Most people have no idea what is involved in being a chef. Only about 10% of the population has ever worked in a professional kitchen so they don’t understand it involves a lot more than just cooking. Let me fill everyone in on my experiences in the 14+ years I’ve been doing this.
Some of the day-to-day stuff might surprise you. The one ounce of demi-glaze on your filet at your favorite steak house takes an entire team two sometimes three days to complete. Soups made with such care that it takes a mind-numbing amount of time to get the spices just right. Most of these efforts get overlooked by the average restaurant patron on a daily basis.
There are always unseen efforts too. Such as the line cook who comes in to work 2 hours early off the clock to set up his station for success to insure you get a quality experience. Sharpening the knives over & over till they have a razor-sharp edge to ensure the least amount of waste when trimming steaks and seafood. Or the hours spent testing combinations of ingredients to make a perfect dish on every part of the menu. Let’s not forget the dishwasher that stays till the wee hours of the morning to make sure all items are cleaned and ready for service the next day. Then there are the prep cooks that give all they’ve got to try and make your experience wonderful even though it feels like forever since they had some down time. And having a social life? Forget it. Most restaurant employees give that up. This includes family functions, weddings, birthdays, and unfortunately even the birth of their children in some cases. Some days it feels like good chefs are a dying breed. It feels like we are always pushing ourselves to the brink of exhaustion just to provide a superior service for the masses and it largely goes unnoticed and mostly underappreciated.
But let me be the first to admit that I actually enjoy the fast hustle of a busy night. A board full of tickets and a line out the door is the kind of stuff that drives me. Not because I love the pain and stress of the busy rush but because at the end of the day there is the satisfaction of knowing the staff gave people a truly great meal. Our thanks are the smiles & happy families digging into their food with homemade BBQ sauce on their chin. It’s the young man who asked his mom if he could have a quart of our soup for Christmas. We know we’ve done our part.
We strive everyday to reach some level of success whether it is in the kitchen or elsewhere. We want to help you make memories to last your lifetime whether you’re on vacation or just popping out for dinner.
For me, I’ve never wanted to be anything other than a chef and that makes me the luckiest man in the world.