Everyone should be able to afford a healthy meal.
Everyone should be able to afford a healthy meal.
People in Vermont that I’ve always looked up to have been the self sufficient, take no shit, independent people that enjoy the simple things in life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had family, teachers, coaches and friends who have inherited and taught me this trait.
Nothing in this country or even, the better part of the world is more mishandled than money and food. We have a banking cartel that prints money out of thin air. People get crippled financially while the 1% profits. It’s a Ponzi scheme, that has affected just about every aspect of day to day life in this country. This scheme is based on control. Just like Monsanto is trying to control the food supply. The global elite are doing a grander scale with social injustice. It’s about control. The 1% has over 90% of the worlds’ wealth. A family called the Rothchilds have an estimated 500 trillion dollars. This affects how we eat. Yes, shit’s deep. It’s about power. Food is power for the people. Food is medicinal. Other cultures who do not subscribe to our chemically-sealed and engineered, GMO-contaminated food with a nice tall glass of fluoride-spiked aqua, do not have the problems with obesity and illness. Lets face it, corporations are treating us like foie gras while getting wealthy and controlling politicians by buying them off with lobbyists. It’s pretty evil stuff.
Most people are sick and often unaware of what they are putting in their bodies. Affordable alternatives are not provided to families and the vast majority of the population. This isn’t the restaurants fault. They get squeezed. It’s the buying power of big businesses associated and regulated by important people. This all works out great for the for the pharmaceutical industry, by the way. Off course they are going to help fund this concept.
This is my reality of the state of affairs. If it offends someone because they want to justify shoving a bacon triple MC slammer cheeseburger from TGI MC Factory farms. That’s okay. You do you. Do you.
My solution to this madness is to make REAL food affordable. Perhaps I’m trying to justify my rant. My food wagon is going to provide affordable food. Like I mentioned in my rant, restaurants have far to much overhead to be affordable with REAL food. My goal is to have everyone enjoy our basic right of having something wholesome. Hopefully more of these options pop up in the future. Food trucks are often a good avenue for quality and affordability. We need that if we are going to turn the tide. Who knows. Perhaps people will actually embrace it. Stranger things have happened.
To have the same emotion in the kitchen all the time is not good for the business.
Being the chef, you are responsible for the quality of the food, the food costs, and sanitation. A lot can go wrong with those responsibilities. It also comes with plenty of derivatives. If the chef fails to do his job, the end result can be unhappy customers, a failing business, and even food poisoning. This is a heavy burden and it should be taken seriously.
People often wonder why chefs have such a strong personalities. It has to do with what I mentioned. Plus any job that has demanding time lines and hot temperatures can make a chef wear thin on patience.
All that stress doesn’t mean that good times are not to be had. Joking and laughing can be pretty common in most kitchens. Moods can run very high and also turn very low. It’s nice to have a happy medium. But it’s not likely in a industry that is pretty straight forward with customer feed back. The customer often determines the chefs’ mood.
Music in the kitchen is a good thing. If the stress is crazy, classical music works every time. That’s a random example, but yet an effective mood stabilizer.
This theory depends on the chef. A lot of chefs are assholes. I’ve worked for plenty of them. The chefs’ mood typically determines the mood of the kitchen and the servers.
In the past decade, chefs have lightened up a little bit. More people do not put up with verbal abuse. The work force is stretched pretty thin; it demands that chefs lighten up.
Television has also given the customer a distorted version of reality. The reality cooking shows are not accurate. Screaming chefs are a thing of the past. TV packaged that concept from years ago and added some post ironic bullshit to acquire ratings. A lot of drama gives these shows ratings. It’s easier to feature fantasy drama rather than cooking ability. Some cooks from a couple decades ago, myself included can remember ducking saute pans being chucked across the kitchen. That was some real stuff. It’s not like that anymore.
Alright. Back to my point. A chef can’t have the patience of a normal person with a laid back job. It’s not a laid back job. Don’t piss off the chef. It’s not worth everyone’s time.
Hopefully I contradicted myself at least a couple times in this blog. Bipolar express baby. What are you talking about!
In the past few years, simple is more has been the motto. It is true to a certain extent, but little touches make that thought process thrive.
When executing a dish it’s wise to think about this. Flavor: savory, spicy, sweet, bitter, salt. Whatever it is, these flavors shape the dish. It’s also important to have depth. For example, a few bay leafs go a long way. Then you have texture. It’s important to have a crunch or something crispy to lift the dish. Height. To have something edible lifting up the dish typically in the center of the plate is ideal to catch the eye. Clean. To have a well executed plate it’s important to catch any splatter or thumb prints. The flavors should also be clean. Don’t make the food submit into something else. A tomato should taste like a tomato. The dish should also not be aligned with the flow of the presentation. A good way to test this concept is to take a picture of the dish at a tilted position. Color is also something to take into careful consideration. Color can make or break a dish. We eat with our eyes. Certain colors play well with each other. Once again. A camera will show you that from another perspective.
