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Chef Ethics


chefgregory
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At least one eG member has been fired because of what they've posted online...

Annie sez: Listen to prasantrin!

Or, if not fired, been harrassed until they quit. (ahem) Watch yourself. If these people will stoop to lying to customers, no telling what they'd do to an employee they wanted gone.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Ooooo...link?

No link needed! I'm living proof that a little rantin' and ravin' about your job on eG can indeed get you fired. Not that my bosses were reading eG.....my competition was, and she printed out my rants and, well the rest is history.

Lesson learned. If I have a problem at work, I'll rant to the appropriate people....namely the bosses.

I think what hurt me most is that I thought there was a bit of camaraderie among the pros that post here and it never really occurred to me that someone would be vindictive enough to "out" me. When I made the poor decision to vent in a forum, I experienced just the opposite of said camaraderie. That really stung. It still does. :sad:

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.....

There have been a few jobs I've had where I have felt my bosses were less than ethical.....and wouldn't you know, that's what I was ranting about regarding the job I was fired from. It isn't always that easy to just quit a job when you have bills to pay and god forbid, GAS to pay for. The best way to find a job is when you still have a job. When I've been disillusioned by my place of employment, out comes the resume and I start looking. When I land the new job, I give my notice at the old one.

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A lot of food professionals read eG, and even if they don't, their friends or loyal customers may.  At least one eG member has been fired because of what they've posted online, so it's not in your best interests to post your full name, unless you've already quit and found new employment. 

Of course, you've already posted enough to be recognizable, so perhaps it wouldn't matter if you used your full name or not.

You know what - I realize this; AND, I am hoping this could perhaps work to my advantage as anyone in my local market who DOES read this board, owns a restaurant and sees my resume come accross there desk will understand far more readily, the explanation of WHY I left my previous employer.

I want my local community to see this thread and I would welcome anyone to draw me into a converation about these issues - this is one of the reasons I posted onto this forum.

I know a lot of renowned, ground breaking and phenomonal chefs take part in these threads and I welcome and want to hear there opinion (other than move on - as that is a given).

I want to work restaurants that producte fabulous food, West, Le Gavroche, Bishops, Fuel are only a few that locally are making a splash. And if I have th opporunity to work there I feel this public forum of my professional ethics will only work to solidy why I left my previous employer.

I agree somepeople need to be careful, and protect their job. My attitude I am doing my employer a HUGE favour by staying (the job market is VERY tough to find competent cooks) -plus; I believe in calling a spade a spade, and abhor the lying.

Cheers

GB

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You go GB! We ethical chefs are totally behind you, but I think you should confront your problem in a more ethical way. In my case, I have drawn a line at doing desserts that cater to the vegan-raw food crowd because, well, carob is vile, for one thing. I told my boss (in a humorous way) that if he asks me to do any of that, I'll quit. I even told him he could fire me on the spot, but he just laughed and totally backed me up. Those people can eat apples for dessert or go somewhere else. The point is, that because of my previous experience of taking my gripes online, instead of to the source of my frustration, I got really burned. This stuff can backfire on you buddy, trust me. :wink:

:wub:

Edited by chefpeon (log)
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I believe in calling a spade a spade, and abhor the lying.

Your actions speak differently.

You aren't doing anyone a favor by staying there, least of all your customers. Forget about wanting to work in one of those restaurants...why don't you? Even if it's on your days off from your shitty job now...you might be able to get noticed and get hired full time. Work for free in the mornings. DO SOMETHING to get out of the situation you are in.

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You know what - I realize this; AND, I am hoping this could perhaps work to my advantage as anyone in my local market who DOES read this board, owns a restaurant and sees my resume come accross there desk will understand far more readily, the explanation of WHY I left my previous employer.

I think a potential employer might appreciate that you disagreed with your current employer's actions, but might also see that you're taking private concerns public.

In other words, if you're trash-talking your current place, what are you going to say about their place if it doesn't meet your "standards" or if for some reason, you become disgruntled while working there?

As chefpeon said, if you have a problem, "rant to the appropriate people", but to take it to a public forum in such a way as you have can also be construed as "unethical".

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You know what - I realize this; AND, I am hoping this could perhaps work to my advantage as anyone in my local market who DOES read this board, owns a restaurant and sees my resume come accross there desk will understand far more readily, the explanation of WHY I left my previous employer.

I want my local community to see this thread and I would welcome anyone to draw me into a converation about these issues - this is one of the reasons I posted onto this forum.

