You actually answered your own question. You’ve been in the business for all of 6 years and all of 40 hours a week. Anybody can do that! Why not offer your time helping with preventive maintenance, inventory control, cost controls, menu planning, purchasing, etc. Learn the other side of the responsibilities of being a Chef. It’s not all cooking. I’m not sure what you mean about ‘new ways and techniques’ — it’s not like celebrity television cooking. Keep in mind – you have to be cost effective, time effective, and stay within a specific food cost. Experiments can be costly and potentially dangerous in chasing clientele away. Just because you want it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for business.
the shift i finnished was a straight 2 days. i work 15 hours a day i only get paid for 7.5 im not required to im only chef de partie yet i work harder then my sous chef
i write rosters, i cost menus, i order produce, i source suppliers, i re arranged the kitchen im in now to make it better for the other chefs to work in as a matter of fact i try and keep our food cost at 28 % so i have the freedom to experiment without blowing my budgets as for new ways and tech, there is more then one way to cook an egg,more then one way to plate a dish and make it look good there are more ways to discover how good you really are the problem is not many people want to why?
there are staff that have been in the establishment i am in for 4 years and in my last 8 months of employment i have made mroe changes then that place has seen in the last 10 years, not for me but for the chef and the words of encouragement he gives "the place does not make you, you make the place.
maybe i may not be as wise as you but i at least have respect for the uniform enough to raise the question why do the chefs of today not have the same drive??? i have been burned still have scars, i was hit over the head with a pan for not shaving, and the list goes on so after that why can i not even give 1 word of shit to someone that does not care or its off to HR and out the door its F****d
It’s called passion kiwi. I know a lot of people that see this as ‘just a job’, and not an adventure. I’ve been a chef for 20 years, and I still love it. I wouldn’t trade my worst day with someone who offered me a million dollars. When you start in a kitchen, you can tell who loves it, and who sees it as a paycheck. You said in your post you have ‘respect for your uniform’, and I applaude you for that.
Experimentation is a good thing, you never know what’s going to be the next million dollar idea (Colonel Sanders had to start somewhere before he became the name he is today). I find if you’re constantly ‘black boxing’ yourself, the job never grows stale. I’m a culinary consultant now, and if I’m on a job site doing an audit for a company, and the line gets nailed, I’ll jump in no matter what.
When I need a re-charge on energy, I’ll drop by our culinary and sit in a class to watch eager students apply their craft. It’s something about watching them that just gives you that boost you need sometimes. I wish I could find a few of you and your dedication when I was running a hotel kitchen, but the odds are 1 in a 1000 for that.
Keep plugging away kiwi, and your passion level will only increase.
thankyou chefrobg for your comments my chef agrees that the odds are low these days for people who are keen to learn. i find to many chefs in hotels are also limited by the general manager when it comes to wage cost so they employ more and more students till your kitchen becomes a tafe center were the students get paid (and paid decently)
and bitty i agree a person must love what they do so why do it if you dont? is it really easy money???
i have had a few jobs befor i was a chef i have been a panel beater a dairy farmer a painter and and studied telecomunications and electronic engenering haha i still cant spell it to this day :P fact is i hated those jobs till i got a stewarding job and never left hospitality since.
I also agree with the wage issue. I used to run a hotel kitchen for a corporation, and all they cared about was money. I was told by our Corporate Chef that if I hired someone for $10/hr, they better be able to produce $150/hr in plated dishes. It’s not the easiest business to be involved in, long hours, low wages, hot kitchens, weather conditions driving prices through the roof for certain produce, and with all the new bacteria out and about, every year it becomes a little bit harder.
Passion will always be the key that separates those who excel at what they do, and those who won’t be in this industry 2 years after they start. I find a lot of culinary students that are entering the industry are doing so because they seen a tv show that made it look glamorous, and they find out right from day one in a real kitchen it’s not as glamorous as portrayed on tv, and they quit.
As long as you have passion, and want to learn, your life in this industry is whatever you want it to be, 5, 10, 50 years.
Kiwichef: Less than .000001356 of the people you encounter in your career life will be like you. That said, it is no wonder you feel as you do. But……………………..not to worry, because people like you will maintain and enrich any place you touch. Good luck.
