I volunteered for pot washing when doing KP in basic, not knowing that grease trap cleaning was usually part of that job, and was reserved for disciplinary use. When cleaning the pots I focused on the job, got them really clean fairly quickly, and never had to touch the grease trap.
Most jobs are quite tolerable if you focus on doing them as well as you can making performance a game of sorts.
"The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
LOL, Spike are you aging yourself? I did the full KP routine at Knox because they still had mess halls for every training company barracks in my area, but when I got to Sill, they had gone to the consolidated battalion facilties and they only had one E-7 and 2 E-4's running the place. Everybody else was a civilian, so the only work the KP's did was keeping the dining room clean, the cows full and the glasses stacked after coming out of the dishwasher. You are right about pots and pans. You got to start earlier than guys on dishes, serving line or dining room, so less busy work and little or no handling of huge cans of "edible garbage" pig slop.
Don't be afraid to wash dishes or pots and pans. Remember that guy is the most important person in the kitchen. They can make or break service. No clean dishes, pots or pans no food, no customers. More importantly that person sees every plate, they can tell you what is being eaten and what isn't. Maybe something is wrong with a dish and the servers don't tell you or the customers keep quite. Train your dish washer to be observant and help you serve better food. They get paid the least, but should be respected the most.
Take care of the bartenders because they will take care of you.
Stay away from the cute hostess because she will mess with your head and possible get you arrested.
If you want a long lasting relationship stay away from people like us because we are a mess.
On the flip side if you are a truly focused individual find a free spirit and the relationship will last.
never expect weekends, nights, holidays, birthday, anniversaries and any special time off and you will be fine
Remember family first otherwise you will lose yourself to the mistress that is the kitchen and she is a *****!
Buy your knives when you are young and single and it will be a lot easier on you, otherwise start training the spouse to love knives too.
Have fun when you can, find away to relieve stress.
Stay in shape, Fat chefs die. I know I'm fat and I did!
You don't want to have a heart attack in your 30's like I did. Triple bypasses are not fun. Relax! Relax! Relax!
Never make it personal and always let it go. explosions are of the moment and you move on. buy the guy a beer at the end of the night.
Your staff is your family, you will spend more time with them than any one else in your current life, so take care of them. You may not always like them and there maybe a few dicks (including you), But there yours and you need to have their backs.
Confidence is key, arrogance is stupidity.
That's all I got
Spend as much money as you can afford to spend at the best restaurants you can eat at. Go even if you can't afford it if you know it's going to be better than anything you've ever had. I don't think it's possible to make better food than you've ever eaten. I don't know anyone who only worked at local country clubs or hotels, and then was somehow able to create Michelin 3-Star cooking just by dreaming it up themselves. I know a lot of chefs who work very hard but have never been to the best restaurants, and our perceptions of what great food can be are very different, because I've tasted it before and they haven't. Your own product suddenly looks very small when it's sitting next to Joel Robuchon's product, unless you started out with Robuchon's dish as a starting point.
I've learned a lot going out to great restaurants. Stay on the cutting edge by looking at the latest products being used, trends, and techniques. Subscribe to publications, food websites. You can find out and develop your own style and passion by exposing yourself to people and food (not literally)
In continuation of your point, goodchef1 and others, which publications and food websites do you guys recommend? So far I've really only discovered Saveur, foodieforums, the knife forums, and cheftalk.