Should i let my sous chef kill my pasion/drive

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by gohard, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. gohard

    gohard

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    firstly a bit of background. I have worked my way up in hospitality starting as bar attendant 10 years ago. at last year i was a manager for a busy hotel chain. so i have done the work and understand how things are supposed to be. I have always had a passion for cooking and have decided to take a huge paycut and lifestyle change and start a mature age apprentiship. I have started at a new venue once again on the bottom of the ladder. Now this brings me to my delema, i absolutly love my job. its 3 months in and i still love going to work. there is head chef, sous chef, kitchen hand , me + 2 other apppentices. work is the first thing i think of when i wake up and the last thing i think of before bed (my wife hates coming second to it). I am also a martial artist and have been for 20 years. i compare the hirachy of a kitchen to that of a dojo. respect is given based on skill, ability which is emphasised by rank. this is just first impressions. that inital respect will only go so far. Now i am going to explain my sous chef. apologies in advance for rambling.

    has hidden agenda. will do anything to get out of doing work. kind of in his own world so nothing else exists/matters. we could and have more than once been doing my prep in my little desert section and he will just come and dump what ever it is that he is doing right infront of my station when i turn my back, now if this was a test for me or whatever then it wouldnt be so bad. the only reason that he does  that is quite literally there is no where else to put stuff.... the entire kitchen is taken up with half finished jobs and things he has gotten distracted from. this is just one of so many examples. he has told me directly when i have asked that it is acceptable to use product if it has been droped on the floor. the rest of us wear hats, when i asked why he doesnt he replied' its only hair. it doesnt matter if it falls in, its a petty issue.' now if i was a junior first year i would be nieve enough to believe it. THAT AINT RIGHT!  now the most recent issue  is a perfect metaphor/highlight for his entire attitude. staff could have 1 softdrink per day, any more than that and we would have to pay for it, sweet. no probs. that was untill 2 days ago. we get told that because the sous chef helps himself to about 10 a day we can no longer have any. when confronted about it he replyed with i shouldnt have to pay. im more important than that. there is so many more examples but im sure u get the point by now. So...  i have spoken to my head chef and she aggrees with me but the 2 never work at the same time, the only time they speak is about once a week. head chef has voiced her opinion to the owner/operator. thats as far as she can go. i know the place of a first year is the bottom of the ladder. but its now at the point where i have to take a breath and walk outside at times to chill off. i cant confront him otherwize there will no longer be an amicable working relationship, but i can feel my pasion and enthusiasm being sucked from me, and thats what pisses me off the most. please advise!!!!
     
  2. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Probably not what you want to hear, but work through it. A hat? A soft-drink? A bad attitude? Sounds like these aren't even issues, rather little bumps in the road... if that! You said you have passion and understand what it means to work your way up. So do that! Keep your energy alive by focusing on you. Keep working and working and working and working. Better days will come and the view will change.

    Until then, chin up!
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    This person is a sous in title only. If he doesn't merit respect from you or the crew he is not a sous. The title Chef is earned not just thrown out to some clown. The guy sounds like a real

    A H. just try and ignore him, I knoW its hard but your day willo come. LEARN FROM HIS ERRORS
     
  4. panini

    panini

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    Hi gohard,

    Gotta go with Jim.

    One little tid-bit.

    Going to the Chef?  Might want to make a habit of not putting your business  in the street. In the kitchen this will usually come back to bite you.

    Sounds like you're into the harder styles(putting wife second) Kidding!LOL  If you're going to stay in the kitchens, visit a Kwoon, Life Sciences,

    Patience,Humility,Honesty and Sincerity will make you a good Chef.

    Don't live to work, work to live. Life is to short.

    Or just come up behind the Sous, and take him out./img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

    Best of luck in your new venture and have fun!

    Panini
     
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  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    It's small stuff. 

    That being said, the Sous sounds like an a**-hat.  Watch cloesly to see how long he stays and how he leaves. Let him make the mistakes and learn from them.

