A Transition Period of Switching Kitchens
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I just so happen to be in a transition period of switching kitchens in the last three months and my transition period between the two has been in a way, incredibly unique, not so bad but not exactly what I was expecting.
In my last kitchen I learned a great deal of techniques and basic food knowledge, I got my Serv-Safe certification there and I worked with an incredible crew of genuinely kind and intelligent individuals. This is the place I originally fell in love with food because of the perspective of speech that was expressed by the chef and the kitchen assistant manager.
Every single day I would show up a half an hour to an hour early and sit in the parking lot with a coworker or two and just bullshit, if I didn’t work the day before I would ask him how service went. We would converse back and forth until up to 15 minutes before our shift. All the cooks would show up at the same time all walking through that back door to be greeted by either the prep cooks glare because of a large prep list or the chef shouting from the office something of importance.
I worked Expo and salad/dessert for the first 6 months, I was trained on Expo by the general manager so I guess I kind of got special training which was nice because that way I could always reference that when servers would question me.
I enjoyed making salads and desserts, this was probably the easier station in the kitchen because I could crank out salads like none other. Desserts were fun to make and seeing a perfectly fired crème brûlèe was food porn for the eyes.
Once I was offered a position on the cook line, I started out fry cooking which came naturally because my very first job was fast food, fry cooking. But this was more in depth, we battered our own fried food such as Onion Rings, fish sticks, jalapeno poppers, etc.
After a few months working fry cook, I was finally promoted to sauté cook, this station was mine and a few others personal favorite. Everything delicious came from sauté in my opinion. A perfect sear on a chicken or fish or steak could outperform any fried food. Plus, you have the option to make composure dishes and these were amazing, I loved making feature dinners, showing up early with enthusiasm to chef up something delicious and special! Trying all the different fishes from the local fish market, seeing what would work and what didn’t work.
Once I was the floater in the kitchen and could run every single station I was then trained to grill and broil. We had a charbroil and an inferred broil that would instant sear steaks at 1800° which made dinner rushes a breeze. I’ll admit I got “slammed” a few times and brought me to points of breaking. By the end of the night on many occasions I was salty, sweaty, tired, and defeated. I’d go home and instantly pass out because of the exhaustion.
This was all just the beginning to a hellish way of life that I’m in love with. I’m excited to remember the good and the bad and the worse, but it’s all a part of the journey I currently am on to become the chef I want to be. I don’t want to be a celebrity but I want to be successful in this, which requires me to never stop learning.
So, this all is a transition period of switching kitchens for me and I am excited to learn the new turf and new techniques. No one chef should only be stuck in one kitchen maybe even only two. We all need that new setting and place.