June 15, 2012

So I'm a Line Cook

Working in the food industry is apparently a thing I'm now doing. I've read about it, watched various movies about it, thought about it. Being someone who really appreciates a good, thoughtful, creative meal, I'm surprised at how little I've considered the people who make that food. I mean, I might have considered the chef who designed the dish and what they intended but never really gave the line cooks a second thought. And now I am one.

I'm admittedly a little shell-shocked. After just 2 days of training I'm already wondering if this is really for me. It sure is a lot of work for minimum wage. I've always thought that I was a fairly decent cook but at home I only have to live up to my own standards, and if it sucks we order take-out. Now I'm working to professional standards, making some things that I would not prepare for myself, and I'm being closely watched while I do it. I'm terrible with a knife. I was already the first person in the kitchen to slice myself (not badly, but enough to need the first aid kit.) I have some good ideas for the development of the menu, but the execution of the dishes is not always easy for me. This further solidifies the theory that I'm a designer by nature and not really an artist.

But I've been given a chance to learn a lot, about myself, about cooking/food and about running a business. I feel privileged to be a founding member of this brewpub because I have the opportunity to help shape it into what it will become known for (besides the beer, of course.) The more that I think about it I realize just how huge that is. So many people, in this town and outside of it, have been waiting a long time for the opening of this restaurant and might be expecting something spectacular. I hope we don't let them down. I really want to see this place become our town's craft beer mecca and I'm psyched to be a part of it. 

I just have to keep reminding myself of all of this when I start to get down about working my ass off for minimum wage. I'm re-reading Kitchen Confidential for some inspiration and commiseration. Bourdain knows how to cheer me up.

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