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Being the Chef » Chef Life

Confessions of A Job Hopping Chef

Oh no!  I am a job hopper. While I was working on a background page for my website, I started to realized that a quick glace at my resume would label me a job hopper. I hate the label “Job Hopper”, mainly because I never felt that I portrayed any of the characteristics of the stereotypical hopper.  I have never been fired, been socially or mentally unbalanced, and I’ve never left a position because I wasn’t capable of doing the job.  I have left every single place I’ve worked on good terms and have received glowing recommendations on my work ethic and many accomplishments. Additionally, almost every new position I’ve taken has been a progressive move, meaning that I have consistently moved to higher volume, higher quality establishments with larger staffs … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

10 Reason's Every Chef Should Have A.D.D.

As I read this article on the advantages of A.D.D. or Attention Deficit Disorder by Jennifer Koretsky, I was struck by how many of these strengths are essential to being a good chef.  I have dealt with my own A.D.D. most of my life and had always considered it a blessing within my chosen occupation, but reading through this article helped to pin point the corelation between A.D.D. strengths and the characteristics of a successful chef. Creativity- It goes without saying, this is a big part of most chef positions and is usually what first draws us to the occupation. Drive- There are no successful lazy chefs, it is a hard job and without an insane amount of drive most would just flounder. Problem Solving- Whether it is coming up with the daily … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

Don't just do something, stand there!

“Is your team there to support you or are you there to support your team?” This was the topic of conversation the other day between myself and a corporate VP.  There are times when the work is mostly driven by the Chef and the staff is just there for support, but this tends to work only in small venues. Our conversation started with a comment about how well I take care of my guests, to which I replied that I don’t do much for the guests at all because my job was to take care of my staff.  I then explained how it was my staff’s job to take care of our guests.  My job focus, I went on to explain, is to make sure my staff are trained, equipped and part … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

Cell Phones Banned in Professional Kitchens

Photo by tomsun Do you believe in capitalizing on new tech in your kitchen or are you old school and think cell phones and such should be left at home?  I have watched as several companies tried, in vain I might add, to ban all cell phones in their kitchens.   I understand the worries and even the possible problems employees with phones might pose, but I do think that there are just as many if not more reasons to allow them. The Pros : Calling – This one is about as basic as it gets, but is often overlooked in it’s simplicity.  I have managed large properties and the ability  to call my cooks where ever they are working has improved my life considerably from the days when I had to walk all … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Kitchen Staff

86inventory Is Looking for Beta Testers

Our sister site, has launched the new 86inventory program.  I’ll post an overview of the features and how it all works soon, but if you want to get in on the beta testing head there now and sign up for a free account. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Chef's Office

Need a Spreadsheet to Schedule Your Staff and Track Labor?

Ever need a simple spreadsheet tool to plan your staff’s schedule but also need to track your payroll?  Here is a spreadsheet that not only tracks your planned schedule budget but also helps to track your actual hours worked.  In addition to tracking individual employees, it also provides a entire staff overview. You can download the file here: Schedule Template with Labor Budget or you can use our template with Google Docs @ Schedule Template … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Free Templates & Downloads, Kitchen Staff

Loving to Hate Inventory

Is It Really Important To Do A Monthly Inventory? Unfortunately, yes it is vital to your operation.  Trust me, I really hate doing inventory and if there was an effective way to get around it, I would! The reality of the matter is that inventory is the bedrock of all your monthly financial statements.  Let’s take a look at the ways inventory is important. Proper Inventory Increases Cash Flow Inventory at it’s most basic definition is your money that has been invested in a perishable product.  I have worked with quite a few chef’s who think high levels of inventory are not a problem since they are subtracted out of your food cost.  “Better to not run out of anything” is a common mantra of this type of chef. Every time I see … Read entire article »

Filed under: Chef Life, Chef's Office, Purchasing