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  1. I'm sure that this has been said a few hundred times, but I wanted to add my three cents anyway. I hate it when people cannot take off their hat or when someone decides to take a phone call at the table. It drives me insane!!
  2. I have never just went over to a friend or associate's home and just went through their cabinets. But there have been a number of personal chef gigs that I have done in where they have insisted that I use their spices. Going through the kitchen at the owner's requests has turned up some pretty interesting results.
  3. I come from a long line of chefs and cooks in my family. I've tried to get away from the business, but... here I am... a chef! I went to culinary school and I really enjoyed it. I've made a lot of friends and I have been able to network using my chef instructors and others from the school. Make no mistake about it, in this business you are always show casing your talents. If you aren't worth 2 cents then you aren't going to make it very far. I have seen some people out there who have went to culinary school and they have no talent because they don't have the passion. No matter what, you have to have the desire and the passion. Just knowing a bunch of kitchen lingo and trying to pass yourself off as a cook isn't enough.
  4. I know that this is a little late, but you should do fine. Believe in you and show them your confidence. I do hope that all went well!
  5. With this economy, a lot of hours have been cut at a lot of places. So, adjustments have been made. Now, it is possible to work everyday of the week every now and then because of the demand. This industry is not a 9-5 business.
  6. Very well said! I enjoyed reading this!!
  7. There are times when I see certain items on the menu all the time, and the other items are here and there. But, then there are times when all of a sudden almost everyone in the dining room orders the same thing! This is when I get really hammered and I blow through all of my prep. This is something that as always remained a mystery to me as well. Some days the customers/members want item A and other times... item B.
  8. My little tib bit of advice would be to get used to being burned... a lot! As a cook we never learn to stop burning ourselves constantly.
  9. I went to a sister culinary school of CCA, and I have to admit, that news article is right on target. We as culinary students always talked about how we were being taken advantage of and how certain things that were talked about during recruitment were never delivered. We've made the most of it though... but I wish that I could have gotten a little more for what I am paying back in school loans.
  10. I'm going to list my issues from both perspectives... from a customer's point of view and my view from the kitchen. Customer's Point of View: 1. Not giving my table any attention. (Checking up on my table every 20 minutes) 2. No enthusiasm. (Yeah, what can I get ya.) 3. Forgetting my order after I've mentioned it two or more times. 4. Not having any clean silverware for my table. From the Kitchen: 1. Taking food off of the plates in the window. 2. Using my expensive knives to cut their lemons. (Without my permission) 3. Using my cutting board for whatever reason. 4. Complaining about a tip when we in the kitchen get nothing!
  11. My sous chef and I were having this conversation not too long ago. She was telling me that sooner or later, I will give into the SYSCO generation and way of doing things. That businesses now a days are more apt to purchase from SYSCO because no one has the time to do any "real" cooking. Basically, everything is about the bottom line. Which, is kinda strange to me since doing some actual prep that involves knife skills and following the guidelines of a recipe would actually save so much more money on that ever so difficult food budget. I actually think that a lot of restaurants now a days do not have the talent that they need to actually make something that has some real taste. It's a lot cheaper in labor costs to hire someone who has a limited culinary knowledge and just have them do whatever they are told to do. In the long run, the quality of the food suffers and company's like SYSCO become the Wal-Mart of the restaurant business.
  12. One of my all time favorites is when a guest or client decides to change the BEO at the very last second. After a few days of prep and ordering product, then they decide to either change the guest numbers or the menu.
  13. There are some culinary schools that require you to work a certain amount of months before you can apply or start classes. I went to school at Le Cordon Bleu and I can surely say that for me, learning the actual food science was worth the money alone. It's not just important to know how to do something, but also why certain things work and the actual names of techniques. I started my culinary career when I was a teenager as a dishwasher and cleaning bathrooms. Eventually, I was able to actually work my way to the line and actually cooking. Although the real world experience was great, culinary school tied up all of the loose ends. Choose carefully where you decide to go to school. Have a plan and work it throughout your training. That way, you set yourself up for success while in school and afterwards. Good luck!
  14. When I was in culinary school, I had a chef instructor who had a seafood allergy. He was also my Garde Manger instructor and this did not stop him or slow him down a bit. He could tell if the seafood was done by looking at it and touching it. He never had to taste it, and he never missed a beat. There are plenty of chefs who have all types of allergies. I am lactose intolerant, but I don't let that get in my way. Although just tastings are good enough for me, I haven't let it stop me from being a chef. Good luck!!
  15. I thought that Victoria's and Albert's was fantastic! I love the Grand Floridian Hotel and I feel that Victoria's and Albert's is an excellent addition. Just my two cents.
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