3 female chefs ?!

I am proud to tell you all the infrequency of my posts in recent weeks is due to my starting a new job as sous chef for a small but busy downtown restaurant.

As some of you may know the restaurant industry is sadly a still a mans world female line cooks are rare and often have to fight hard to be considered equals to their male counter parts . Female chefs are even rarer . So you can imagine my delight to be working along side a capable Female chef as her sous , what’s more than that I was hired to replace her current sous a short English girl much like my self .

About a week into my training there came a fervently busy night on which the 3 of us were working together , the only men in the kitchen being in the dish pit . As orders bleeped in and pastas flew out the server station with precise and dizzying speed all in the puffing dragon breath heat of the half dozen burners and belching ovens. A customer peered in the window of the semi open kitchen and exclaimed “Is that 3 female chefs? I ‘ve never seen a female chef before !” It was hard I must admit for us not to burst out laughing at his crudely put though largely accurate observation. Instead we all answered quickly and almost in unison YES!

busy female chef

So I put it to you have you ever met a female chef ? perhaps you are a female chef if so all power to you may we see more strong women at the helm of busy restaurants everywhere.

Like what I’m doing now check out what I was up to before all this @ http://thegreathardwooadventure.blogspot.ca/2014/06/headed-south-beautiful-blue-ridge.html


Some things potential owners should know before opening a restaurant


  1. Everyone who works for you will steal from you in some capacity, be in food , falsified hours , petty cash or any number of other scams, a good employee is one who doesn’t rob you blind.
  2. Equipment will break down at the most inopportune moment possible.
  3. New kitchen equipment is a rip off you can buy the same thing used for a third of the price. Restaurants go under all the time take advantage of it and buy their barely used equipment cheap. Of course sometimes you need something like now! And it’s worth the rip off !
  4. If a restaurant was in the location your considering before you and failed the location is what we in the restaurant industry call a burned location and your chances of success there are slim to none. Unfortunately humans are creatures of habit and it will take them years to get over the image of that location as a no go eatery mean while you will be stuck there running out of patience , money and resources.
  5. When it comes to suppliers and service people the squeaky wheel gets the grease, chef yelling at phonewondering why you get shipped sub-par product , get deliveries late , are waiting forever for the repair man. That’s because other chefs and owners aren’t , they’re screaming and raving down the phone line threatening to close their accounts , trust me it works!
  6. Firing people sucks but is a necessary evil, what’s worse than firing people who are obviously terrible at and unhappy in their jobs is stringing them along until there is no possible option but to get rid of them in an abrupt and excitable manner. If you own or run a business some days your going to have be the bad guy get used to it.
  7. The neighborhood and city , in my experience good restaurateurs, know the cites and neighborhoods their businesses  are in inside out , they have their figures on the pulse are always well informed about what’s trending , developing and generally going on in the food industry as well as in their specific area.
  8. Linen service is great! in no way is this ever a waste of money here are the biggest reasons.
  • Cooks are obsessed with cloths , it’s a good thing! they need them on mass and believe me washing a 100+ filthy rags yourself every night is not the ideal way to celebrate the fact business is booming.
  • Kitchen staff are bad at remembering/bothering to wash uniforms , not to mention even if they do remember to wash them, they will never get them as clean as the linen service.
  • You will spend a fortune on laundry detergent , washing machines , bleach and water bills before eventually deciding to go with the linen service. do yourself a favor and just get one to start with.

Regarding cooks

  1. Line cooks will call in sick because they stayed up way too late doing drugs , drinking and generally getting into trouble, make peace with it if they’re good it’s worth it if they’re not fire them , either way chances are if they’re calling in you don’t want them there any more than they want to be there .
  2. Moral is very important , cooks are like pirates moral gets too low they’ll mutiny have nopirate cooks doubt about it if they don’t feel it’s worth their time they will leave you high and dry often many at the same time if anything they’re are loyal to their chef not the owner.
  3. Don’t touch their personal knives same goes for their specifically set up stations or mise en palce there is a reason they have it set up the way they do and if you move something 2 inches to the left their liable to get thrown off by it .

like Order up! check out what I was doing before all this


Also feel free to leave me comments about your own kitchen experiences I’m always interested to hear them.


restaurant translatior – how the menu reads to a cook

After a over a decade in the food service industry . I’m still a huge fan of eating out I do it at least a couple times a weak however working in the industry does mean I read things differently to the average customer . The way I see it everybody is entitled to know what their really getting when they step into a restaurant  , so in todays post I will translate some of the most common culinary cons.

Daily special – Thing with high food costs that are about to go bad combined and disguised with  a nice sauce to seem more edible.

Catch of the day – Whatever fish is on the turn._MG_0235

Half price baked goods – stale baked goods.

Brunch – unimaginative staple dishes comprised largely of scrapes and eggs , prepared by the kitchens least experienced cooks.

Seafood Bisque and Boulliabassie – Seafood compost add water or cream ,season and reduce.

Discount sushi – old sushi.

Well done – Cuts of steak no one else wants incinerated into tasteless boot leather.

White wine mussels – poorly stored over priced freebie dish the cook doesn’t care about . Watch out for the closed or close to closed ones.

House wine – cheap plonk.shepards pie

Julienne potatoes – French fries.

Shepard’s pie or beef parentier – left overs with mashed potatoes on top.

Chili special – left overs slow cooked in a pot.

Vegetarian plate , Crudités – Over priced sliced vegetables in pretty patterns probably made by the dishwasher\kitchen helper same goes for the fruit plate.

don’t get me wrong I love restaurants, if you like something and it tastes good who cares if it’s predominantly scraps if you enjoy it go for it more often than not your paying for a chefs ability to make low food cost items delicious there’s nothing wrong with that !

These are just a few if you have more to add please leave them as a comment I love to hear other peoples, translations.

Like what I’m doing now check out what I was up to before all this @ http://thegreathardwooadventure.blogspot.ca/2014/06/headed-south-beautiful-blue-ridge.html