Learn how to be a cook before you become a chef
Knowing how the kitchen and restaurant works is vitally important to becoming a chef. This is Countertalk's Ravneet Gill, and her perception of the food industry today.
When I was a commis, I wanted to be everything BUT a commis. I thought I knew better than everyone (I obvs didn't), and didn't see the point in repetitive tasks, like rolling hundreds of tuiles into cigarettes for hours.
But since I've climbed and started managing others, some days I wish I could just go back and appreciate being a commis: having much less responsibility, not having to worry about GP, budgets, managing staff, rotas, etc.
Being a commis, you're in a unique position—it's almost like being a sponge and being 10 years old again. It's your chance to absorb as much info as possible.
I was a bad commis for a while. Once I got over my own ego I realized to be good at the job, I needed to work faster. I did this by timing myself over and over again completing banal tasks; coming in a little earlier so I could get my list done; respecting those above me and the work they must have put it to get there; reading as much as I could when I was off, and spending days off cooking and baking.
Starting from the bottom is important—there's no better way to learn and grow. And, if you've had a bad experience as a commis in a kitchen—persevere and find the right fit. There are some incredible kitchen teams out there.
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