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Going back into the kitchen
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Thread: Going back into the kitchen

  1. #1
    Senior Member Carl's Avatar
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    Going back into the kitchen

    Because of family economics and my possibly misguided desire open a restaurant of some kind, I'm starting to look for a part-time, weekend kitchen job, likely at the bottom where I belong, HA! I have just started looking last night, so I don't even really know what's out there locally yet. Best case scenario, in my mind, would be dishwasher/porter and an extra hand in some prep, with an opportunity to learn and do more a little bit at a time. I don't think I'm reaching or being unreasonable to think someone will let me wash dishes for minimum wage on Friday and Saturday nights, but I do hope that I'll get some prep time to get better at the things that take practice, and eventually get to cook something. Who knows, maybe it will work some sense into me and let me know what I'm missing, for better or worse. It'll defintely be a huge change from sitting in an office 40 hours a week (which I will continue to do to pay the bills).

    For those who forgot or never knew, I have no training in the kitchen, having last worked making cheap pizza for Little Ceasers in '89, plus 4 years on the McD grill, which I don't really think qualifies as "relavent experience." We'll see how it turns out.
    BBQ Heretic

  2. #2
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    let them know about your past experience, be honest and just learn as you go. Oh ya make sure you have some good shoes that are waterproof. Just having tennis shoes will hurt you in the long run.
    Chewie's the man.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
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    Actually working the grill at Mc D's for four years is more relevent than you think.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Carl's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    I've already been shoe shopping. Fortunately there was just a shoe poll here, so I'm going to try on my first ever pair of (gasp) Birkenstocks. I wonder if I can find any here in Eugene, OR (/sarcasm). I think I prefer the reviews and look of the SFC tho.

    And thanks about the experience info. I will include that. I've never been so excited to start a job for minimum wage, at least not since my very first job (which I think minimum wage was $2.35 at the time).
    BBQ Heretic

  5. #5
    I don't know how old you are but one bit of advice I can give you is don't start working on dish. Go to some of the best restaurants in your area and explain your situation, tell them you'll intern for free (they may even pay you, a lot do) to gain some experience in the kitchen. You'll be prepping before they even let you near the line but that's OK, don't graduate to the line until you can prep EVERYTHING with skill, confidence and speed, which will take a bit of learning given your lack of experience. Starting on dish is a harder, longer and I think unnecessary step. I think you're older (no offense but judging by the $2.35 minimum wage its been a while) and working on dish is hard work. You need to be fast, sharp, strong and willing to do all the gross work. ALL of it. Guys in their teens and 20's have a tough time doing it physically, most don't stay past 2 shifts. By the time you are caught up to speed as a great dishwasher (it may never happen) it'll be a few months at least, longer if you work in a large restaurant.

    I started off on dish when I was 20 and I can tell you some horror stories that you have to deal with day in day out for minimum wage, zero respect and smelling like a dumpster when you come home. When a toilet clogged with feces is overflowing guess who's cleaning it up? When a dead rat needs to be pulled off a sticky trap guess who's doing it? The dumpster needs to be cleaned from the inside out, by hand, yup you're doing it. Little kid pukes in the dining room, get out there with a some gloves and a mop.

    I 'm not trying to scare you but it's a tough route to go but if you're willing to do that day after day you may make it in the kitchen. Maybe.

  6. #6
    Senior Member quantumcloud509's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ams View Post
    I don't know how old you are but one bit of advice I can give you is don't start working on dish. Go to some of the best restaurants in your area and explain your situation, tell them you'll intern for free (they may even pay you, a lot do) to gain some experience in the kitchen. You'll be prepping before they even let you near the line but that's OK, don't graduate to the line until you can prep EVERYTHING with skill, confidence and speed, which will take a bit of learning given your lack of experience. Starting on dish is a harder, longer and I think unnecessary step. I think you're older (no offense but judging by the $2.35 minimum wage its been a while) and working on dish is hard work. You need to be fast, sharp, strong and willing to do all the gross work. ALL of it. Guys in their teens and 20's have a tough time doing it physically, most don't stay past 2 shifts. By the time you are caught up to speed as a great dishwasher (it may never happen) it'll be a few months at least, longer if you work in a large restaurant.

    I started off on dish when I was 20 and I can tell you some horror stories that you have to deal with day in day out for minimum wage, zero respect and smelling like a dumpster when you come home. When a toilet clogged with feces is overflowing guess who's cleaning it up? When a dead rat needs to be pulled off a sticky trap guess who's doing it? The dumpster needs to be cleaned from the inside out, by hand, yup you're doing it. Little kid pukes in the dining room, get out there with a some gloves and a mop.

    I 'm not trying to scare you but it's a tough route to go but if you're willing to do that day after day you may make it in the kitchen. Maybe.
    Pan pick up please!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    Thanks guys.

    I've already been shoe shopping. Fortunately there was just a shoe poll here, so I'm going to try on my first ever pair of (gasp) Birkenstocks. I wonder if I can find any here in Eugene, OR (/sarcasm). I think I prefer the reviews and look of the SFC tho.

    And thanks about the experience info. I will include that. I've never been so excited to start a job for minimum wage, at least not since my very first job (which I think minimum wage was $2.35 at the time).
    Birki's are comfortable but if you are going to be working as an underwater crockery technician you need boots.Your feet will be wet in half an hour. Gum boots are commonly worn to give you an idea.It's a really tough job and sadly a lot of Chefs will treat you badly-be warned.In saying that I know a ton of great Chefs who started as kitchen hands and I strongly believe all new Chefs should work a couple of months in the dishes before they learn how to cook.Once you have cleaned you have a better concept of what it means to respect your equipment and environment. Good luck and do some stretching before youstart as your lower back will hurt until you get used to it.

  8. #8
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    Dish pig was the toughest job I ever had.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by statusquo View Post
    Dish pig was the toughest job I ever had.
    Not to mention the smelliest, my sister used to soak me with air spray before I was allowed in the car when she would pick me up from work.

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