    Hats?  If your hair is a different colour than the sous, keep the hat on.  If it is the same colour, keep the hat on and dye it another colour until the Sous gets the boot, or wears a hat.  Remember, the average Joe looses at least 100 hairs a day. The Sous can't guarantee that it won't be one of his hairs.

    Don't worry about the pop, bring a cyclist's bottle to work fill it with water, and keep it away from your work station.
     
  6. gohard

    gohard

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    appreciate all the feedback. the issues that i have mentioned is extremly petty and yeah i realise this. its not the particulars that is getting us down. its the whole picture and the attitude that comes with it. The rest of the team work so hard to create something we can be proud of. this hard work gets undone in a very nonchalant manner and there seems to be no repercusions of it. i forgot to metion earlier that on his days off he teaches at a local community college. so he does have the theoretical knowlege. he just cant/wont put it into practice and teaches substandards. a big part of the prob is that its the other 2 apprentices that are juniors that are also at a loss. and because i am older with some experiance they are turning to me... which i have no probs with. just means i need to get results.....
     
  7. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
    jim berman likes this.
  8. just jim

    just jim

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    Many owners are wowed by those who talk the talk. You concentrate on walking the walk. You'll do fine.
     
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  9. chez fritz

    chez fritz

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    Hello Gohard

    What I don't understand is why the head chef has not taken the time or interest in getting here kitchen staff working as a team,

    especially when she is absent. I grew up in kitchens where  my head chef and still my mentor, using all means of getting what the believed 

    was the best for us to learn. Many times I was ready to break, that was the times when I looked at my self and ask if I want to be a great chef.

    40 years later I am a great chef, have deep respect for my cooking, pleasure working with young chefs and sharing my experience.

    Gohard if you have it in you of being a great chef, work hard doing what you feel is right, inspire you 2 young apprentice with your work, but most important 

    every working day has a end, go home and enjoy the time with your family and friends. 
     
    gohard likes this.
  10. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    You can't change him, be who you are, where you are.....
     
  11. panini

    panini

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    Skills and experience are two different things.

    I believe that in this industry when you start to mature, you learn more from the negative or wrong things you see.

    My business concept was basically developed from all the wrong and negative events of my training.

    I'm not quite sure how the Chef and Sous don't overlap or work together towards a goal. A sous can really only be as good

    or as bad then his Chef.

     Start you portfolio now. You've already learned so much by observing this guy. You know you need timing,organizing, preparation, and the list goes on and on.

    Don't worry, you will eventually start to learn the positive things. This guy is really helping you by identifying many, many, things. Take advantage of this.

    Hey! There's alot of apprentices who start at the top end kitchens but when they go off on their own they crash and burn because they have not experienced

    what you are seeing now. It's all good. Please take my previous post to heart, this yo-yo could be family or friend of ownership.
     
  12. southpoleman69

    southpoleman69

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    im kind of in the same position as you. Im on my externship, and my head chef is a total pos. He lacks respect, knowledge, and talks about you the second you walk away. He does not help anybody with anything, but tells you constantly it is wrong. does not tell you how he wants it, its just always wrong. Hes sloppy, and a baby. Always crying about something. I went and checked out the place a few months ago, and from then to the time i started my externship, the staff was different. That should have been a red flag right away, but i thought eh. Since i have been there, we have lost 4 people, including a sous. After being here, I dont even wanna cook any longer. This is the kind of person that changes the way a person feels about their passion. In any case, What I have found, is do it all with a smile. I constantly do petty work, forming burgers, tearing lettuce, cleaning oysters. Do it with a smile. Act like it does not bother you at all. Take the crap. Because in the end, hes more irritated about not getting under your skin than you are about the way he works and acts. At least, thats what i do.
     
  13. cheftux

    cheftux

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    GoHard,

    sounds like your getting a true bollocking! Hang in there though, from the sounds of it you might be older than the sous and that could be what is making him act like such a pretentious .... yeah.

    Had the same sort of issue, I was the a line chef for the restaurant and had 3 people under me two of which were older than myself. The urge to be a dick just to show superiority is overwhelming. My advice is to follow foodpump, he'll be out of your hair soon enough (PUN!)

    :tux