I know a lot of renowned, ground breaking and phenomonal chefs take part in these threads and I welcome and want to hear there opinion (other than move on - as that is a given).

I want to work restaurants that producte fabulous food, West, Le Gavroche, Bishops, Fuel are only a few that locally are making a splash. And if I have th opporunity to work there I feel this public forum of my professional ethics will only work to solidy why I left my previous employer.

I agree somepeople need to be careful, and protect their job. My attitude I am doing my employer a HUGE favour by staying (the job market is VERY tough to find competent cooks) -plus; I believe in calling a spade a spade, and abhor the lying.

Cheers

  GB

You can't really seriously think anybody with standards is going to hire you after you ADMITTEDLY;

Deceived YOUR customers with the old switcheroo (they are your customers too, even if it's not "your restaurant" and had the nerve and arrogance to enter a public forum with your pleas for ethical guidance, where clearly what you would like is, like, a job at say, West, La Gavaroche, or Bishops...

Dude, you can only shit talk you boss for so long before you look bad, I mean really, If you're so well trained, what's the problem?

If outing a bad boss is your deal, do it from another restaurant...

If your issue is NOT that jobs are scarce where you are and that you're stuck with this shitty one, then using this forum to fluff your resume for when the time comes and you need an explanation for "why you worked in that shit hole hack job" for so long... I don't know, seems exceptionally flimsy.

Who would hire you after reading this forum?

you're clearly rallying for a better job and want the support of this community, but you need to have an attribute worth supporting...none of you're posts have suggested to me that you're DOING anything to change your situation (other than blowing the horn online and hiding the chicken powder)

sounds like you're not doing anybody favors except for yourself.

just callin' a spade a spade.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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you're clearly rallying for a better job and want the support of this community, but you need to have an attribute worth supporting...none of you're posts have suggested to me that you're DOING anything to change your situation (other than blowing the horn online and hiding the chicken powder)

----------

I can't change how my employer choses to run his business, and I don't endorse or comply with the unethical behaviour. I could easily quit and have a VERY deficult time in paying the bills. I am on a active search for a new job - been on 3 interviews this week alone. I won't "bad mouth" my employer, in the interviews when I am asked why I am leaving - it's very simple; I am moving into vancouver (1 hr drive from where I am) in september and want to be closer to work.

I don't want to leave and piss-off my boss, I want to leave on "reasonably good terms" and don't want to screw Fritz (the chef) as I've known him for 25 years. He knows I am looking for something else, I talk freely about these issues; just he seems perfectly complacent with them.

I would never reference this forum, nor would it even end up on my resume. I am a non-combative chef and have been called "the peacemaker" as I don't want to ruffle feathers - yesterday I asked fritz to not even tell me stuff anymore as it may annoy me enough to just walk-away.

I don't agree with this behaviour, but I have to lookout for living expenses and being able to buy food. It's a tricky situation, one that does take some finesse (a quality I am always working on:-) to leave. I have $$ obligations, which dissalow me from just taking any old job to get out, and then moving on again from that job again - I don't want to have to many short term places on my resume. I need to hold my tongue and play my cards appropriately.

And someone made a point of airing this in a public forum may not be "ethical", and he is right of course - I should have protect the identity of my current employer better - as it's unlike me to rant on and on.

People were telling me that's not that bad, and everyone does it and I shouldn't be so picky, so I decided to get opinions of other professionals in the industry to have a more realistic consesus.

When I leave their I want to be able to use him as a positve reference - we actually do produce some very good food, and are well known and like in the community.

Cheers

GB

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Other than being friends with the chef you should feel no obligation to leave on good terms with these people, what is the point? The reality is that after you, another body will fill your position and unless you did something really amazing, or crazy, you will be forgotten. So if its a shoe factory as you say it is, who cares if they like you after you leave. I'm sure there are more than a few good opportunities available in Vancouver, focused searches on cuisine styles that suit you will lead to the position that you want. As far as a 2 week notice, if the new employer wants you sooner, I wouldn't fret over the obligatory timeframe, just no more than a week would be justifiable.

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You know, this statement,

You know what - I realize this; AND, I am hoping this could perhaps work to my advantage as anyone in my local market who DOES read this board, owns a restaurant and sees my resume come accross there desk will understand far more readily, the explanation of WHY I left my previous employer.

I want my local community to see this thread and I would welcome anyone to draw me into a converation about these issues - this is one of the reasons I posted onto this forum.

