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New job, could use some advice

Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:00 pm

So I just landed my first job as a line cook, and work starts next week. Up until this point, I've only worked in cold-production situations, making salads for grab-and-go cases and whatnot, and I've done really well.
I don't think I'll struggle from a technique standpoint, but I was wondering if anyone can offer some tips on the logistics of working the line so I can get started on the right foot.

Also, I've accumulated some serious cutlery in the past couple of years. How can (or can you even?) you manage to keep track of your personal gear in a busy kitchen without it getting stolen?

Thanks guys.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:20 pm

How many people work in the kitchen? How large is the line? What station are you working? Don't fret about a thing. If the kitchen does not have "in house" knives, bring in a 10" chef knife and a paring knife. Clean them yourself. Most people working around you are not thieves. Its the off shift person when you forget your knife somewhere and leave for the day that might take it. Gauge your peers. If you show up with a $300 knife set, while they use stock knives, they may think you are a fancy boy. Just ease in and take control of what you are there to do.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:37 am

I agree with Jack. Once you figure out what tools are essential to do prep, line work etc. Bring only what you need. Most people are not theives and a stolen kit is pretty rare. Just explicitly label your case so it's not "mistakin for theirs". Some wrap the case handles in a colored electrical tape. When you bring the nice stuff you kind of have to hover around it just to make sure it's not mishandled. :lol: I've had it happen while I was on my board. :(
I'm right handed so I'll set up my station to accomodate my dexterity. (As best as possible).
During meal service constantly talk to the expediter and assemble position to stay on track with timing and overall coordination.
Ask questions to confidently take control. Get in there and own it!
Congrats on the new job! I'm 2 weeks in with my new employer. let's make some food!

Re: New job, could use some advice

Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:45 am

I feel better now, I've been overthinking things.
Thanks for the help, I'm gonna kill it!

Re: New job, could use some advice

Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:29 am

CED <> Careful with constant chatter w/expo. Im not inherently disagreeing w/Tang... but maybe communicate consistently, as opposed to constantly. Yes, he's there to expedite production, but don't expect him to carry you. Use him when you need him, and no more. You're new meat, and have to earn respect. That line is waiting for you to sink or float.

Just remember the 5 P's... and hopefully you don't sink. Confidence is the Mother of success, and that you have... IF YOU BELIEVE you're gonna kill it.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:09 pm

I wouldn't worry so much about stealing. I second the misuse of knives by others. I have seen people try to open cans with other peoples knives. One of my knives was used (without permission) and dropped into a sink, which broke the tip. I keep my knife roll on my station. I keep my specialty knives inside that I don't use as much. I grab them when I need them, wash them and then put them away after use. As far as prep goes, I prep with a 10" Kono Hd but once service starts I switch to an 8" because of lack of space on the line. I also keep a small paring knife out for small work. As far as step-up, I am sure someone will train you on the station. Draw out a diagram of the station when you set it up. Most important thing is mise en place. Once you diagram everything make sure you set up the same way. This is important because during a rush, you know where everything is because it will be in its appropriate place. As you learn the station, you may make a few adjustments so speed things up. Remember, work smarter not harder! It comes with time. Just ask questions to make yourself better. That is what is great about the industry, you can always learn something. Challenge yourself to get better! Congrats on the new position. I'm sure you will do great.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:06 am

Tell us how things go as you progress. I'm interested in how you do.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:27 am

Will do! Thanks again everyone.

Re: New job, could use some advice

Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:57 am

Welp, bad news. Had a little run-in with heat stroke. Apparently I can't take the heat and must therefore stay out of the kitchen, literally.

Back to the old grind! Nice, air-conditioned grind...

Re: New job, could use some advice

Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:04 am

CED <> Well, I guess that solves that... and quickly.
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