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View Full Version : Are you a wolf, or a sheep?



NO ChoP!
01-10-2014, 09:28 AM
It's like time stands still. You watch all the commotion around you. You hear all the noise; tickets printing, pans clinking, food sizzling, people talking loudly. Everyone is frazzled; turning circles, moving fast. Their bodies spin at the same rate as their brain, yet they are lost. If you tried to talk to them, it would be like trying to talk to a man on a ledge, or a crackhead on their knees digging in the carpet for that dropped crack rock; desperate. I walk out to the field with fifty thousand people, bright lights over head and I hear nothing. I can hear my heartbeat. Everything around me is fuzzy; blurred. I am in the moment. I am in my element. I eat, breath and crap this. I feel like everything around me is in fast forward, yet I am able to see things in normal speed. I take a moment to read the tickets, plot out my next dozen moves, reach over to the guy next to my station and toss his almost burning saute, turn to the guy on the other side, and remind him to check his steaks in the oven, quickly save the expo from sending out a wrong plate, all while taking control of the situation. I have every burner going, oven filled, and am plating every plate I have to fit in front of me, thinking of my next ten steps, all while walking everyone around me through their next ten. Like little kids in winter with mittens on, unsure of the snowy path ahead. Now that I've set the tone, and others are feeling more confident and starting to relax, I will turn to them, and remind them that I'd like to screw their mothers and sisters. That's how we role in the kitchen. Everyone wants to be a chef. Only the truly great are actually good line cooks. Can you work in an environment that is equivalent to a pressure cooker, and thrive? Day after day, year after year? No one pats you on the back for the hundreds of good plates, but one slow ticket or mishap and ten managers, who do diddly squat hover over you. The stress can eat you alive, if you let it. What is my payoff? Self gratitude. I know I can walk into any kitchen, anywhere and hang. Not only hang but kick some butt, and garner instant respect. And with that respect, I will trash talk them, and talk about their moms and sisters...AWoooooooo! I am a wolf!

Chef Andy
01-10-2014, 09:51 AM
Sounds like Anthony bourdain.

XooMG
01-10-2014, 09:52 AM
I work in adult entertainment. Can only cook at home, where nobody's expecting me to talk about their mother.

chefcomesback
01-10-2014, 09:52 AM
I am looking for the like button


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NO ChoP!
01-10-2014, 09:58 AM
I work in adult entertainment.

New. Favorite. Member.

Nmko
01-10-2014, 09:59 AM
No one pats you on the back for the hundreds of good plates, but one slow ticket or mishap and ten managers, who do diddly squat hover over you. The stress can eat you alive, if you let it. What is my payoff? Self gratitude. I know I can walk into any kitchen, anywhere and hang. Not only hang but kick some butt, and garner instant respect. And with that respect, I will trash talk them, and talk about their moms and sisters...AWoooooooo! I am a wolf!

After 10+ years on the line, i know this feeling all too well... WOLFPACK FTW

cheflarge
01-10-2014, 10:05 AM
The wolf gobbles up the sheep & rules his domain. I am Wolf........ Hoooooooowllllllllll!

marc4pt0
01-10-2014, 10:17 AM
All the while crushing a six-pack of cheap beer, banging out lines every ten, and impromptu coat room f**k fests with the groupy servers/hostess's or that foxy brunette/blonde eye humping you from table 34, during back crushing service. God I miss the 90's.

Salty dog
01-10-2014, 10:27 AM
That pretty much sums up the attitude the good ones have.

But after a while it does wear you out.

panda
01-10-2014, 11:34 AM
Most are sheep, but none will admit.

JHunter
01-10-2014, 11:58 AM
I'm not sure as I've ever heard it put any better and it's why I still do what I do

Chef Andy
01-10-2014, 12:00 PM
Most are sheep, but none will admit.

No one starts as a wolf. I'll admit I was a sheep at one point, but no one will ever get more than that outta me haha.

Mucho Bocho
01-10-2014, 04:46 PM
Chop, Sounds like your kitchen should be called D-Day.