I know a lot of renowned, ground breaking and phenomonal chefs take part in these threads and I welcome and want to hear there opinion (other than move on - as that is a given).

I want to work restaurants that producte fabulous food, West, Le Gavroche, Bishops, Fuel are only a few that locally are making a splash. And if I have th opporunity to work there I feel this public forum of my professional ethics will only work to solidy why I left my previous employer.

I agree somepeople need to be careful, and protect their job. My attitude I am doing my employer a HUGE favour by staying (the job market is VERY tough to find competent cooks) -plus; I believe in calling a spade a spade, and abhor the lying.

Cheers

  GB

and this one, are at total odds with each other.

----------

I can't change how my employer choses to run his business, and I don't endorse or comply with the unethical behaviour. I could easily quit and have a VERY deficult time in paying the bills. I am on a active search for a new job - been on 3 interviews this week alone. I won't "bad mouth" my employer, in the interviews when I am asked why I am leaving - it's very simple; I am moving into vancouver (1 hr drive from where I am) in september and want to be closer to work.

I don't want to leave and piss-off my boss, I want to leave on "reasonably good terms" and don't want to screw Fritz (the chef) as I've known him for 25 years. He knows I am looking for something else, I talk freely about these issues; just he seems perfectly complacent with them.

I would never reference this forum, nor would it even end up on my resume. I am a non-combative chef and have been called "the peacemaker" as I don't want to ruffle feathers - yesterday I asked fritz to not even tell me stuff anymore as it may annoy me enough to just walk-away.

I don't agree with this behaviour, but I have to lookout for living expenses and  being able to buy food. It's a tricky situation, one that does take some finesse (a quality I am always working on:-) to leave. I have $$ obligations, which dissalow me from just taking any old job to get out, and then moving on again from that job again - I don't want to have to many short term places on my resume. I need to hold my tongue and play my cards appropriately.

And someone made a point of airing this in a public forum may not be "ethical", and he is right of course - I should have protect the identity of my current employer better - as it's unlike me to rant on and on.

People were telling me that's not that bad, and everyone does it and I shouldn't be so picky, so I decided to get opinions of other professionals in the industry to have a more realistic consesus.

When I leave their I want to be able to use him as a positve reference - we actually do produce some very good food, and are well known and like in the community.

Cheers

  GB

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I don't want to leave and piss-off my boss, I want to leave on "reasonably good terms" and don't want to screw Fritz (the chef) as I've known him for 25 years.

Mentioning his name certainly helps not "screw" him. :rolleyes:

I would never reference this forum, nor would it even end up on my resume.

But you said earlier that you wanted this topic so you could reference it when future employers wanted to know why you really left your job. So which is it?

Regarding the use of the forum, why don't you come clean with your boss? Something the lines of, "You know, I brought up some of my concerns with an online community about food, and they all think you're unethical, too." Perhaps that will have greater weight with him, knowing the whole world knows about his deception.

Of course, that would mean he would also know about your deception, and something tells me you're not going to let that happen.

And someone made a point of airing this in a public forum may not be "ethical", and he is right of course - I should have protect the identity of my current employer better - as it's unlike me to rant on and on.

If that's me, I'm a she (my name is right down there in my sig.).

Again, mentioning your full name, mentioning the chef's name, and giving plenty of details about the area where you're located, etc. certainly does nothing to "protect the identity of [your] current employer".

When I leave their I want to be able to use him as a positve reference - we actually do produce some very good food, and are well known and like in the community.

I hope he sees right through you. You trash-talk him but want a good reference from him? That's pretty unethical, too.

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Other than being friends with the chef you should feel no obligation to leave on good terms with these people, what is the point?

He wants the reference.

Of a place he has no respect for? From a shoe factory? Of what value is this reference?

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Other than being friends with the chef you should feel no obligation to leave on good terms with these people, what is the point?

He wants the reference.

Of a place he has no respect for? From a shoe factory? Of what value is this reference?

I might not have the respect for the owner, but I don't want him saying to a potential employer "yes he worked here, he was very good chef, etc etc but he's an asshole"

that's all.

GB

ps: and I completely agree that it was wrong of me to name names...

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Regarding the use of the forum, why don't you come clean with your boss? Something the lines of, "You know, I brought up some of my concerns with an online community about food, and they all think you're unethical, too." Perhaps that will have greater weight with him, knowing the whole world knows about his deception.

--------------------

See I did in the beginning, I used to complain to both of them all the time about these issues. I took many tactics in pointing out how wrong it is to both of them. Yet they both continuued.

