Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
KevinS

First time working the hot line tomorrow...

Recommended Posts

So I am finally moving up from the salad/dessert station at work to something more fun, sauté, and am in need of any tips or advice you guys can give.

This will be a vastly different experience than what I am used to at my current place because, where I work, salad/dessert is completely independent from the rest of the hot line. I have my own ticket machine and only talk to the expediter when someone orders a shrimp Caesar or such, and that's rare.

I realize I'll be in more of a team environment tomorrow instead of being the lone wolf, but I am curious as to other tips you guys might have to keep me out of the weeds and keep my head clear.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck, congrats on the promotion.

Based on my own experiences... I would surely get there a tad earlier than everyone else just to scope out the area and be set up. Grab all your MEP you need all at once to limit unnecessary moving later on. Make sure you work Clean, Clean, and Clean (one thing you'll be constantly reminded of) Other than that, try to work as Fast yet Efficiently as possible.

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're not sure, better to do something right then having to do it again. Make it nice or do it twice, as they say..

Just wondering..are you thrown on the line? or is it going to be you and someone training you? Regardless, make sure you take mental and written notes. Oh, lastly timing and good call backs. Working apps and dessert its usually push as fast as possible out once ticket rings in; but on the line have to talk to your buddies next to you.

Jim

ps. i learned the hard way, which took me quite awhile..but as time goes on you'll get the hang of it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good luck, congrats on the promotion.

Based on my own experiences... I would surely get there a tad earlier than everyone else just to scope out the area and be set up. Grab all your MEP you need all at once to limit unnecessary moving later on. Make sure you work Clean, Clean, and Clean (one thing you'll be constantly reminded of) Other than that, try to work as Fast yet Efficiently as possible.

Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're not sure, better to do something right then having to do it again. Make it nice or do it twice, as they say..

Just wondering..are you thrown on the line? or is it going to be you and someone training you? Regardless, make sure you take mental and written notes. Oh, lastly timing and good call backs. Working apps and dessert its usually push as fast as possible out once ticket rings in; but on the line have to talk to your buddies next to you.

Jim

ps. i learned the hard way, which took me quite awhile..but as time goes on you'll get the hang of it

It was a rather slow night last Saturday so me and my boss got to talking about what I am going to do in the future now that I'm not going to culinary school, and he said if I wanted to stick around a bit longer he'd be more than happy to move me up. His exact words were "You'd be a great sauté or grill cook with a month or so of training." I took this as "you're a good employee, and I know you want to get out of Alabama, but if you stay just a bit longer I'll give you a real taste of things to come." I accepted.

I'm glad I'm starting out on sauté and not grill though. At my restaurant that means only 4 dishes to worry about, and not like 10 or so on the grill, and it's a Wednesday, so not the busiest time. Also sauté is generally a station that is quick to prep (1 - 1.5 hours, as opposed to my guaranteed 2.5+ hours on garde manger...), so I can ask many questions before service and probably get the chance to demo a few dishes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like any position on the line, be way, way prepared and work efficient and clean. Working clean is probably the most underrated and important part of working the line in any restaurant.


"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget the cheese on the burgers melting in the salamander.

:rolleyes: Don't ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the cold station where I worked there was more time for joking around, but once I got close to the heat I needed to keep my brain more focused on my work. I found I needed to keep my mouth shut a lot more on the hot line. Even during prep, since my prep list got a lot longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listen, Read and Pull. When you get busy if you have it pulled then it will help you down the raod. I am still learing myslef and I have been doing it a while now. If you need a push to get caught up do it. I have been so weeded before the tickets had nowhere to go and the machine was hanging on the floor someboday can free up to push and sometimes that is all you need.

Be careful if you just started and they want you to stay on...no exlanation on this, but been there and sometimes a bad reason follows...but maybe not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hydrate. Clean. Keep your head up. Don't get caught up in one task.

And finally, don't ask for burn cream.


