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    Jamaica Plain, MA

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  1. If it's something you really feel you're passionate about, then by all means pursue it. People have offered some good suggestions about getting your foot in the door and starting out - it's all great advise. But I want to be very clear on a few things, because one of the more idiotic things I see are young cooks coming in who make decent home food, think they can become a 'professional chef' in just a few years with minimal work or real skill. If someone or something tells you that this is an easy profession to excel at, they're either an idiot, or work in a shitty hotel.
  2. I started to, lost interest. Seems fine-ish, really just seemed like a weaker answer to something like A Chef's Table or Mind of a Chef or any of that ilk. I agree with what I saw that it was rushed, I think an hour would be have been better - I found myself thinking Emeril didn't do a terrible job either, so maybe more time would have helped. I'll finish watching it when I can't think of anything else to watch as a filler, I don't see it as something I'd hurry to go finish. Not saying it's bad, it just didn't seem to catch me like some of the other high-quality food shows as of la
  3. It's PR and media plain and simple. I also don't think it's white vs whatever, but more about "pedigreed" vs a "nobody" - there are plenty of white chefs who legitimately have more experience cooking a certain type of ethnic food than someone of that ethnicity due to interest. It's how the media pushes it - someone with a big name opening a taco place? Well he's big and famous for a reason because he worked for X and Y, so that means he's so skilled he must know this other stuff too - that's how they spin it, and that's how the moronic masses interpret it. There was a
  4. To be honest, yes, there was a time I wanted to do it forever, but that changed a long time ago, over the years. Unfortunately, Tri2Cook said...... sure, you *can* literally do it forever, but you'll be stuck in it, never really getting anywhere, but for any sort of end game, I really don't think there is a future in the kitchen for people anymore, if there ever was. I agree that the snowflake idea that pastrygirl mentioned is part of it - a big part of it - but the others who aren't like that, the smarter ones, I think see the end of the road as a low-paying and painful purgatory unless you b
  5. Maybe this, and I just notice it more now? I don't know, before it always seemed like you cook until you die, but now, even with people my own age (low to mid 30's) people are leaving. Seems sooner because things are that much worse with this industry? I wonder what the long term effects of this are if people go into this knowing after 10-15 years you're going to leave anyway. I was wondering how many people did the switch to something else because I actually just did so myself, and I keep seeing how things are now, and how things were, even months ago, when I was stressed, overwor
  6. I actually read that after someone I know posted it on facebook. There was an article from some paper in Maine not long ago talking to 5 chefs and why they left the kitchen as well. As I said, seems to be more prevalent now than even a few years ago, at least that I'm noticing anyway.
  7. So I've been working in kitchens since I was in high school, which puts me in the industry about 17 years now. It never really paid was well as other people I knew, went to school with, etc, but I was a cook, a chef, and despite all of the BS we know to be in the industry, I could never see myself doing anything else. It was a tough love, but love nonetheless. These days, I keep hearing about more and more people switching to something else, getting out of the kitchen, hanging up their aprons, switching to something new. Staffing issues, obnoxious food shows, too many restaurants,
  8. To be honest, I think if you went up to a parent and made a comment like that, they would hit you. I know I would. It's a small child, who is more or less just getting the grip of coordinated motor functions, it's not a robot. Have a child, go ahead and attempt to "control" it and let me know how that goes. I responded in this thread a long time ago, and I still agree with what I said - a few minutes it's fine, and in most cases is unavoidable, no matter how great of a parent you are - it's just how they communicate. They can't tell you what exactly is bothering them, a
  9. I would say, as someone else said, around 50$ per recipe is decent to ask, or if there is a lot involved, figure out what their budget is per hour, a flat fee for X amount of work, etc. Work with them, come to an agreement, but settle on something that's fair for you both. Keep in mind, this is so much more than just making a recipe that works. They're paying for a precise intellectual product that they can utilize to create product, to sell the recipe to others in some cases, etc. And before you do anything for them, my advice that I learned the hard way - get or write
  10. I'm sorry about everything. I think it's easy for some people to forget, or not understand, how an industry like this can really kick you when you're down, or if you already are, be so, so hard to get back to. I get the depression - a long time ago, life decided to really law down a giant shit storm on everything in my life. I lost pretty much everything professionally, personally, financially, and of course at the same time got hit with multiple medical conditions that while not serious in the long term, were extremely painful. I had never really had an easy life as it was, but it
  11. I worked at a small place while it switched over to the kokonas system that Alinea and the like have a few years back - at the end of the day, unless you're a small, very high-end place, I don't really see the point - I noticed some people weren't jazzed about it, because 72 hours (or whatever it was) out is a lot of time, and to hold people to it that far out, especially with larger groups, was enough to annoy some enough to head elsewhere. Was it a big deal? Not really, but I also didn't really see the need of the change to that system. I guess my opinion is sure, go for it? But
  12. I mean.... this is sort of a big one - where's the chef, or the person training you? Instant read thermometers are going to be the best best, no matter where you are, but some may not want to spend the money, so many chefs have many different ways of teaching this, and may have their own quirks. *Personally*, without instant reads, I used to train my guys to use cake testers - the 'poke' test is never an accurate test, and is widely known to be pretty much the least accurate. Without a digital thermometer, I've found using a cake tester (the very thin stainless steel wire), to be t
  13. Every time I've had a dish or something in a mag, I just make the damn dish. Having every single thing on the plate, in exact places every time is just phony - I don't do it for service, so why would I have a picture taken of something that someone wouldn't be able to come in and get? Nature is beautiful on it's own, and while I'll wipe the plate, make sure it's clean, etc, I just don't like doctoring it up to be something it's not. I've worked with plenty of people though who have used everything under the sun to make the 'food' look perfect. Just makes me angry. Plus, I like b
  14. I know I'm a little late to this, but I still wanted to chime in. Personally, I wouldn't go that route. To me, just purely looking at it from pros and cons, at this point in time, I don't generally see it as worth it. I do hope someday that changes, but right now, weighing the cost vs what you get out of it....well, nope. On the plus side of schools, you do learn a wider spectrum of things right off the bat. That is a plus early on. But at the same time, you don't learn *enough* of each thing, and as others have said, you don't learn urgency. At all. And even on a dish station, eve
  15. That's the other thing too - there are a LOT of restaurants opening everywhere. On top of that, restaurants fail, even potentially great ones. Have you or your friend ever *ran* a restaurant? Opened one start to finish? A lot of people can cook, but I can tell you first hand experience that's just scratching the surface - there are so, so many things can even go wrong, even before it's open - maybe not the worst idea to work something out a little less risky than ownership in the beginning? Again, just a suggestion, I don't want to tell people not to open a restaurant, or be a part of one th
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