Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Business: It's a dirty Job.

I started working in a professional kitchen right before young aspiring cooks had the notion that the best chefs had their own TV shows or that being a chef was like being a rock star.  It's incredulous how much of that glamorous lifestyle is more in fact not so.

The truth is our job is about getting our hands dirty. We spend about a third of our time prepping, a third of our time cooking, and the last third of it cleaning.  More often then one would think but there are days where all we do is just clean. This career involves a lot of manual labor and a lot of refinement.

Before: Years of Neglect
After: Elbow Grease

A cook is responsible for ‘cleaning as they go’. An expression far too familiar for those within the industry since the day they first started. They work, then they clean, they continue to work and then they clean again. Sanitation is important in our industry.  With more and more food allergens discovered and the presence of bacteria and food-born illness’ it is imperative that we must treat every food item with the utmost respect and care.  A lot of cooks know this, but don’t fully understand the importance of this.

After: Twerk Power
Before: Fryer Grease
Cleanliness is a huge sign of professionalism in our industry. It is why I have such a high regard for those Chefs who really know how to keep their kitchens clean. Have you ever stuck your head in the Pass and Provisions? I bet you'll never find a wandering towel on any table or that every stainless steel surface is so well polished. I love stainless steel. Clean stainless steel is Zen!

Bar Keeper Friend does so many wonders.

The simple idea is this.  When the work place is clean and organized, you are able work in peace.  One is more focused and less distracted by all the clutter.  You must create the professional environment in order to succeed. This contributes to a “Professional Mentality”.  There is a new generation of cooks out there that do not understand this virtue.  They have it in their heads that washing dishes is below them or that scrubbing a pot is not their job.  That mentality disgusts me. That mentality does not belong in a kitchen or even in any business.  Many people are in this industry to survive. Remember that.

1 comment:

  1. Just like a relationship, you learn to love your career/passion as if it was a significant other. When you love someone, you love them through all the things you like and dislike. You chose it, therefore you need to learn to respect it as a whole or you are giving it justice. Great post, Gabe