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message posted 15-Mar-08 00:01:38
this is a very wrong portrait about what chef is all about, doesn't mean that some people think that by shouting and yelling you are actually making them work better or perform better, and it has defo nothing to do with wages, because if you are a chef who is in it for just the wages, then forgive me if i say this but you will never make it to a respected level in this business. I met some chefs in my life they are so great that they hate even th eword midia or interview with TV or any thing that pulls them to this way of becoming show business rather than chefs. i have been years in th ebusiness and just to answer your question about "Are chefs abusive?" my answer is no and no and no.
It's like minority reports, just some people think that thsi is a way to get everyone in control and the job demands is tough and so on. I have 30+ chefs under my hands and never have i yelled at anyone except to call for someone from my office. How to do that, is one sentence.

Be in it for th epassion not the wage, and be there for them all the time not only if they need you, and rememeber this, we all were learning at some time"
message posted 02-Apr-08 23:11:51
Hi Wendy

I have been a Chef for nearly thirty years, that puts me at about the same age as Gordon Ramsay, I grew up in the same period, from the late seventies.

I am cool, calm and collected, very rarely loose my rag, keep calm and love what I do. The two early influences in my career were very professional and grounded chefs. They were not impetious or petulant, if they were stressed ( as we all get) they would turn, look at the wall and curse!

This was never a personal abuse, if you were responsible , you knew and appologised to the chef at the first opportunity.

Neither held a grudge but both based their training scedules upon these incedents
message posted 28-Apr-08 20:24:04
Sorry mate did you start cooking when you were 10 or 11 cos if youve been cooking for 30 years and your the same age as Ramsey you must have been.
message posted 30-Apr-08 00:54:22
Abuse? Never...
A private club membership way of life.....yes.....
Camaraderie...yes.....Bonding in a special way...yes!!!!!!!
I do not believe chefs are abusive.....(allow yourself a smirk!!).
Seriously, we got canned in school for whatever reason. You learned to live with it, get on with life, and you knew for definite, you were not going back to the headmaster's office(Sadistic bastard made you choose your own switch-as it cut thru the air you dropped a brick!!). Truth be told, we all knew the reasons behind it-unruly/disruptive behaviour....and we had a very well behaved school crowd!!
Another way of looking at it: during first year at college, the Chef had a thing for initiating us- a well judged clip at the top of the ear to connect with your skull, on a good day. On a so-so day, you got rolling pin on your funny bone. On a really bad day, a punch to the kidneys almost winding you....and the worst bit-all you actually did recall of your mishap was your colleagues laughing at you, the loser,a sell out, coz you let the team down, and f*****kd up an order, a service or really cooked something the wrong colour/degree!!!! You learned from all this, it made you that *extra* little bit more determined to not mess up. You were in earlier to sort out mis-o, you got sharp and on the ball, stronger. So you became a major team player, like all your mates....listening, anticipating, flitting, juggling, multi-tasking, co-ordinating the whole of ten to fifty staff working a service, getting hot and keeping sharp, probably burning/cutting yourself into the bargain. No time for baby talk....and good service equates to happy customers which means a sustained/successful business. Bonus, if you were lucky, some hot waitress gave you some....YESSSSSS!!!!!!
Beyond this, there was a cut off point. We all know FIFO. Fit In or F*****k OFF!!!!

HEY, We also know of a certain hair-drier legend(footie)!!! No one bitches.....abuse....!!!
Imagine a lack of discipline in the army.....yeah right...!!!!!!! Abuse???
What makes a chef job so different to be picked on?

See, it really is a difficult job,a team job 99.999999% of the time, and if one is monkeying about messing it up for others, it is a let down, a negative reflection on the team. So chef getting fresh with you was coz he cared, he cared so much that he really wanted you to be so good at your job; keep up the team morale and job satisfaction-goodness knows not much else is to be had!!!
Because we were kids, and they were our guardians.
Second year, you got treated like an adult, And you realised it, you behaved mature.A rollicking in the office was a part of life. Made a man of you(girls were always well behaved or got soft telling off-truth!!! BUT, good girl chefs kick butt any day, granted! I reckon they have to work harder!!!). Kids with good breeding from home appreciate this element of discipline.
Point being, there has to be order, control and discipline in an environment as a kitchen(army, football team). It is so important, there is no other career on this earth that has to work to such extreme time constraints,day in day out, consistently perfect. And that is before the bureaucrats start interefering with stupid rules that are only ever enforced in the UK. The noise(addictively sexy!!), the smells, the bodies, the characters, the produce, the costs, the equipment, resources, marketing, YOUR NAME ON THE LINE....and some little zit-punk is gonna try upset your system??? Unfortunately we do get some strays that have no respect for this order, and we all know ASBOs do not work. I would never swap my training days. It was hard, and I loved it. All my peers/colleagues done good by it. It was never abuse, it was guidance. And it worked up our tolerance (wisdom)levels. We need tolerance(wisdom), in this world today.......ASBOs an' all.

Telly is telly, always sensationalism. Real life is a different ball game.

Big Love
crazy chef....
message posted 05-May-08 10:43:58
Kitchens are a fun place to work, i have always tried to have an even tempered kitchen where the chefs are generally polite, noise is always an issue as is heat etc. it is hard to be cool when you have just poured hot fat over your hand and melted the skin before 3 hours of service because some muppet of a kp has moved a pan of the stuff or a trainee has just poured the stock down the sink and is asking what to do with the stuff in the colinder despite being given instructions as to what he should be doing. However the kp should not have had the time to be near the stove, he should have been peeling shallots and the trainee is what he is a trainee with no clue and he should not have been straining the stock in the first place, what a life, love it! :)
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