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

get there about an hour early, get all of your mise, set the station up according to the handouts they give you or however you know it will work best for you. Listen to the chef, call back everything. keep all saute pans hot. never ever leave your line, if you have to leave your line its because you didnt get your mise. if you get stuck in the weeds ask the person beside you to bail you out. if the chef curses at you, dont worry, you can cry later in the locker room.

edit last but not least and the most important. never under any circumstance make a wasted motion. all motions made on the front line are to be swift and not wasted. any wasted motion means you fu**ed up somewhere and those wasted seconds add up.


Edited by 317indy (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't use the mandoline. Burn yourself instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats, think of the hot line the same way you think about the cold. Push it out as fast as possible no matter what, with quality in mind ;), and you will never be weeded. Keep your station set, and stay on the line! There is nothing that bothers me more when working expo than an absent line cook.

I'm the king of,"Where the "f" is so and so!" or "tomorrow i'm not even going to lock my bike, as soon as 5 o'clock hits I'm chaining you to your station."

it sucks to be a dick, but line incompetence is the largest degradation of any restaurant.

My favorite quote:"A Chef is only as strong as his weakest cook." If only everyone lived by this principle weakness would not exist.

Keep your head up, get in the game, and finally baste, baste, baste. Yeah the ovens are there but they can't create the same effect that a quality basting with whole butter will do.

Keep your beurre tight, knives sharp, and Aero-latte full of fresh double A's. :smile:

good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please let us know how it went!

Well ok apparently I had it a bit wrong. I wasn't working the sauté station like I said, just starting training on it, but this totally works for me!

Mondays are really the only time I'd really have to train, right now I'm just learning the recipes and such and the various cooks are showing me various techniques to cook them.

Once tonight though all the hot line cooks left to smoke (It was like 9:30 and we were slow, so no biggie) and told me to take over, and like a 4 top ticket came in. I thought it was good practice because a) it's not in a rush, and b) it's just enough to give me a very small taste of timing.

Everything came out great and I thought my fish was better cooked than some of the other cooks. I can be a little arrogant at times, but gahhh I work at a place that specializes in fresh fish and so many people overcook it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please let us know how it went!

Well ok apparently I had it a bit wrong. I wasn't working the sauté station like I said, just starting training on it, but this totally works for me!

Mondays are really the only time I'd really have to train, right now I'm just learning the recipes and such and the various cooks are showing me various techniques to cook them.

Once tonight though all the hot line cooks left to smoke (It was like 9:30 and we were slow, so no biggie) and told me to take over, and like a 4 top ticket came in. I thought it was good practice because a) it's not in a rush, and b) it's just enough to give me a very small taste of timing.

Everything came out great and I thought my fish was better cooked than some of the other cooks. I can be a little arrogant at times, but gahhh I work at a place that specializes in fresh fish and so many people overcook it!

Keep up that arrogance brother.... If only I had a line cook like you, I wouldn't have to fight my chef for Vacation time. A cook with initiative, makes it possible for a cook like myself to tie some knots, throw some flies, and catch some trout. Not to mention Paddle some canoes, start some fires, and pitch tents.

don't get me wrong, I love to cook.... Yet, when there are only two people capable to run the show. Especially during the summer time it gets rough. Even with a staff of ten+.

Really? i can't take a week off to go canoing because chef is elsewhere?

Man, its draining. Your only young once. And I'm getting old, two more years and I'll be thirty....

It's time all you culinary grads start pushing it, take control.

It should be easy!!!!!!

Yet, when the rush is on, I find myself saying it shouldn't be that hard!

lets do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please let us know how it went!

Well ok apparently I had it a bit wrong. I wasn't working the sauté station like I said, just starting training on it, but this totally works for me!

Mondays are really the only time I'd really have to train, right now I'm just learning the recipes and such and the various cooks are showing me various techniques to cook them.

Once tonight though all the hot line cooks left to smoke (It was like 9:30 and we were slow, so no biggie) and told me to take over, and like a 4 top ticket came in. I thought it was good practice because a) it's not in a rush, and b) it's just enough to give me a very small taste of timing.

Everything came out great and I thought my fish was better cooked than some of the other cooks. I can be a little arrogant at times, but gahhh I work at a place that specializes in fresh fish and so many people overcook it!

