Anyone who's learning to be a better cook will be focusing on learning new recipes. People often find recipes they like and then integrate those into their cooking rotation. When you're starting out, this is a good way to try new things in the kitchen. Yet, you won't be getting the full benefit if you aren't focusing on the techniques behind the recipe. Techniques are where the real learning happens. Techniques are where you pick up and learn a skill that you will use forever. Techniques guide you when you cook and can even help you make your own recipes.Read More
Working in kitchens, like with any profession, it can be easy to settle into a routine of mediocrity. To succeed and achieve great things you need to push yourself further and continue learning. By making an effort to get better, especially when you don't feel like it, you'll be able to make great advances in your career and get to where you truly want to be. There are many different ways you can do this. Here are some to get you started.Read More
Working in the kitchen is hard. You're on your feet all day, maybe all night too, running around the place with very little down time. For many it's the passion that drives them, but over time that can wear out. The motivation becomes drained. The cook forgets why he's going through hell every day for only small sums of money. Why is he still working his ass off, still dealing with all the bullshit? Why has he settled with being yelled at constantly? Why does the heat seem almost intolerable now? Maybe it's time to get out the kitchen.
When these feelings strike, it's time to take a step back. Breathe. Think of the customers and what they get to experience because of your hard work. Look at the good things you're doing. Sure, it may be rough for you right now, but weather the storm. Clear skies are ahead. Put on a brave face and focus on the good.Read More
There is a certain joy and pride that comes from cleaning the kitchen at the end of a shift and resetting it for the next one. Things may have been crazy earlier, you may have lost your cool and you're most surely exhausted. Still, though, the kitchen must be reset so you can do it all over again next time.
Restaurant workers know all too well the craziness that is the holiday season. Already used to working when everyone else is having a good time, this is never more clear than during the holidays. Pulling extra shifts, sleeping irregularly, eating poorly - all much a reality to the restaurant worker during the holiday season. But, we're past it now. Congratulations! you made through yet again and the kitchen is reset for things to go back to normal.
As we move into the new year, take some time to reset yourself too, as you would the kitchen. The past weeks, if not months, have been crazy for everyone. Now, when things are a bit quieter, take a bit of time to reset. As a restaurant worker, you may only get a few short days of repose after everyone else is already getting back to their regular work. Make them count. Decompress fully. Do something you love; something you haven't had the chance to do lately and enjoy it. This time is for you. Take it! You need the time to reset or next time you get to work, everything will be chaotic. You'll have a hard time finding order. Always take the time to reset the kitchen.
Whether you’re cooking at home or at work, kitchen notes are a simple but indispensable tool. There’s often so much to do and so much to remember, that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Keeping a little notebook can help you make order of chaos and help you become more efficient and knowledgeable in the kitchen.Read More
To truly go places in the culinary world, you need to be able to do well in almost all areas of the kitchen. You should be able to work the bakery, making breads and desserts. Then switch over and prepare meats for roasting and braising along with their sauces. Luckily, this is how most people start learning in the kitchen. Through apprenticeship or culinary school, the focus early on is to give the students a thorough understanding of the basics of all areas of the kitchen. Later in the training process, teachers may push students to specialize or focus on a certain aspect of kitchen work.Read More
You look at restaurants like Noma and Alinea and think, “ I could be doing that… Why am I not doing that? Why am I just working in this tiny, small potatoes restaurant. I could be doing so much more.”
STOP! Before you think yourself into a crisis!Read More
It’s been a year since my last post and a lot has changed since then. I covered for my friends in their other jobs, I picked up a few independent catering gigs, I started teaching, I worked in a handful of new kitchens, and I kept learning. It’s been crazy, and will only continue to be that way, but such is life in the restaurant industry. The down time has become more uncomfortable than preparing food for 40 people at once. The kitchen is home, and while other hobbies exist, they do so to a lesser extent. Every day, more and more, the focus is on the work. While it is work and gets tiring sometimes, the passion drives me. The passion to perfect what I already know, to try new things and to share them with the public is what continues to push me.
I worked multiple jobs over the past year, but I've settled into a great place, with excellent people. We’re continually doing exciting things, and getting amazing feedback. With the rest of life a bit calmer these days, I turn my attention back to this website, The Commis. I started it to share what I've learned and what I think with others who work in the industry, or even just those who may be curious. After all that’s happened in the past year, I have learned a lot and I can’t wait to share it with you.
I’ll return to posting regularly and I’ll even revisit some of my past posts to edit, improve and re-release them. I have some exciting ideas for The Commis, so come with me down this road. Let’s see where it leads.
The restaurant industry is known to be a volatile field. Restaurants close all the time, but it’s a different story when it’s happening to you. I recently lost my job at the restaurant I have worked at for just under 4 years. I came in as a dishwasher, but now I’m leaving as the chef. I’ve worked very hard and the restaurant was a huge part of my life. I gave up going to parties and hanging out with friends so that I could work and earn money, but now it’s all come to an end.Read More
The applications of current technological advancements are quite exciting. I’ve already talked about the kitchen uses of the ChefJet, a 3D printer made for the kitchen, but what about some of the other new technology? How can it be used in the professional kitchen? The piece of technology I’ve been focusing on now, is the Google Glass. The google glass is a wearable device that sits on your head, almost like a pair of eyeglasses, with a small display in front of the eye.Read More