So taking in consideration: overkill. The more experience I’ve gotten, the more I think along the line of what can I take off the dish rather than what can I add. A nicely prepared protein with a nice sauce with some carefully cut vegetables can be a beautiful thing. Doctoring up crazy garnishes or using inedible garnishes are a thing of the past.
So when you hear simple is more, remember there is a tight rope associated with that theory. Top chefs don’t get the respect from peers and publications by just putting out food that is simple.
Call me crazy, but I would rather have a lower paying chef position and produce amazing food prepared from scratch than work for a soul-less enterprise that serves up chemically sealed and engineered garbage. For example, a lot of chef jobs pay a handsome wage for someone to come in and manage the product and staff and compromise the quality of the ingredients and finished product for some big corporations bottom line that makes it’s consumers sick. Honestly, no job could pay me enough to subscribe to that. It’s always been about the food. This is how I like to think about this topic. It’s like Taylor Swift playing at the super bowl with the Rolling Stones if that makes sense. Hopefully it does. Stranger things have happened. Basically that person is a sell out!
To be great in this industry you have to compromise your profits to offer the customer the wow factor. This is how a business or a person stands out. It’s just like anything. Sacrifice is key. It also helps if someone has the basic foundation to execute this principal. Try to make food from scratch, use your training or get some more training, eat like you give a fuck and don’t be a very small percentage on someone’s payroll, making a lot of money for some corporation that doesn’t give a shit about you.
The cliché term, money doesn’t buy happiness; it’s true. Cliché terms are cliché terms for a reason. It’s better to be a happy chef working with a strong desire to provide the best you can do, than a unhappy chef making six figures, who hates his life. Not to say all corporate chefs hate life, but that only makes me question why they don’t.
We all have our vices whether it be, a Snickers bar, bag of chips, tobacco, or a cola and so on. That’s just based on consumption. Chef vices could also be a completely different topic of reality. So, if someone is going to say hey I’m a chef, then pay attention and see if they take pride. In this instance. Don’t be a Rolling Stone. Be a Ramone. But just say no!
In the Food and Beverage Industry, being rational and having integrity can be frustrating.
I’m glad that I’ve made the effort to work with certain people and try to put my differences aside. So this theory has a purpose. To try to do the right thing can involve people misunderstanding kindness as a weakness. Often people with the right intentions get taken advantage of. Sometimes the cry babies get taken care of. The unpleasant reality is that the cry babies have a sense of entitlement and know how to manipulate situations in there favor. Lies seem to the ammo behind this type of behavior. In this politically correct society, to point this type of behavior out brings you down to a lower level in the eyes of higher arches. Also stating the reality of someone else being toxic and bringing down the whole team makes the person with integrity feel insecure about being considered a cry baby. The powers to be often get it wrong and reward bad behavior blindly. Typically people who have a hard work ethic don’t feel the need to kiss ass, where as people who don’t do.
People need to put the focus on what’s important. That’s the customer. High School musical productions in the work place tend to have an effect on the customers’ overall experience. Go figure. Being rational with toxic individuals is a waste of the company’s time. This is why hiring people in the close proximity of a business you are trying to successfully establish doesn’t typically work. I could also state a few more facts that could offend some people, but I’ll let it marinade for another rant. Okay. Back onto the conclusion.
When circumstances become personal and blown out of proportion, rational interactions can leave even the most seasoned manager beside themselves. Be careful who you hire and ask a lot of questions. My personal favorite is, What are your strengths and weaknesses? It can be pretty rational or irrational quick.
In the food and beverage industry, this is very common. Ego traps typically involve promotions where you sacrifice pay, for a career. This typically is in the best interest of the employer.
A good example would be that a bartender or server in a nice restaurant typically makes more than the manager. Sometimes it’s double or even triple the pay.
When in the ego trap you can count on more headaches, more responsibility, and far less rewards. This person is typically a servant and a slave to the establishment. They also make the establishment what it is for a short while. Then they burn out and faze out, until someone else falls into this trap.
This all comes with the notion that it’s good for a resume and sometimes the delusion of making more money. If on salary. Forget it. That person is in a world of hurt. The unfortunate reality is that it isn’t worth it, most of the time. Servers and bartenders are making more money than the chefs and managers. This completely makes sense from a economic stand point as far as matters go. The customers pay the servers and bartenders. The management is on the payroll represents a percentage; that effects the bottom line.
If you want to see this in it’s true form, go out to a bar late at night and watch servers and bartenders after a shift piss away money like a bad MC Hammer video. You can typically see some sweaty cooks in the corner drinking the cheapest draft beer.
This is why it’s important to not take salary or negotiate incentives when taking a management position. It also helps if you already have a job when you interview with a job. You are far less apt to get screwed over and backed into lesser pay. It would also be wise to review if a trap has ever been in place. Sometimes management positions are rewarding. Sometimes they help advance a career. It’s natural for an employer to want to get more for less. It doesn’t mean you need to subscribe.
Ego traps are more apt to happen when you are just getting into management. It can be a good character builder. Better be ready to suck it up and deal with some reality.