With that name I am sure and I saw you are form the land of the long white could.
I must say I do miss it, I been in CHCH, Boaters restaurant, Grand chancellor and Casino, later on in Auckland, in a catering firm – the great dessert Co.
(I did one of the food comp. in CHCH too and got 2 silver out of 3 entries)
My experience with Kiwi’s is / was that a lot of you guys/ gals are keen to experiment with food… way more so then in Aussi.
But to the question on what’s wrong?
When I was lured to Australia as so many in NZ at first I thought it was great but then I saw the lack of food safety here in Melbourne, and to me this is a absolute must!!
What’s the point if I prepare a good looking / tasting dish but it is full of bacteria’s…
I had seen food being recycled in 5* hotels.. This is why I chose to train rather work with people who put life at risk.
At least this way I can help getting standards up.
Anyhow back to your question, not everyone is as committed as you and I salute you for this!! It is great to see some one whit such a passion for food.
I see all the time students and apprentice who thinks it is a walk in the park, or to be a celebrity just like on TV, after all we do have lots of TV shows.
And after starting off most of them realize it is actually hard work, pay is not the best, long hours
(I been payed less the an apprentice as executive when looking at the salary and amount of hours I put in too work, so if the hotel does not value me, why should I value them)
..and the list goes on, from there on I guess the level of enthusiasm drops down, hence it becomes a “job” which pays the bill (more or less)
Anyhow have you seen: http://salonculinaire.com/ if you did not know about this site it might be of interest to you ..if not perhaps some of the chefs here might find it helpful?
Mr Kiwi chef, I am proud of you, go out there be creative, then chean up after. I haven’t been to OZ or Kiwi Land, What i have herd they are very simular as Soutgh Africa. Specialy when i comes to food, Creativity. Mr Hubertk I sujest you cary on training and Never Never go to asian or Africa, India, Europe. Achually Just stay at home.
I have a TV crew walk into my Five star Hotel,one of the top 10 restaurants in cape town staight into my kitchen for a suprise, It was for a new TV sation It was also there opening program, and there i was Knee deep in dirt, bacteria, and fresh food. pushing out 250 cover with just 6 chef’s. you put a food saftey program in that enviroment. It just dosn’t happen that way. It’s like having HACCP shoved down your throught 24/7 knowing that it just dosn’t work in the real world. But Messures are taken at the end of every shift.
What wrong with chef today, Nothing. The world has changed now it’s money money money that most are after. What the hell, I want More Money and Less hours so i can Have a Life. I have done the 20 hour days 6 month no off,, flying chopping bourds and plates food. pig really does fly and for what. To bacome a passion Pigen. No it was to make some one else rich or make a name for another Chef. It’s not that our young Chef dosn’t want to Belive, They don’t have a problem doing 20 hour days or making you rich, Or even working there ass of to help you make a name for your self. All they are asking is be fair, Give me the money so they can have a little fun. You say about young student wanting fame and be on TV what wrong with that. I did when i was a Student over 20 years ago, I even got a place to do T.v cooking, But i went to South Africa Instead and never looked back. And then on TV and had a couple of articals in magazine and new papers.
Maybe we are getting old and fixed in our ways, But were we any different, No i think we were the same full of Life and Dreams, ready to take on the world, Big head and Small brains, Until we found our place and brought back to earth.All my Elder Chefs said the same as we do to day, But it didn’t stop us, Nor will it Stop our Chef of today. Give them a chance let them run with it.
I am not sure why you suggest for me to STAY at home and never go out???
But I know for a fact in the UK and this is where you come from as I see, Menu safe (= a food safety program form Salford UNI in UK)does work, if it is applied properly and staffs/ management is committed to it.
Food Safety can and should be of high priority to chefs or anyone working in the food industry after all what’s the point if we do great looking food but we kill or injure our patrons’!
So I do not feel my commitment to food safety is too high or wrong.
