Technique or Speed?

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Joined Jul 27, 2013
Hello everyone, this is my first post and first thread. 

I am a line cook, and I have been for 18 months, 3 of which I have been on the hot line, and I am trying to decide between staying at my current job or moving to a new place that has offered.  Both places have excellent reputations, but one gives me the opportunity to explore more advanced cooking techniques and cross-train in pastry while the other keeps me on the line during busier services and will eventually improve my hand speed.  

My question is for the more experienced chefs out there:  Is it better to develop and emphasize technique or hand speed? 

Thanks everyone. 
 

kuan

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Good technique makes you fast without looking like a chicken running around the kitchen with its head cut off.
 
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Technique. Speed without technique is just slop. Technique with time and practice becomes speed with technique. Thats my 2 cents.
Im with lagom , obviosuly you should develop both , but i have always chose technique over speed , prefer quality over velocity. 
 
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Everyone gets fast with practice but not everyone gets good. Technique gives you skill, confidence, knowledge and the ability the climb the ladder (kitchen manager, lead line cook, sous, whatever). Technique always beats speed in my book.

I'm not saying speed isn't important (it's huge!) so if you do stay at your current place don't disregard it all together. If you're motivated enough to want to get better technique wise you already have the potential to be both fast and good technically. If speed comes before technique (it did for me in casual restaurants) you'll be able to get the job done when the sh*t hits the fan. These sorta nights when the books are overflowing and tickets are ringing non-stop, the chef and expo just want to get the damn food out at all costs. This is where speed comes in and gives you the balls to get the food out while the Keller-wannabes are sh*tting bricks in the weeds.

That's my 2 cents.
 
 
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interesting replies and confirms for me what I already had in my mind.

my chef keeps telling me about speed (mind you, this is a mid level restaurant with very complex entrees, garnished with flower leaves and stuff...hard to do fast when its busy) while I myself, think technique is important.

the advice now is to go work at a high volume restaurant (aka hotel etc) to get speed....I think I am not going to be happy there.

so, question on top of this, WHEN are you considered to be not fast enough?
 
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...so, question on top of this, WHEN are you considered to be not fast enough?
When your Chef says so ? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

When you hold up the production of the line?

When you are always the last to finish whatever task?

When you never have time to clean your station?

When you cannot seem to get your mise en place completed before service?

When you never have time to maintain your knives, tools, etc.?
 
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Try to get your technique right first : technique you can learn and speed will follow with practice.
 
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so, question on top of this, WHEN are you considered to be not fast enough?
When your Chef says so ? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

When you hold up the production of the line?

When you are always the last to finish whatever task?

When you never have time to clean your station?

When you cannot seem to get your mise en place completed before service?

When you never have time to maintain your knives, tools, etc.?
If you are ever muttering (or screaming) the phrase "I don't have the time" or "I only have two hands".
 
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Ok let's tick boxes.... and on top on my garde manger work, in between I even do the dishes.....

When your Chef says so ? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif  He does......BUT....there are a few points he does not take into account... see above and below, PLUS.....

we have very labour intensive starter dishes (aka garnished with flower petals, leaves etc....we have to pick these a la minute, including the frisee salad...) and those take time!

I only work for him since 3 months, having not very much but anywaysearlier experience, and yet he expects me to have speed.

when I see him or my collegue on the line garnish the main with the vegs they are MUCH slower than I am... :p

and when chef gives others orders to go help me when there is no need, how can I become faster.... (that said, aside from the fact he thinks starters should be out within 15 mins no matter how many guests at that table)

When you hold up the production of the line? I don't

When you are always the last to finish whatever task? I don't

When you never have time to clean your station? I always have

When you cannot seem to get your mise en place  completed before service? Way ahead of starting service, even

When you never have time to maintain your knives, tools, etc.? Always do, I am a sharp junkie..

SO, I am gonna aim for technique.....am already much faster than I was few months back, gained more experience and cutting technique has improved much!
 
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Technique. Speed without technique is just slop. Technique with time and practice becomes speed with technique. Thats my 2 cents.
+ 1000

When I was a younger Commis I took a 2nd job in an Italian Cafe in Manly ( Sydney , Australia ) specifically to develop my speed and organisational skills - tiny kitchen 300+ meals , homemade pasta ( sauce recipes from the Nona of the Family ) - I had been working in a 4 star hotel on Manly Beach and the combination of those 2 jobs enabled me to move up the ladder out of Larder and Fly in the Kitchen - Great experience and never looked back - would do the same if given the opportunity to do it all again .

Develop your Technique and Speed will come !!!!
 
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Cant add a word.

very well said guys technique first, the speed will come over time.
 
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