It’s your first day alone in a new kitchen section as a young cook: everything’s ready, you’re totally prepped (or so you think). Suddenly, service quickly takes a nosedive and it’s your fault: you’re running out of ingredients and holding up the whole brigade. Perhaps you weren’t as prepared as you thought. It’s okay, and it happens to everyone; moving into the working world is an adjustment, no matter your field. Today we’re going to share some tips on how to settle into a new kitchen.
It’s okay to feel like the newbie
It doesn’t matter if you have the best schooling in the world, it is overwhelming to go from knowing everyone and everything, to a place where you are the new person asking all the questions. Accept that you will make mistakes while settling into your new work station, that without those blunders you wouldn’t progress, as the saying goes; we learn from our errors, don’t let it sink you.
Cleanliness is Close to Godliness
Working in a fast-paced environment such as a professional kitchen is bound to lead to dirty dishes, cutting boards, and tabletops; it’s the inevitable part of the job as you are under the constant pressure of preparing large amounts of high quality food in a limited time space.
It’s always good to have the mind-set to clean as you go, spend those extra 30 seconds wiping down your countertops, washing the dirty dishes and cleaning the cutting board. It might not sound like much, but it definitely makes a big difference, a clean station allows for work to be done more efficiently with the gift of much less stress, a sprinkle of order in the midst of chaos, helping to keep things running smoothly.
Like the saying goes, cleanliness is close to godliness, with added efficiency in this case.
Never too old to learn
You are never too old to learn from your colleagues, as they come from all walks of life. The one thing they all have in common is a great sense of pride in their work and all aspects of their job, from ingredient prep to maintenance of their tools. Thus being new in a kitchen, it’s always a good idea to keep an ear open to listen to the all advice your fellow colleagues will pass onto you as a chef.
In the end, it’s a never ending journey of enlightenment of different cultures, techniques and the art of food, a reminder of why we love to cook.
Serve with pride
You can never over prep. Study the menu; get a system down of the most used items or the staples that are the key ingredients in which the garnish is built around and build from there. Make sure all aspects are accounted for and that your tools are well cared for.
You’ll find this incredibly rewarding, especially when your plate of food is sent out for serving, knowing you poured your pride into its preparation.
With these tips in your arsenal, you’ll hopefully find the transition into working life a little easier. Remember also that everyone stumbles; it’s how you continue on that defines your success. Best of luck!