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alexhntk

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
2
Hey all, looks like a great forum you have here. A short intro:

Just moved to Toronto (Canada) from a small town, initially to pursue my passion for music, then realized I needed a job! Got in as a busser in a super high volume chain restaurant, spoke to the chef about BOH and got in as dishwasher. A month or so later I got moved up to friers, where I've been for 2 weeks (maybe longer, time flies these days!). I've always been interested in cooking, considered going to school for it. Infact the head chef at my restaurant dissuaded me from going to school in lieu of just working for her and learning what its like. Very grateful for the opportunity. So far I'm loving it, but it's definitely daunting at times.

Ramble ensuing:
So, as I said, the restaurant I work in is very high volume (average day on the weekend the store takes in between 22 and 28 grand), friers especially. When I work with the experienced frier things tend to go pretty damn well, I know what is needed and what's expected of me and I do my best to hustle it out. Lately however I've been the only one on friers, and have been weeded a few times way beyond my capacity. It's been pretty frustrating, I feel like I'm blowing it and just not up to snuff. I remind myself I've only been at it for a few weeks, but that doesn't feel like a valid excuse. So basically I'm just looking for any advice, encouragement, harsh reality, anything you have to offer. I'm not going anywhere (unless they decide I'm too slow and axe me), and generally speaking I have a great attitude towards work. I get complimented frequently on being able to keep my cool even in the worst of situations, but inside I'm disappointed with my performance. Sooo, thats my story! Sorry for the long rant. I look forward to reading more on here and seeing what you folks have to say.
 

PrincessFiona60

Ogress Supreme
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
38,955
Location
Wyoming
Welcome to DC!

Talk to your co-workers, the cooks, etc, especially after a big rush ask them if they've been feeling out in the weeds, too! Odds are they have been. It's the nature of the beast...sometimes it just goes nuts and you do your best to keep dancing. Has anyone been hassling you about speed? If not, you concentrate on technique and be the best darn fryer you can be.

It takes time to build up a rhythm of your own, one that works for you. Others can show you technique, but you need to make it yours.
 

alexhntk

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
2
For the most part everyone is highly encouraging and understanding. The head chef frequently tells me that she thinks I'm developing very nicely, and yea. Overall, there's a lot of support. My last shift however, was probably my worst. It was a sunday, but we had a massive event going on just down the road. What was a pretty slow / reasonable day turned into a real mess. After our first big blast, when I was weeded (first of two or three times that day) I had someone jump on the line to do plating for me. After it had died down I asked the KM if there was anything I could've done better in the rush and he said "not at all. you're working on getting your speed up and thats the main thing". So far noone has said even suggested I'm below par, but that shift really hit me hard / made me feel pretty inadequate. Going to just go in tomorrow with a solid attitude and see how it goes.

Seems like I'm on the right track, but I'm always looking for advice and ideas. I think I need to tone it down in that sense and just be more confident / a bit easier on myself as far as my performance in relation to my experience. Thanks for the welcome btw!
 

PrincessFiona60

Ogress Supreme
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
38,955
Location
Wyoming
For the most part everyone is highly encouraging and understanding. The head chef frequently tells me that she thinks I'm developing very nicely, and yea. Overall, there's a lot of support. My last shift however, was probably my worst. It was a sunday, but we had a massive event going on just down the road. What was a pretty slow / reasonable day turned into a real mess. After our first big blast, when I was weeded (first of two or three times that day) I had someone jump on the line to do plating for me. After it had died down I asked the KM if there was anything I could've done better in the rush and he said "not at all. you're working on getting your speed up and thats the main thing". So far noone has said even suggested I'm below par, but that shift really hit me hard / made me feel pretty inadequate. Going to just go in tomorrow with a solid attitude and see how it goes.

Seems like I'm on the right track, but I'm always looking for advice and ideas. I think I need to tone it down in that sense and just be more confident / a bit easier on myself as far as my performance in relation to my experience. Thanks for the welcome btw!

You're very welcome!

Sundays...they will get you every time. The busy times are off a bit because of Church ending and you have several early rushes. Make yourself aware of the times and just get yourself set up as much as you can in between rushes.

It sounds like you are your harshest critic...Knock it off:LOL: You are talking about my friend Alex and he reigns on the fryer! Just think, you helped feed all those hungry people...good job!
 

Aunt Bea

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
7,837
Location
near Mount Pilot
I think the fact you care about your performance says an awful lot!

When you get slammed just put one foot in front of the other and keep going. The rough moments always pass.

Welcome to DC!
 

Snip 13

Master Chef
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
5,584
Location
Brakpan, South Africa
Welcome to DC Alex!
I still pretty new myself but I can tell you that this is a great forum with lovely people.
Good luck with the job and hang in there. We all feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes!
 

Zhizara

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 16, 2008
Messages
12,433
Location
New Orleans, LA
Welcome to DC, Alex. The Venting thread is always here when you need it. It feels great when you let it out to a sympathetic group.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,799
Location
Massachusetts
Trust me, you wouldn't be getting all that encouragement and those favorable comments if they didn't mean it. The kitchen is a place where you have to produce so no deadwood is allowed to hang around.

News flash, you don't start out being "great" in a job. The greatness you see in others came with a lot of hard word and practice. As one person said to you, you are developing your speed. Don't rush it. It will happen as you work at it.

Patience.
 

GB

Chief Eating Officer
Joined
Jul 14, 2004
Messages
25,510
Location
USA,Massachusetts
If your attitude is any indication then you are doing just fine. Like you said, you have been doing this a very short time so don't expect yourself to be an expert yet. You will get there with time and practice. That you ate do concerned with doing better means you will do better. Just keep at it and you will get to the point you are striving for.

Welcome to the site!
 

purple.alien.giraffe

Executive Chef
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
2,623
Location
Mostly in my head
Welcome to DC! I know nothing about working in a kitchen but I've worked some other high stress, make it or not jobs and it's all pretty much the same. You throw everything you have into it and try to keep positive while secretly agonizing that you're not keeping up or holding your own or you're going to end up as "the useless one". Then one day you realize you're just doing your job, you're keeping up, people like you and you're not fretting about it anymore. And you think to yourself, huh, when did that happen? That's been my experience at least and the experience of a lot of other people I've talked to. Just keep at, keep the positive attitude and you'll get there. :)
 

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