I would push for any work environment to be stop on, on food safety at any given point I would not tolerate being slack on this fact!! I would support staff to get the required knowledge not only kitchen staff but service staff too, what about the issue of allergen and food intolerances? Do you care about this when you prepare food knee deep in dirt as you call it? Or you hope the patron does not remember where they had eaten out and not take you to court if they are falling ill?
I had been working in Central America in a 5 * hotel and even there we did have in some areas higher working standards to ensure proper food safety then in some hotels’ here. But then again we catered to a high number of American patrons.
I too worked in Austria, and again we were trained to be vigilant on food safety, and no we do not have to implement a full blown HACCP which you are right would not work well in such situation but we certainly can be on top and serve due diligence on how we prepare our food.
I had been training in china and south pacific islands too, and even there I found people applying great techniques of food safety practices even in small kitchens. It comes down to individual people too. I am sure in Victoria there will be a shake down soon when Environmental health inspectors are going to fine individuals for breach of the food act.
My question to you might be, do you know the actual legislation (food Act) in details which governs your food production in South Africa? And if not why you as professional choose to ignore it?
I do not critic TV chefs as such, I only say that there a lot more TV shows demonstrating cooking, and that those people can take a leading roll on not only demonstrate how to cook or what, but too emphasis on Food Safety, changing demand in nutrition, sustainability of food sources for the growing populations… you see there is more to being a chef then just preparing food, and yes everyone has different motivations on why and how this to be transpired to them.
And I would be happy to go out and work anywhere at any time and Yes I would support 100% the Australian Food Act, which would not hinder me and my creativity in anyway.
Knowing the act does allow me to work with it and use its limitation to my advantages to ensure food to be safe not just fun and creative.
But either way I do not like this to turn in to a hostile personal directed discussion. I think I made my point here, Fact is people sometimes get wrong idea form TV shows and do not realize what is reality and what not, what is the industry really about. And there are great inspiring chefs out there who never get the chance to shine as someone on TV. Is it the celebrity status, 5 min of fame some seek or is it the knowledge of preparing healthy whole some safe food for generations to come!
Your right this not going to end up a person to person thingy magig, Yes i am from England, Uk or great briton, or what ever they wish to call. But my caree is not. i live in three paralel world, a easy way of putting it. Yes England Being Base, I have trained and occationaly worked there to get the exsperiance. Specialy for there structure and Training. I also work here in saudi Arabia, where i work and run my new Restaurant (hopfully to become a local food chain) where the first real restaurant was only opened 22-23 years ago in this provence, But i live in Thailand in a village area, where a persons status is compaired if he/she has a fridge.
I do think that Hygine and saftey is a very importaint roll in our Kitchens, through out the world, I also think it is a good suject for decution and should have it’s own Blog here. Yes i have read the South African food & Hygiene Legilation. It is based on the english law of 1974 updates 1991 & 2004, But so is base for the Auz food & hygiene act, And most countrys food Hygiene Laws. Why because it works. Not the Make safe program is just another haccp baced program, the problem is with these programs, is to much paper work, the extra cost to the compant, which is then pussed on to the customer. So what happens is and i seen it and done all over the world, just took my pen filled it in with out checking any thing, Because it take to much time. As chefs as would know we work long hours, then after a long day, we have to f*** aroung checking and filling forms, i just want to clear down and go home. For saftey i have taken off the plastic guard off the slicing machine, The spash guards from my Deep fryer. Simply becasue some of my staff are unable to use the equipment becasue they are simply left handed, just one reason. At the end of the day we are not children, and we need to use our equipment to the best of it’s ability, some times safty guard just get in the way. At the end of the day put saftey gurds on every you wish, I will still have to work with a razor sharp Knife and fire or heat. This job, it’s a way of life. not for the faint hearted.
Education should be the prority, rather than depending on equipment tecno to do it for you, I have the new Rational oven (Sorry) cooking centre and to be honest i love it, if it had arms and legs i would be out of a job. But at the same time it pretty usless right now as it is only used as a convectional oven. We shouldn’t have to write lables an stick them on to every piece of mes-en-plas, o make sure that it dosn’t stay in our fridges for more than the 3 recomended days It now just dropped to two days depending what part of the world you. It’ should be in your fridge more than 24-48 hours. no question. What i realy love about Haccp prgrams is once you have checked every thing and done every thing by the book, some one then comes and re-checks it. If we can not trust our staff then who can we trust. Haccp programs have been baned from my kitchen for the time being. We are using the British health & hygine Law 1974 act update 1991 then 2004. It has decided to implement a progem baced on haccp allowing each unit to run effently with out the need to waste time filling out to many forms. So by the time we finish we will have 5 diffrent types of food units running, on s system purly for each unit.