I have heard that you're a very clever and creative Chef Chris. Given that we live in the same state, I hope to have you over for some knife-inn and food prep. I'd like to pick your brain sometime about cooking approaches and technique. I know a lot of people that own their own restaurants but when they come to my kitchen, All I hear is WOW, I never thought of that and delicious. I don't work as a Chef primarilly because of the life style but am a Chef at heart.

I've spent a lot of time studing ingredients, approach and execution. My knife skills are better than most too. I might not have as much front-line fighting experience as you but I consider myself a self-made WOLF as well.

Sounds like you'd be sucessful on Chopped. What do you say Chop Chop, put your money where your mouth is?

Crothcipt
01-10-2014, 05:22 PM
That pretty much sums up the attitude the good ones have.

But after a while it does wear you out.

+1

Bill13
01-10-2014, 05:34 PM
On the job-site, not the kitchen, but I try and be the shepherd:).

Von blewitt
01-10-2014, 06:09 PM
Most are sheep, but none will admit.


On the job-site, not the kitchen, but I try and be the shepherd:).

Shepard is a good way of putting it

I don't want a kitchen full of wolves. I want Dolphins, curious, intelligent, but happy to swim with the school.

sachem allison
01-10-2014, 06:20 PM
I'm a bear. I plod along, do my thing. Not the fastest, not the best. I am quiet until poked, don't poke the bear. I eat wolves and shyt sheep. At the end of the day you Can't resist me . I'm the last man standing. I am the bear.

NO ChoP!
01-10-2014, 06:59 PM
I'm a bear. I plod along, do my thing. Not the fastest, not the best. I am quiet until poked, don't poke the bear. I eat wolves and shyt sheep. At the end of the day you Can't resist me . I'm the last man standing. I am the bear.

Nice!

tkern
01-10-2014, 07:22 PM
I am the walrus.

stevenStefano
01-10-2014, 07:48 PM
reach over to the guy next to my station and toss his almost burning saute, turn to the guy on the other side, and remind him to check his steaks in the oven, quickly save the expo from sending out a wrong plate, all while taking control of the situation

Yeah I like this bit. I think something that separates the wheat from thew chaff in the Chef game is knowing things you don't need to know. Some people just pick things up but not everyone. You notice other guys making mistakes even though it's not your station but somehow you know everything they have to do

NO ChoP!
01-10-2014, 10:35 PM
Wolves work in packs, they compete with each other to be number one. They make each other stronger and only the strongest survive. As a team they are invincible.

knyfeknerd
01-11-2014, 12:36 AM
I am the walrus.
Ku Ku KaChoo!
I can't believe I'm the 1st.



I like to think of Jesus as wearing a tuxedo tee-shirt, which says I'm formal, but I'm here to party.

brainsausage
01-11-2014, 12:39 AM
Yeah I like this bit. I think something that separates the wheat from thew chaff in the Chef game is knowing things you don't need to know. Some people just pick things up but not everyone. You notice other guys making mistakes even though it's not your station but somehow you know everything they have to do

'Kitchen sense'. Seeing but not seeing. Just knowing what's going on. Noticing the big and little things. Congratulating a dishwasher for finally figuring out where the robo coupe blade goes(without being condescending), and chastising your lead line cook(who can bang out a million dishes on a Friday) for not properly mincing an onion. Catching a waitron ignoring a table, and praising a bartender for describing that dish just right while you're having a drink and doing orders. Noticing that sink needs work, that corner needs dusting, that person isn't working out, that person needs a little help, the drafts are getting a little stale, the paint is chipping over there, the seating chart could make a little more sense... Being a chef is like having way too many kids and a big giant house(es), that you really care a lot about.

JDA_NC
01-11-2014, 01:00 AM
^^

And on a more basic, line-cook level - you want that awareness and chemistry too. You know you're with a solid cook when you don't really have to talk during service. I don't want to be working with someone who has to be told, or call back, their orders multiple times per ticket. Or having to tell them that this push is 90% off your station and a little help finishing plates and putting them up instead of ass-scratching would be appreciated. Same as you do when they get weeded. That unspoken connection... it's surprising just how many people need things spelled out for them.

Especially now that I've been doing this longer, I am extremely appreciative that my first 'real' kitchen job (ie I was taught to think about food and not just sling plates) was in a restaurant where the menu was printed daily - and changed often -, there were no heat lamps in the kitchen, you did plating yourself, and you had no tickets. It taught me a lot.

