My long-suffering fiancée works in an office of seven people, including three vegetarians. The other night I was re-creating a Crockpot vegetarian green bean dish that I had made for last year’s office Thanksgiving. They were a big hit even with the meat-eaters. I had to work really hard to make them rich in flavor and mouthfeel for everyone to enjoy, and I remembered just what I had put in them before. Naturally I hadn’t written anything down. I just used instinct and memory to make them again. Continue reading Recipe Schme-cipe
A chef or kitchen manager has to juggle their many other daily tasks and also order fresh products and dry goods and front-of-the-house supplies. Sometimes deliveries don’t go as planned. Then it’s up to that person who’s in charge of ordering to call their purveyors and ask for corrections that will (hopefully) arrive in time to make service happen successfully. Continue reading The Highwire of Ordering
Do you have a relative or close friend who works in a restaurant? Have you ever looked closely at their hands and forearms? Continue reading The Hands of a Cook
Ah, the old “no-call, no-show”. Basically it means someone who’s scheduled to work doesn’t show up for their shift, doesn’t call to offer an excuse, and doesn’t answer increasingly desperate calls from their place of employment. Continue reading No-Call No-Show, Shit Show
This week a friend and fellow food journalist posted a thread on Facebook about hard work paying off in the hospitality industry. Many testimonials followed, with a lot of local chefs back-patting each other and lots of war stories about how many hours they all used to work at two or three jobs, some while still going to college. Continue reading Imagine No Vacation; I Wonder If You Can
I attended culinary school in a night and weekend program that lasted most of three years, while still working full time at a bank job where I had employer-assisted health insurance, paid sick days and vacation. Sometimes I look back and laugh at the fact I was putting myself in years of debt to be trained to work a job that nearly always pays less than a full-time office position, and rarely has any benefits like insurance or paid time off, but that’s a subject for another column. Continue reading Line Cooks – What do they do all day?