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    Jamaica Plain, MA

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  1. MattyC

    Becoming a chef

    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. 40-60 hours a week is laughably putting it lightly - don't be surprised if you, at times early on once you make it to some sort of leadership role and hit salary, end of working 70-100 hours. Have you worked triple digit work weeks consistently? If's stressful, exhausting, and just flat out crushing. You will hurt, want sleep, and never see existing friends or family. This year will be the first holiday season I get to see my family in maybe like 8 years - Every other year I've been working or too exhausted and sore from work to travel to see them. Generally speaking, holidays mean nothing to kitchen staff except days you have even more work to do. Do you like having money to spend on things? Too bad, because in most cases you get paid shit. And I don't mean just 'kinda bad', but as in 14/hr is, where I'm from, a 'Good' starting pay. Congrats, if you're lucky enough to work a normal work week at about 40 hours, you'll make an astounding 29k per year. Thankfully though, chefs who scream at you all the time are getting phased out - someone finally let it sink in teaching instead of throwing pans was a little better for a team building environment, but don't think you'll do something right the first time. Or the second. Or the third. Get ready for lots of criticism - things need to be on point, every time, so a little 'oopsy' in the middle of a busy dinner service isn't usually met with a pat on the back and the chef saying 'I'm sure the gentleman waiting 20 minutes already for that steak you burnt the shit out of will understand and will buy us all Ferraris as a token of friendship!'. I'm not saying all of this to be negative, I'm saying it to be truthful and honest about what you want to get in to. Too many young cooks these days get it in their heads they can be what they saw on Top Chef or what have you for minimal work, when the reality is that this is a very, very, tough industry. This is a profession for people who care, and are passionate, and really have to enjoy every aspect of food, or else it's pointless. Especially these days - you need to be knowledgeable, you need to be a problem solver, you need to be a hard and tireless worker, you need to be learning new things every. single. day. - and to be a chef, not just a cook, you need to be a leader and a teacher, hold yourself to higher standards than the day before. Don't expect a payout any time soon, even in the first 10 years, honestly. And even then, it's all based on what you put into it yourself. You need to practice, to learn on your own and in the kitchen. So again, if food and cooking is really something you are truly passionate, by all means go for it. But this is not a profession for the lighthearted, you need to really invest yourself. Try it out in a professional kitchen, and be honest to yourself later on if it's something you can stick with or not, there's no harm in realizing *now* that it isn't your thing.
  2. Just donated to 'Preventing Canine Parvovirus in Puppies'. Give $1. Change a lot. https://t.co/C0T4TEFn7d

  3. So we've lived in our new apartment for about a month now, and literally every time I've seen my neighbor she's wearing the EXACT outfit.

  4. Whatever happened to the guy that wore the mask in the Nelly videos?

  5. $300 is not at all reasonable for a hair dryer, despite what you tell me man on the news. You must shower in diamonds if that's 'reasonable'

  6. io9: This Star Trek Combadge Actually Works... With a Little Help From Your Phone. https://t.co/Y1PFjpdiPk

  7. @shhbabyshhh Thinking of you. https://t.co/yVpvZtf19D

  8. 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 late. Maybe it's just me, it seems to have a really high rating?
  9. @Urania_Orwell @DifGalaxyGame Holy crap that's beautiful. Very talented.

  10. MattyC

    Cooking Other People's Food

    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 chef in my area who got too big too fast with his first place, opened up a taco place for his second restaurant. Hype was UNREAL. All any website or publication ever talked about. It opens and guess what? Overpriced crap. Reviews were shit, people were pissed - you name it, whatever you could think of happened, happened. Was there anything at ALL in his experience, history, or even ethnicity that showed he would be good at tacos? No. Not even the slightest. But because he was "big" and he was great with PR it got hyped for no reason. It's just a circus, which is too bad. Amazingly talented people have their restaurants closed every day before so-and-so who was on chopped or worked as a line cook for X opened their newest abomination and that's all anyone knows.
  11. MattyC

    Career expiration date?

    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 become big and famous, which hardly happens. But cooks now don't want to put in the work to become big and famous, they just want a few thousand instagram hits and their own show within the first 2 years of cooking. Take the shortcut. Being a big name successful chef chef is rare, and to be honest getting more rare by the day. It's the same famous chefs opening up just more restaurants in new cities. And that coupled with wages not being livable, young cooks being terrible and needlessly arrogant, you have a recipe for a job where you NEED to leave in order to live. It just seems I hear this even more lately. Cooks not even trying to get their 10 years in before finding something else. Year ago old cooks/chefs I worked with were sticking it out. Now, everyone is trying to find some other way to be around food but out of the kitchen. Almost all of my friends around my age or a little older over the past few years have moved into a different career, and shunned the kitchen. And @pastrygirl, I actually took a job as a food sales rep for a company that I myself actually ordered from for years. I get to be around and learn about food a ton still, and have regular hours, expense account, dental insurance, good pay, etc - it's completely foreign to me to work in a field now that actually takes care of me. I was never opposed to evolving into a new career, but I never really understood honestly how much the restaurant industry short changes you or beats you down until moving into something else. I'm around food and talk about food all day, without the downsides I'm used to. I'm actually really happy. Plus, I get to see my 11 wk old son every night, which is huge to me.
  12. RT @destructoid: Frostpunk is the next game from the makers of This War of Mine https://t.co/OdLK1xlmUk https://t.co/r25dg1JOPO

  13. MattyC

    Career expiration date?

    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, overworked, broke, and I'm left wondering in reality why I didn't move to the other side of things sooner. Yes, I love cooking, but I also love being able to afford rent and feed my family. To me it just seems like there is no end game for being a chef anymore, that it's 'cook for a while then find something else when you get burnt out or have a family'. I wonder if this is another reason why nobody can find good help anymore either, because why start a career in something you'll have to leave down the road anyway if you want a family or to not have health issues when older. Kinda nuts thinking of it that way.
  14. Someone is porting Pokémon Go to the Dreamcast VMU | Ars Technica https://t.co/CqD1HHQFsd

  15. MattyC

    Career expiration date?

    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.