You need to eat





THE SOUNDS OF A ROOM
Dear "plans to be a chef",

Stop! Do not do it. Cancel your plans, put away your pans. Save your lives and drop those knives. You enjoy to cook at home? You have seen television chefs wow critics and laymen with delicious dishes? You think cooking will be a fun rewarding career? Possibly you just love food? It may be that you just can't decide and cooking seems easy? Well my young hopefuls, think hard before you plunk down the usually excessive tuitions, think long and hard. Unless you are sure, take my advice and find a new path.

So you have chosen the road to Perdition that is kitchen life, hear this. After graduation hopefully you will have some fairly good food knowledge, decent knife skills, and enough basic technique to put together some pretty decent dishes. Unfortunately, the most likely results will be a know it all attitude, an unearned feeling of superiority over your uneducated co-workers, and little more than fuck all knowledge of a professional kitchen. So if you Ignore my earlier advice, when school's over and you start your new job, shut the fuck up, keep your head down and get ready to work your ass off.

Get ready to peel lots of carrots, scrub tons of potatoes, dice buckets of onions, and clean the shit off of mushrooms. These will be your exciting jobs. Not so exciting jobs may include scrubbing stoves, cleaning stockpots and deep fryers. You will not be grilling. You will not be flipping a pan. No pasta for you. If you seem especially bright you might get to build a salad or two. Why? Because you will fuck these things up. You will burn things, yourself included. Cut things incorrectly, yourself included. Generally you will run around buggering things up, yourself included.

Look forward to long hard hours. Be prepared for verbal assaults from unbalanced, possibly alcoholic chefs. Don't look forward to lunch breaks there will not be many. Expect complaints by the bucketful and compliments by the ...well, never. When you finally work your way up to the line expect chaos...hopefully controlled chaos, but chaos none the less. Then after years of hard work, dedication, extra hours, and studying food around the clock, if you're lucky, expect a position that pays nearly as much as the busboy.

These are truths of the Industry. These are the good conditions. Some restaurants will try to swindle you out of any overtime pay, charge you for uniforms and much worse. That is a different story though. So heed my advice and proceed with caution. After years over a stove young cook, I for one, love this fucking job.

Warm regards and good luck,

Chef Hank

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