Keep up that arrogance brother.... If only I had a line cook like you, I wouldn't have to fight my chef for Vacation time. A cook with initiative, makes it possible for a cook like myself to tie some knots, throw some flies, and catch some trout. Not to mention Paddle some canoes, start some fires, and pitch tents.

don't get me wrong, I love to cook.... Yet, when there are only two people capable to run the show. Especially during the summer time it gets rough. Even with a staff of ten+.

Really? i can't take a week off to go canoing because chef is elsewhere?

Man, its draining. Your only young once. And I'm getting old, two more years and I'll be thirty....

It's time all you culinary grads start pushing it, take control.

It should be easy!!!!!!

Yet, when the rush is on, I find myself saying it shouldn't be that hard!

lets do it!

Hah, where do you work? I'm in need of somewhere to move to in the future (I am actually semi-serious about this statement).

I know exactly what you mean about the rush. I love the rush. I really don't care how far behind I am I just see it as a challenge, but so help me god if another sever asks if I can move their order ahead because of the wait.

I don't think they understand that if I do it for them I have to do it for everyone except the people that'd be too nervous to ask, so instead of everyone having an equal wait there'd be some people with insane waits and some people with no wait...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so I can finally make a real reply to this.

Friday night My boss informs me "Kevin, you're on sauté tomorrow," which kind of sucked because I had to come in 4 hours early to make bread (baker is on vacation for 2 weeks), but was awesome to finally get my chance, on a Saturday nonetheless.

Everything went rather smoothly. I only burned one thing, which made me realize how easy it was to get out of sync, because before the burn I was doing 6-8 things at once and had a good rhythm, but like 3 minutes of forgetfulness cost me. Things are rather slow during the Summer though (big college town), so I still haven't experienced a real rush yet. We only did 200 covers, when during the school year we are used to 300-400 on a Saturday, and much more on game days (University of Alabama - huuuuge football school).

Oh and I only burned myself once. I like to think of it as my battle scar. Is it sad that I kind of hope it doesn't go away for a while so I can look at it and have that memory???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok so I can finally make a real reply to this.

Friday night My boss informs me "Kevin, you're on sauté tomorrow," which kind of sucked because I had to come in 4 hours early to make bread (baker is on vacation for 2 weeks), but was awesome to finally get my chance, on a Saturday nonetheless.

Everything went rather smoothly. I only burned one thing, which made me realize how easy it was to get out of sync, because before the burn I was doing 6-8 things at once and had a good rhythm, but like 3 minutes of forgetfulness cost me. Things are rather slow during the Summer though (big college town), so I still haven't experienced a real rush yet. We only did 200 covers, when during the school year we are used to 300-400 on a Saturday, and much more on game days (University of Alabama - huuuuge football school).

Oh and I only burned myself once. I like to think of it as my battle scar. Is it sad that I kind of hope it doesn't go away for a while so I can look at it and have that memory???

My first real burn came from bricking the grill. I had a lot of oil on it and pushed the brick into a corner, the oil flew out and on to my wrist. Hot gritty, grill brick oil forms a sludge that sticks like napalm, I've had that scar since 1982.


Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long time no post I know, but I finally had my first real night on sauté.

It was the end of rush for all the sorority girls in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which means they are all allowed to go out for a night, and of course they all come to the place I work at.

Side note: I work at the best and busiest restaurant in town hands down.

We did not expect it to be nearly as busy as it was and ran out of almost everything (read: 86 filet mignon...seriously????), but we got through it somehow.

At the end of the night we did 330 covers and I can honestly say I didn't burn any of my dishes or myself once. I think it was my first real test and I passed.

Though this coming Friday is our real test, as it's the day before our first home football game, and if anyone is familiar with the SEC, Tuscaloosa has a rather large football following.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cut my teeth in restaurants in Knoxville, Tn. so I know exactly what your facing. I remember the Friday nights, then the Saturday nights, and then the Sunday brunch. Good times!(Especially if they're winning)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...