- Joined Sep 17, 2018
I get your points, as they are valid ones we all have to deal is. My question is how do you think mandated certifications would improve these situations? Don't take this as criticism I have genuine curiosity as I have no answers myself.I live in a very small town (college town, tourist trap) where a dumpy (and i mean DUMPY) one bedroom apartment is going to start around 800, and if you grab a line cook job here, it's very unlikely you'll make more than 10/hr. And the utility rates for downtown living are also MEGA inflated. It's a really insular environment where a lot of cooks got a job in a kitchen through a friend and have never worked anywhere else or with an experienced or educated chef, and genuinely don't realize how lacking their fundamental knowledge in the trade really is.
Contemporary dining in the immediate area generally flounders and dies pretty quickly. The restaurateurs expect thirsty, resilient, prodigy cooks to sacrifice all of their time for little pay, zero benefits, and no personal life because (i suspect) of the way this industry has become so romanticized through reality television, celebrity chefs, and movies. I was a lunatic about working multiple jobs, going outside my comfort zone, and finding kitchens outside of my small town where i could learn, when i was in my early 20s; as i got older, the kids i worked with in their early 20s were mostly just late to work, eager to leave, uninterested in learning, mad they couldn't take off to go to music festivals during busy seasons, and obsessed with getting culinary-inspired tattoos and "title" positions.
I own a tiny bakery where everything is made according to the standards and practices i learned in fine dining; everything is scratch and high quality; everything is made fresh and not frozen. Folks ask me all the time why i don't expand and simply hire people to teach so i didn't have to work so much and the answer is a combination of: rent is too high, the talent pool is too shallow, and we lack an audience who would consistently pay more money for better food. I've literally been name-called by customers for having the audacity to charge 50$ for a cake. If i invested in the overhead to expand the way folks think i ought to, in this particular area, i would run myself into the ground instantaneously, or at best: after the initial excitement died down.
Young people don't want to work in kitchens anymore the way they used to. It's incredibly difficult to make enough money to live, you'll NEVER escape the cycle of renting shared apartments, and the "fun" things your friends are doing with their spare time are generally inaccessible. There are days I just can't imagine what the future of dining will become. I don't know what the solutions are, because people so often demand large portions and low prices, and feel inspired to slam you on social media platforms if you fail to provide. If you want to make great food, it requires a certain minimum in labor, which requires bodies, which requires money (either for skill or in sheer volume of hours). I don't know how this industry will survive in the long run in terms of quality, independent establishments. Folks love to brag about their favorite scratch establishments, and then complain about the prices on their way out the door.