A kitchen job is not as easy as it looks. Imagine a Friday or Saturday night when you have a restaurant full of customers ordering food.. remember the food has to be perfect and you have bill times to deliver. Of course everyone makes mistakes however you need to try your best and deliver perfection every time.
I am not a Head Chef nor a restaurant manager however I am writing this article from an incredible expierence I had at my previous job which was a cook at Earls. I am a person who believes that as long as you learn the lessons from anything, you will be successful at it.
Here is what I stuck too in my time and I assure you it gets very fun!
1) Stay Calm and Relaxed- You will have brutal days. Food will run late, customers will be upset and this will cause a lot of tension between you and your fellow cooks. At this point would you want someone yelling in your face? I don’t think so.. do your best to remain calm and fix each problem as you go.
2) Do Your Homework (Memorize your recipes)- Yes you need to MEMORIZE your recipes. If you do not take the time to do this I suggest not bothering. Having your recipes memorized will help you be more efficient as well as become a better cook! Make sure you eventually perfect these because you don’t want to be serving wrong dishes..
3) Be Clean And Organized- Cleanliness is VERY important in a kitchen. I don’t think you would want to go to a restaurant where everything is dirty right? Keep your station clean always, during rushes it may get messy but before moving onto another task clean your station first! Organize your station as well to make it more efficient such as an area for finishing, loading etc..
4) Smile- If you’re having a bad day, leave it outside the kitchen and focus on your work. You do what’s asked of you and you don’t complain. It will teach you to be a better worker for the future as well. In a kitchen you do not want to be negative around your fellow workers! Reflect off one another therefore everyone is happy and ready to work together.
5) Communicate- THIS IS KEY. Talk all the time… tell your fellow cook on call “Loading this” “Plating This” Etc… Without this errors will be made and I assure you that is not what you want when you have multiple things to cook and customers waiting for their food. When leaving the line, “Behind” or “Hot pans” You get the point. Work as a TEAM.
6) Watch Your Surroundings- In a kitchen environment their are a lot of dangerous factors and situations you will face so be careful and watch out! Hot pans and sharp knives everywhere while everyone is in fast forward.. Watch out. I indeed received some cuts and burns!
7) Don’t be lazy- WORK. HARD. Being lazy in a kitchen will have you not succeed at all. Look to step on things before they appear and make the next move!
8) Don’t Give Up- Honestly.. I wanted to quit after my first few days but I just told myself I could do it and before you know it you will get adjusted to it and not get frustrated.
9) Lastly, HAVE FUN. Enjoying cooking food for customers and having them praise what they are eating and you can tell yourself I MADE THAT.
Of course their are a lot more things to learn and pay attention to while working in a professional kitchen but I believe these are some of the most important ones!