunch rush in an environment that seats about 30... In 2-3 lines cooks. 

Boy it felt great getting that rush back. 

So great that after the bistro closed i got a full time job at this new place and i´m just loving it. 

I´m not working at this place for the salary or the hours but more for the opportunity, to learn and to get some more experience on my resume. This place has climbed to the 7th position on tripadvisor in my town that has over 700 restaurants. May not seem like much, but it´s cleary one of the best places in town and i really want to be part of the team and get us to the top. It´s actually one of the few places where i really do want to give it my all and see it grow, and have that as part of my professinal reputation and history. 

Anyway lets stop with the blah blah blah. 

Today was expected to be a pretty calm day. We started our lunch service and there was no rush, no clients....culianry event in town was hogging the majority of the public.

Then at 1:30pm,an hour and a half before closing time, 45 diners com in all at once...

And the rush began, just me another line cook and our chef.... boy did it feel great getting through that, yesterday we did over 50 covers and friday we did 70. 

Of course i have done more dishes on a daily basis, but never in such a small enviroment, in less cooks, with more pressure working multiple stations. 

The restaurants been open for 8 months, right now the team we got going is great and we are all pretty bad ass in our own right. All young and quick and really pro-team kind of people. 

Business seems to only be booming, and all of us really just want get this restaurant to the top in town. 

Can´t wait till we start doing 80 covers a day on weekdays and who knows maybe over a 100 on weekends. 

Now that we are going to start opening friday and saturday nights, i´ll be working double shifts every weekend. And honestly i´m prety excited.

Been such a long time since i have enjoyed working so hard, but feeling sooo good!! 

I´m defintely tired most days, but i guess this is what happens when you start having a lot of fun in your job. 

Tomorrow will be a whole new day!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif

So i know how you feel. The rush is great, and the learning experience in a great busy place is even better. So i´m gonna have a blast and hope you have a blast too!
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Joined May 28, 2013
80k is not a lot in San Francisco. Plus benefits drain a lot of my paycheck. That's besides the fact tho. I'm a cook. Always will be! I could give that up and work this day job w a pension for the next 30 years or I could do what brings out the best in me. Sounds like a ton to sacrifice but doin something I'm not into so I can live easy when I'm 62. F that! I'm barely turning 30. I gotta get my skills honed in. Maybe when I'm 62 I'll have some guy like me at 29 who really wants to cook run my restruant and pay for my retirement.

For those who said they would give up the knives for 80k don't lose your contacts because you will prob be crawling back to the kitchen after a few months.
Joined Dec 23, 2004
Well, 33 years in the kitchen and some days I'm crawling, period.  I love it most of the time but it takes a physical toll.  I probably won't survive to 62 if I keep doing it.
Joined Jul 18, 2016
As chefs I think we all have a screw loose ....we love the rush....I just started at a new place local source everything so our "Christopher walkin" always has a surprise for me each day.  Lunch dinner and brunch are taking off and the menu gets update atleast once a week with new items.  Have a ton of freedom to experiment....Owners love it....only problem is it is only the two of us so the rush is before and during service.....Prep is crazy....we have a 1 hour over lap so we can get our changes together...also rotating shifts....I love it everyone else thinks I am crazy and to go back with my DB Admin....maybe I will design and consult in my free time...but I know I will just think about the next days menu...and how to utilize our seasonal fruits and vegetables to its fullest.  Keep on with the rush!!!!  Now I need a cup of coffee
Joined Aug 14, 2016
I cook by myself at a place that seats 120 in the summer. Mostly from scratch, cooked to order food. Our day bartender took 3 reservations of 10 for same time last night. I was pissed, but I don't fail. We let our customers get away with murder. They can order whatever they want. Gets crazy. But that beer in AC at end of night tastes even sweeter. I always say the rainy days make you appreciate the sunny days more. I can't imagine a boring job.
Joined May 28, 2014
I definitely can relate to you OP.  I just left a cushy corporate dining job with regular hours, nights/weekends off to accept a job as a saute line cook at a busy Italian restaurant.  I missed the rush so much, missed the development of skills and cammaderie on the line.  Money isn't everything.  Besides, I never saw my friends in the restaurant business- it sucked to be going to bed at 10pm when they got out of work!  Quality of life > money. The rush sustains us.
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