No wonder our young don’t want to work in kitchen, to much papper work.
Ok…… i agree with both of you hygene is a must. but hey does anyone know what they every day patron does at home in there own fridge???
no one at home would have any idea about most of the things you to are talking about but what we all know is the basics everyone in the world knows you dont put red meats with poultry etc every body knows if you leave milk or cream out over night its gonna flop. the best of food hygene procedures can be in place but peeople can still get sick take THEFATDUCK for example michelin stars published chef who posioned somthing like 15 to 20 patrons with oysters that were delivered fresh the same day???
as for tv of course they not gonna talk about food hygene because lets br honest no one really cares all they want to see is the food and the fire and the obsene behaviour of a head chef getting upset and yelling at everyone because its exciting to watch e.g. you have 2 channels one is showing the latest hells kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsey the other is the discovery channel talking about food safty out of the population what percentage out of 100 do you think will watch discovery? my guess is not alot maybe 10% at a max.
the truth is its not so easy to poision guests unless your brigade is doing extreamly stupid things like putting seafood and raw meats together or serving luke warm food thats been used time and time again, all in all food hygene like i said is a must but no one should have to learn the food acts to were they can recite them of the top of there heads thats all useless infomation all in my opinion that needs to be tought is the basics. danger zones, food storage, and cleanlyness. thats all you really need to have firm knowlege on a health inspecter wont close you down for your staff not knowing the food act.
Mr steven let me introduce myself my name is Richard in a world were all a chef cares about is money that is the problem its not like its as hard as it used to be with wages the min wage for someone working in mcdonalds is about 15 or so an hour pretty good if you ask me since i started on 8 dollars yes we work our ass off to make someone else look great but when you look at the bigger picture food knowlege in my eyes is worth more then money because the more you know about food the more you get paid the higher you rise.
i have not worked in europ i have not work in asia i have not work in the middle east (yet) but i have worked in 5 star hotels and they can be just as dirty as a chinese take away if we spent all of our time worrying about poisioing people rather then serving them the best meal they have ever had then in my opinion food service would be slack.
and mr Hubertk i came to australia as a stepping stone to europ because home would just be a 200 dollar ticket if things failed for me lucky they didnt i have been here for 2 years now so far you make a strong statment on food hygene and i respect that we all have a way of looking at things my way is be pateint and learn strong basics as i explained earlier on. i have done the food safty course here in aus twice now to refresh my basics. but not all bacteria is bad and they explain that in the course they also explain just as i did that you have more chance of being hit by a golf ball then you do getting food poisoning unless your kitchen practices are so bad that you dont have have chefs in your kitchen you have septic tank cleaners. i think there is nothing wrong with wanting to be known but the best way to get there is to slave those hours and not take the abuse to heart if i could go back in time i would not change one word that was said to me cos later on down the line it ends up making sence and you relise why things are said but its somthing you have to learn yourself i belive passion can not be tought.
As i said Be creative and clean up after, Every one should know the basics it should be tatooed on there ass or some thing, train and inspect. Your right about the money what you will learn at the end of it will be wieght in gold. You say it is alot easier for young chef of today, I would like to be one, The money isn’t the problem, but we are stilling in a funny era where countys are colapising and buisness going bankrup like it going out of fashion, Money is more important now that used to be. I never cared about money, until now. Because just like 50% my friend in the world who just lost there jobs because of the new world, now set 10 year them 10 years back, I can not blame any one running after money speacialy a one of our youngsters, We are already established, i would hate to be in there position right now.
a chef who wants to learn will never be without work they may lose a job here and there but will find it again with ease its hard to come by good staff.
the problem with business is most restaurant owners open up withour thinking then they lose everything and there staff lose out at the same time its owners who care more about there wallets then there staffs which is why i am lucky to have a chef like mine he cares more about us then himslef he been a chef for 23 years opened the burg ala rab, worked for marco pier white, and the list could continue he was treated so bad in those times and because he is an indian was treated 5 times worse then any other so he is struict but very fair.
he preaches the inimportance of money over knowlege he teaches us to look at the bigger picture see whats in the future and not the now. yeah its a shit time now but i wont stay this way because we are in a profession that can not be taken over with machines everyone needs to eat.