Salty dog
01-11-2014, 07:49 AM
I don't want to toot my horn but throw owning the place on top of that. It puts things in perspective. It's no longer about the food and kitchen, it's about keeping 30 people happily employed. I'm as satisfied as the next cook when I'm slinging hash but when my people start having babies and buy cars and homes......NOTHING gives me more pleasure.

That my friends is what this stuff is all about. Creating a place for happiness and prosperity. Cooking almost seems trivial.

brainsausage
01-11-2014, 10:04 AM
I don't want to toot my horn but throw owning the place on top of that. It puts things in perspective. It's no longer about the food and kitchen, it's about keeping 30 people happily employed. I'm as satisfied as the next cook when I'm slinging hash but when my people start having babies and buy cars and homes......NOTHING gives me more pleasure.

That my friends is what this stuff is all about. Creating a place for happiness and prosperity. Cooking almost seems trivial.

Couldn't agree more.

NO ChoP!
01-11-2014, 10:09 AM
Well, back when I was hands on at the restaurant, worrying about keeping my staff happy kept me up at night. Seriously.

Geo87
01-12-2014, 07:06 AM
I'm a bear. I plod along, do my thing. Not the fastest, not the best. I am quiet until poked, don't poke the bear. I eat wolves and shyt sheep. At the end of the day you Can't resist me . I'm the last man standing. I am the bear.

LOL! Seriously funny. Lol does not properly communicate how much I just laughed.

This reminds me of a friend & fellow chef. Nmko you may know him, the sous from restaurant 2 , then sake, then esquires. He is a bear. We had a conversation about work shoes... I wear skulls and cross bones berkis... Non slip, comfortable & pirate friendly. This friend said he wears Italian leathers... I think ***, has to be the worst choice of footwear slippery as hell. All he said was I like to move slowly and keep an eye on things. He is a bear if I ever saw one.

Is it acceptable to be a dingo? We don't have wolfs down here... Dingos are ferocious and get to cackle like maniacs... Also hunt in packs.

Nmko
01-12-2014, 09:05 AM
LOL pirate friendly... i just burn't out my 5th pair of berkis. Im on Macbeths temporarily till i find something that fits my size 13 wide ass feet. I go through a pair of berkis in 3 months... not wasting any more cash on em.

Don't know him? i think? - I have pretty much been living at work for the past 6 months....

marc4pt0
01-12-2014, 09:36 AM
Well, back when I was hands on at the restaurant, worrying about keeping my staff happy kept me up at night. Seriously.

Know that feeling all to well. Certainly don't mean this in a negative way. It was kind of an honor, in a very difficult sense.

brainsausage
02-01-2014, 11:06 PM
Sometimes I sit in the office after a good 12-16 hour shift, and just listen to the restaurant breathe.

Chuckles
02-02-2014, 11:21 AM
Sometimes I sit in the office after a good 12-16 hour shift, and just listen to the restaurant breathe.

I do that too.

CoqaVin
02-02-2014, 11:28 AM
too many chiefs and not enough indians as I say

Chef Andy
02-02-2014, 01:22 PM
Sometimes I sit in the office after a good 12-16 hour shift, and just listen to the restaurant breathe.

I do the same thing after really intense shifts. More to collect my thoughts and return to normal than anything else.

panda
02-02-2014, 01:34 PM
i hate being in the office, i try to avoid going in there as much as possible cause it always means i'm doing paperwork/ordering/emails etc.
after a long ass shift i'm outta there in a rush to the nearest pub.

CoqaVin
02-02-2014, 01:36 PM
office stinks in my opinion nothing better than fresh air after a Saturday night service

knyfeknerd
02-02-2014, 01:55 PM
My restaurant is in a hotel. There is no stopping to hear it breathe. I'm sure it would sound like Darth Vader if it did.

Chef Andy
02-02-2014, 01:57 PM
My restaurant is in a hotel. There is no stopping to hear it breathe. I'm sure it would sound like Darth Vader if it did.