The owner is a very stubborn german fellow who believes he is always right about everything - he is an expert manipulator of people and loves to argue and argue, and never sees anyone else point of view. He actually even swears and screams at people all the time. I've known him for 20 years.

I can't change the way they see the world. I don't even try to tell them anything any more.

I wanted hear what other chefs had to say about this behavior. If he were to be a online he too could read this thread, and then I guess I would a final conversation with him about these points. I see this potential converation as entirely pointless though.

I am done arguing with him and have got some great feedback from here, and very very important tips of using this forum for conversation - things I guess I should have realized.

Cheers

GB

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Regarding the use of the forum, why don't you come clean with your boss? Something the lines of, "You know, I brought up some of my concerns with an online community about food, and they all think you're unethical, too." Perhaps that will have greater weight with him, knowing the whole world knows about his deception.

--------------------

See I did in the beginning, I used to complain to both of them all the time about these issues. I took many tactics in pointing out how wrong it is to both of them. Yet they both continuued.

The owner is a very stubborn german fellow who believes he is always right about everything - he is an expert manipulator of people and loves to argue and argue, and never sees anyone else point of view. He actually even swears and screams at people all the time. I've known him for 20 years.

I can't change the way they see the world. I don't even try to tell them anything any more.

I wanted hear what other chefs had to say about this behavior. If he were to be a online he too could read this thread, and then I guess I would a final conversation with him about these points. I see this potential converation as entirely pointless though.

I am done arguing with him and have got some great feedback from here, and very very important tips of using this forum for conversation - things I guess I should have realized.

Cheers

GB

I think you misunderstood.

I was not suggesting you tell him what he was doing was wrong, but that you tell him you posted to eGullet about it.

Why not print out the topic for him to read, so he can know exactly what you've done? Right near the top there's a "print this topic" button.

But I'm quite sure you won't be doing that...

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Regarding the use of the forum, why don't you come clean with your boss? Something the lines of, "You know, I brought up some of my concerns with an online community about food, and they all think you're unethical, too." Perhaps that will have greater weight with him, knowing the whole world knows about his deception.

--------------------

See I did in the beginning, I used to complain to both of them all the time about these issues. I took many tactics in pointing out how wrong it is to both of them. Yet they both continuued.

The owner is a very stubborn german fellow who believes he is always right about everything - he is an expert manipulator of people and loves to argue and argue, and never sees anyone else point of view. He actually even swears and screams at people all the time. I've known him for 20 years.

I can't change the way they see the world. I don't even try to tell them anything any more.

I wanted hear what other chefs had to say about this behavior. If he were to be a online he too could read this thread, and then I guess I would a final conversation with him about these points. I see this potential converation as entirely pointless though.

I am done arguing with him and have got some great feedback from here, and very very important tips of using this forum for conversation - things I guess I should have realized.

Cheers

GB

I think you misunderstood.

I was not suggesting you tell him what he was doing was wrong, but that you tell him you posted to eGullet about it.

Why not print out the topic for him to read, so he can know exactly what you've done? Right near the top there's a "print this topic" button.

But I'm quite sure you won't be doing that...

You know what that's a damn good idea! after the service last night, I am printing this off right now as we speak.

Cheers

GB

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You know what - I realize this; AND, I am hoping this could perhaps work to my advantage as anyone in my local market who DOES read this board, owns a restaurant and sees my resume come accross there desk will understand far more readily, the explanation of WHY I left my previous employer.

I think a potential employer might appreciate that you disagreed with your current employer's actions, but might also see that you're taking private concerns public.

In other words, if you're trash-talking your current place, what are you going to say about their place if it doesn't meet your "standards" or if for some reason, you become disgruntled while working there?

As chefpeon said, if you have a problem, "rant to the appropriate people", but to take it to a public forum in such a way as you have can also be construed as "unethical".

Well, I never really meant for this to be a "rant" really. I was merely fishing for others peoples opinions on this subject and got a little carried away. :smile:

A few things were pointed out to me that I really didn't think of (anononymity), and I agree that by naming-names, and letting this gets "personal" it could be concidered unethical. I did not mean to act in a non-professional way.

I would like thank all those who responded, I got some good feedback. I regret that it seemed like I was bad-mouthing him, as I really only want to see what other professionals thought of such actions (as finding a new job, is so obvious - yet I neglected to mention my job-hunt in my posts :sad: .

I've solved my "problem" now. I have found another position I will be happy with. :biggrin:

Cheers

GB

Edited by chefgregory (log)
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Congrats! I hope it brings you peace and contentment, and the ability to be creative and ethical all at the same time.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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It happens all of the time - As a pro chef I see it, most of the time I don't say anything UNLESS I am being ripped off money wise. I recently had a rissotto that was uncle bens swimming in sauce - My wife is more picky than I am and looks at things harder than I do and she is a doc!

No it is wrong all the way around - and we should put our foot down. BUT - please if you are a chef - in todays terrible happenings - make sure you have a job before leaving on principal. I am a sous chef that bites his tongue A LOT!

Edited by Jakea222 (log)
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It happens all of the time - As  a pro chef I see it, most of the time I don't say anything UNLESS I am being ripped off money wise.  I recently had a rissotto that was uncle bens swimming in sauce - My wife is more picky than I am and looks at things harder than I do and she is a doc!

No it is wrong all the way around - and we should put our foot down.  BUT - please if you are a chef - in todays terrible happenings - make sure you have a job before leaving on principal.  I am a sous chef that bites his tongue A LOT!

So you bight your tongue a lot:-) hmm... I'm sorry but this begs the question, how far will you go towing the line? Will you serve pork for veal? will you personally sell frozen products and call them fresh?

Enquiring minds want to know?

GB

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You know chef - in todays world as an employee you bite your tongue a lot or beat the bricks. In the non food world you do what you are told by your boss or your out. In the food business right now where they are laying off cooks right and left because people are staying home - your principal and taking care of yourself comes into play. Are YOU willing to quit something that is pretty good but goes against your principals - I will until I find another frying pan to jump in. When I run the kitchen nothing is changed out without notifying the staff - But have you ever made crab salad with imitation crab? As a sous chef - you get stepped on and abused and told how things are to be done by the exec chef. You learn from things - things to do and not to do when and if you get a chance to run the kitchen somewhere. I am an honest guy and right now I do what I am told - when I run my own place - I will run an honest shop.

As far as the last post I saw you on saying you had that on your resume - well - it tells me one thing - you can't follow orders. You have principals which are good, but don't bite your tongue and do what you are told - I would ask you that question first of why you left your last position and as soon as - or if you had the guts to answer how you are posting - would say - thanks for your time and have a nice day. Now I can say that I do question things all of the time - but I ask very diplomatically - I don't care to be looking for a job right now.

So this begs my question to you - do you cheat? Do you work for yourself and can afford that principal - or are you one of the many posters in this forum that is all hat and no cattle

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These were your questions and I thought I would answer you for your on going look at what people think in the food world. As a professional chef running my own place - I answer the following

Telling customers that the pollock is halibut.

Nope I would run a halibut special and 86 the pollock

Telling customers that the rice is vegetarian when we put chicken stock in it.

Nope - I would ask them how long they had and do one of those minute rice boxes I had on hand for just such an occasion

Telling customers that it's safron rice when it's 98% tumeric.

I would fuse just a little safron in something - I hate tumeric for the most part

Telling customers that all the scallops and prawns are fresh when they aren't.

This one is a tough one and could be answered like and American politician, my rule on this as is anything - IF I WON"T EAT IT I DON"T SERVE IT

Telling customers that it's vegetarian soup with their is chicken stock in it.

nope I go to great lenghts to make sure that the soups all have the list of ingredients on a list just in case of allergies more than vegans

Telling customers that the pork is veal

Nope

Telling customers that the frozen pre-made products are fresh, homemade

depends on this - some products are really very good and I would not use the word homemade

Working for someone I would answer this way:

Telling customers that the pollock is halibut.

Telling customers that the rice is vegetarian when we put chicken stock in it.

Telling customers that it's safron rice when it's 98% tumeric.

Telling customers that all the scallops and prawns are fresh when they aren't.

Telling customers that it's vegetarian soup with their is chicken stock in it.

Telling customers that the pork is veal

Telling customers that the frozen pre-made products are fresh, homemade

Whatever you wish me to do BOSS

Hope this helps -

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Working for someone I would answer this way:

Telling customers that the pollock is halibut.

Telling customers that the rice is vegetarian when we put chicken stock in it.

Telling customers that it's safron rice when it's 98% tumeric.

Telling customers that all the scallops and prawns are fresh when they aren't.

Telling customers that it's vegetarian soup with their is chicken stock in it.

Telling customers that the pork is veal

Telling customers that the frozen pre-made products are fresh, homemade

Whatever you wish me to do BOSS

Hope this helps -

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