This is a question very close to me. I see it everyday, the new chefs coming into the industry are missing heart, drive, and somewhere they have lost ??? I am a Chef Manager between menu changes, schedules, orders, meetings, dealing with my clientele I am at work 70+ hours a week. this does not include the 25-30 hours a week I work in my office at home. I’m not complaining after all it was the Lifestyle I chose many years ago. I am quite happy in my current position, but I am constantly hearing from the new chefs that are up and coming do I not have a life outside of work? The look on their faces is precious when I explain that this is my life, I’m a workaholic as are many of the chefs that I am acquainted with. Their response is always the same" they can’t ever see them doing these kind of hours in a day & if they can’t do it in forty hours a week it wont get done. and there lies the problem. its not a job its a lifestyle successful chefs know you put in the hours required there are days you can get away with 3 or 4 hours and then there the days that you have 12,14, or even 20 hours in a day. Welcome to the industry, it is what it is! If I put in an extra five or six hours the day before a function, and it makes the event run smoothly and makes my staffs shift easier its worth it. The chefs today are afraid of commiting to the foodservice relationship, like a relationship you get back what you put into it. Until you learn this you will be miserable in your job. Make no mistake I am paid well for what I do, not to mention My unit was voted as the best place to get a meal in MacLeans Guide to Universities in 2010 as I said you get what you put into it
This the age of the new generation Chefs, where some traditional making fusions…..In the industry of Food and beverage it is part of the team to have a test or trial…if it succeed then we will used it…it is TRIALANDERROR system..Dont mind the people around you who criticized or jealous of what u are doing…..in a 100% ..I will make sure of you that only 5% of them are trying to pull you down bec. of jealous and hatred….alll chefs should have LOVE and PASSION on what they are doing..and the first sickness we have is hypertension, temperemental…try to controll urself in everything , your anger, and your fear…Like the other chefs says…..WE AREPROUD OF YOU!!!:D
I don’t know what to say…..I have read all these posts about what seems like a not so great position to be in, work too hard, too many hours, not enough pay, etc., etc., etc. You guys are not making it any easier on me. You are chefs, there are plenty of jobs in the food industry and I don’t necessarily mean in a restaurant. Go home, work in your own kitchen, developing your own foods, buy local, try organic, be open minded, here in Nova Scotia there seems to be unlimited opportunities for new wave foods. People are crawling all over farmer’s markets purchasing everything from organic baby foods to home baked breads. Geez, I developed a dog cookie recipe that I produce and bake without a whole lot of trouble, this brings me about $5000. a yr. I am now thinking about cat treats. Be creative, stop feeling so tied into what doesn’t even belong to you.
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as far as what is wrong with chefs today question… most people that think themselves chef’s arent. Ive worked many restaurants where they want to call the line cooks chef…. its the equivalent of calling a private a general. Just because you cook does not make you a chef. What makes you a chef? running and operating an establishment and all the ins and outs thereof. If it were just recipes and cooking, that would make the person microwaving uncle bens rice a chef. It doesnt work like that. Chefs are leaders, mentors, managers, creators, accoutants, and therapists. If you a run an establishment or kitchen you are technically a chef, but that doesnt make you a good one, just like typing text messages does not mean you are a pullitzer prize worthy author. Personally, im content to be a de partie, or sous, I dont like being the therapist, or the manager, or the accoutant. I enjoy being on the line or prepping and actually doing work. this makes me a cook moreso than a chef, and I continually try and point out the difference to young cooks who like to call each other chefs. So most of the people that we wonder “what is wrong with chefs today” chances are, they wont even be in the industry another 5 years from now.