That's the worst. I hated working in hotels...

brainsausage
02-02-2014, 01:59 PM
Our office is full of booze.

knyfeknerd
02-02-2014, 02:24 PM
Our office is full of booze.
Can I come stage in your office?

panda
02-02-2014, 02:30 PM
knife sharpening party @ BS's office!

brainsausage
02-02-2014, 03:17 PM
The booze gets lonely.

ecchef
02-02-2014, 06:44 PM
Our office is full of booze.

I miss those days....:(

I do have a case of Chimay blue label under the desk for emergencies though.

Chef Andy
02-02-2014, 07:56 PM
A whole case for emergencies? Epic.

brainsausage
02-02-2014, 08:10 PM
Best to plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

Salty dog
02-02-2014, 11:33 PM
I walk out to the bar and order what ever I freaking like.

Maybe watching my staff buy houses and make babies isn't really why I'm in this?

chefpaulm
02-03-2014, 10:29 PM
So you want to be the chef! This world attracts a very special breed. Not everyone can do it. Itís a great life, you get to work six day, 80 hours a week. During the crazy season you might not see the light of day. The surroundings are beautiful, like the kitchen. This is where you get to sweat out of every pore of your body because itís a 120į in July with 90% humidity. Some people call in hell, I call it home. The staff becomes your family (sometimes a dysfunctional one) after all you to see them more than you see your real family. Their problems become your problems and you pray to God that they show up sober every day. You also pray that the vendors got your orders right, arrive on time and intact with no backorders. Ah, yes a lovely life. Get in early put the stocks on, start getting your mis en place together, get specials together, take in orders. Check the line make sure they have all their mise en place together, fire of some specials and have the wait staff taste and understand them. Lunch crowd comes in. You try to survive lunch just to get to dinner. At 3:00 flip the kitchen over to the dinner menu. We start again by getting your mis en place together, get specials together, take in orders. Check of the line make sure they have all their mise en place together, fire of some specials and have the wait staff taste and understand them. Dinner rolls around and Genghis Khan and the hordes arrive. The micros machine sounds like an overly caffeinated telegrapher; if everything is working great itís like a perfectly choreographed ballet. If not your in the weeds with the alligators and their taking chunks out of your posterior end. At the end of your shift if you havenít gotten cut, burned or both it was great, if not your hands a look like 98Ę worth of ground round. The kitchen has to get cleaned up, you have to take inventory and get all your orders in, all while hoping that you have enough product to start getting mis en place for tomorrow. Mentally critique how service went and how to make it better and to get it out faster. Put out fires in the family/staff. You smell like a kitchen, grab a cold one and a shower. Yea, a very special breed. I wouldnít change a thing! AS for lambs make mine herb crusted medium rare and a good Zin.

brainsausage
02-03-2014, 11:04 PM
Harissa brined/ cherry wood smoked lamb racks, grilled and finished with Marcona almond/piquillo pepper romesco and preserved Meyer lemon relish. Heart breaker.

Lucretia
02-04-2014, 12:23 AM
Moe is great, but I miss Superman.

masibu
02-04-2014, 03:20 AM
Haha I have experienced the majority of what is been discussed. I have no idea how long you have all been doing this gig for but for me it changes depending on what section I'm working and how confident I am. When I'm cooking, I'm definitely a lot louder and always have a bit of trash to talk as I guess I'm more in my element. In general though, I tend to work better during services when I can just focus on what I'm doing and I tone myself down a bit, especially when I'm plating and watching over the rookie cooking for me. I wouldn't say I'm a meek sheep though.. maybe an analytical owl. Once upon a time there was a running joke that putting me on the pass makes me angry as I suppose I'm very serious and hate people messing with my section. I got up one of the cooks the other day for leaving around used tongs and tea towels every time he passed through my section, leaving dirty arse skidmarks all over my bench. Not cool. These days if he still does it I just throw the tea towels and tongs at him

brainsausage
02-04-2014, 07:58 AM
Moe is great, but I miss Superman.

He'll be back

panda
02-05-2014, 02:34 AM
at first i thought it was a picture of him in a halloween outfit

NormanOrson
02-20-2014, 04:40 PM
Well said!

jamaster14
02-25-2014, 04:31 PM
Best to plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

or more realistically plan for the worst and hope for 'not so bad' :eyebrow: