Out of the frying pan into a frying pan - no fire?

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adbunting
Hamburger
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2006/10/15 06:10:59 (permalink)

Out of the frying pan into a frying pan - no fire?

OK,

I appreciate all of the input to my post about the disfunctional situation I was in. I got a stomach virus, called probably 4 times a day (starting 3 hours before my am shift so that they would be able to call someone in) of which NONE of them supposedly got to the supposed manager. At least that's what she told me.

In the meantime I tentatively accepted an offer of a breakfast cook for a local cafe.

Can we say "eyewwww" boys and girls? It's a similarly disfunctional environment in a different sort of way.

Breakfast is a new venue for the mom and her son in law is the primary 'leasee' of the place and does the afternoon evening burgers, sandwiches and whatnot fare.

I get the decided feeling that she's cowed by him.

What is it with these friggin prima donna types? I UNDERSTAND getting your food out on the table, but...

Practically speaking: The prep table doesn't work. You have to haul ice in pans for the ingredients even though breakfast doesn't last nearly any length of the 4 hour rule.
They have a single 'freezer' that is an old ice cream chest freezer.
There is no dishing machine. everything is done by hand.
The oven/grill is a mess. I don't think it's been cleaned in years. They're using a flat grill that literally has an 8th of an inch of crud compacted on the surface. The oven in general is disgusting.

They may not like it, and they may even fire me for it, but I think I'm going to do some Malcome ass whooping. (the SIL)

It's being treated as two separate restaurants and is about a 20 table establishment. Not so bad in general, nasty when the fill up all at once.

So, when you are THE cook and come into a new kitchen what do you do?

What are your groundrules that you set? I am having a hard time with the server that has a hearing problem and I can't understand her writing. She also mumbles and I can't understand her most of the time with the fans. Is that my responsibility to figure it out or hers to write a little clearer?

(I pretty much already know what you're going to say but need to have someone else validate it...<grin>)

Thanks

April
<in the mood to do some major ass whooping>





#1

6 Replies Related Threads

    doggydaddy
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Out of the frying pan into a frying pan - no fire? 2006/10/15 13:59:00 (permalink)
    ===I tentatively accepted an offer of a breakfast cook for a local cafe... ...Can we say "eyewwww" boys and girls? It's a similarly disfunctional environment in a different sort of way.====


    I love the breakfast shift. Of course this depends on how early you need to be there, but heck, you can get done with work and still enjoy the day. I did it for years and am still seeking a place that is popular and does it right. My wish to go back to those days have been hindered by some of your same concerns.

    ====Breakfast is a new venue for the mom and her son in law is the primary 'leasee' of the place ===

    How long have they owned this place? I'm going to take a guess that they assumed ownership with the only intention of making and taking what they have and working with that. One place I checked out had you running over five feet to the cold table to get items for the grill. Any item from the freezer required a 12 ' walk. This meant every time you needed fries, you traveled that distance. They did not keep a bag of fries near the fryer.
    Now the guy who took over that place claimed that he had experience, but I could tell that he was incapable of doing anything

    ====Practically speaking: The prep table doesn't work. You have to haul ice in pans for the ingredients even though breakfast doesn't last nearly any length of the 4 hour rule.
    They have a single 'freezer' that is an old ice cream chest freezer.... ...There is no dishing machine. everything is done by hand.
    The oven/grill is a mess. I don't think it's been cleaned in years. They're using a flat grill that literally has an 8th of an inch of crud compacted on the surface. The oven in general is disgusting. =====

    Yeeeesh Are you sure that we aren't talking about the same place...? It had a 2x3" grill with -everything- cooked on it. There were burners where I could have used fry pans, but the owner did not want to change how 'The old timers' liked it.
    My feeling was the the old timers were not going to live forever and this place will need a way to draw a younger crowd. The fact is, there is a great place for breakfast, lunch and dinner for people who knew something about good food down the road.

    Among all your complaints here, the biggest one to me is the lack of a proper dishwashing machine. You just cannot get plates, utensils and kitchen equipment clean without one. There are small machines that are not much larger than what can be found in most homes. These things can be acquired for free (From Hobart I think) as long as you have a service contract with the company and buy their soaps.


    ==== they may even fire me for it, but I think I'm going to do some Malcome ass whooping. (the SIL)... ...<in the mood to do some major ass whooping>====

    Lost me there. You use this phrase twice. As with your last topic and questions there, I must respond that I'm still a big fan of spanking...

    ====So, when you are THE cook and come into a new kitchen what do you do?====

    When it is family? Very little. My situation is even more interesting as not only is the current owner a direct descendant and now running the operation after her late father. But she and her daughter work there doing a great job. It has been a very long time since I worked for someone this hands on.
    It seems that many of the employees are related to another one in some way. In other words, I do not complain about anyone as I may be talking about some one's cousin, sister, brother or who knows what.
    The fact is that there is little to complain about as everyone is a long term employee and have worked there for many years. There is a good reason for this.

    ====I am having a hard time with the server that has a hearing problem and I can't understand her writing. She also mumbles and I can't understand her most of the time with the fans. Is that my responsibility to figure it out or hers to write a little clearer?====

    Now that's just too funny. If I have anything to complain about, that might be it. The young girls are too shy to speak loudly and there are a few older ones that speak quietly too.
    Penmanship seems to be a lost art as I have to ask one of the other cooks if they can tell me what has been written. With some of them 'chiliburg' can look exactly like 'chickenbskt' (bskt=basket).

    Good luck,

    mark
    #2
    John A
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Out of the frying pan into a frying pan - no fire? 2006/10/15 17:37:24 (permalink)
    Do you not look at these places and ask questions during your interviews? Your posts are beginning to remind me of someone else from the Mid Atlantic USA!

    John
    #3
    adbunting
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    RE: Out of the frying pan into a frying pan - no fire? 2006/10/16 08:23:45 (permalink)
    Thanks.

    First, John,
    Weyell, it's kind of hard to tell about the operations of a place when it changes from what you are told in your interview to reality land. They tell you what they expect and then you discover there is absolutely NO supervision or direction in the kitchen other than a general menu.

    (On a positive note: they have chicken milenese. The night cook I "trained" under told me that he just mixed up 3 eggs with parmigianna, flapped it on the grill, and wrapped a grilled chicken breast in the middle...a chicken omelette! Before I left I prepped several chicken breasts with bread crumbs, parm ...a little s & p...and left them labeled in the reach in. When I went in to the kitchen to get a couple of things after I was sick and was informed that I was "fired/quit" I saw that the cook I trained with had a ss pan with prepped chicken breasts on the bench like I had done...<I'm so proud!>

    I've actually gotten a message from my place in DV. To be honest I was pretty insulted by their current GM. Not really a 'kitchen manager'. I don't know if I'm going to go back there. I liked the kitchen (course I love any kitchen) but not a lot of the people aspects involved with it until I get a feel for it. If I speak with anyone at this point it will be the owner.

    I like the little breakfast cafe because I'm beginning to understand that my "boss" doesn't really have any experience but sincerely wants to make a go of it. In addition they're from England so it's all a little strange as well as far as what we eat here as compared to there. I lived in Australia for a number of years so I kind of know Commonwealth cuisine as compared to the US. Her son in law, Malkie boy, (yeah, spanking...naughty boy OT...LOL) rented the place and the breakfast half is her baby, which is actually pretty important around here.

    I'm thinking "sincerity". It inspires loyalty.

    I had looked at the restaurant (which is attached to a bar...we're in NV) months ago when it first came up for rental. My first thought was "extreme restaurant makeover".

    I'm dealing with having to cook eggs over a grill that has half of the gas jets plugged up with c**p. I'm using the crud encrusted flat grill as a warming table at the moment to keep potatoes and meats warm in half pans.

    In my spare hours when it's quiet I quietly chip flakes of God knows off of the flat grill. You could probably have it carbon dated. I'm half expecting to find dinosaur bones in the little piles of crud between the burners. (they've got two...one with the flat grill on top of a normal grill with oven underneith and the 3' square grill.

    It's a new venture and it's apparent she has absolutely no idea what she is doing. I'm stunned that her SIL can get away with what I've seen with the Health Department. (The breakfast aspect has only been going for about a month)

    They're waiting for a large disfunctional piece of equipment to be moved. (think I'll just step in and be a B***h and GET ER DONE!) So they can fit a disher and a new freezer in.

    In the perfect world it would be so nice to have everything ... well ... perfect.

    In the real world are there any restaurants that run absolutely perfect? I would place serious odds on 'Probably Not'. (NV, remember?) But some work more "less perfectly" than others...LOL.

    It's important to them and I think 'outside the box'. They're proper polite Brits, I'm a pretty abrasive Montanna monkey stomping sort when I need to be. (but alway nice about it...<blinking eyes innocently>)

    I would only hope that they'll learn and over time when I move on (which is probably a given in a few years if not sooner) they'll have learned enough to do it right. If not, I can't really help that either...<sigh>

    Hey Oldtimer...maybe we should hook up and open a place in the future!

    April






    #4
    bassrocker4u2
    Double Cheeseburger
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    RE: Out of the frying pan into a frying pan - no fire? 2006/10/18 07:57:28 (permalink)
    man, that brings back some vivid memories, i was wishing were burned away, by the last few strokes i had....
    i have always loved being a breakfast cook. so i took on this night manager job, at a 24 hour place. well, at midnight, we added breakfast. by then, the grills and everything else, were in terrible shape. i was supposed to come in, and they would have it all set up and ready. well, that never worked. for years, i would come in a couple hours early, and scrub all grills, surfaces, etc., and set up breakfast my way. i could pump out some grub, and i had a really big following. i would create things not found on any menu anywhwere.i would name my dishes after the customer who helped me create it. spread like wildfire. well the big bosses got mad at me, but they liked my numbers, so they never really did anything about me. they were more intimidated, than anything else.
    after a few years of this, it ended with me buying my own place, here in savannah.'the old place closed shortly after....

    point is, you must decide if you want to put forth all this effort, or not. and if you do, sit down with the owners, tell them what you are going to do, and get a littel money out of the deal...
    #5
    prisonchef
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    RE: Out of the frying pan into a frying pan - no fire? 2006/10/28 17:48:10 (permalink)
    been kind of following this post and thinking on it.
    seems like the griddle really has your goat.
    try this. go to dollar general and get their cheapest lemon juice and some scrubbies. let the griddle just get warm,turn it off and hit it with the lemon juice. give it a good scrub and it should only take 15 mins max. hit it with fresh water and go. it should look almost like new and will give you a whole new outlook.find your next piece of equipment to clean and get at it. after a few weeks your kitchen will look like new and you will have a great outlook. welcome to being a chef!!!!
    jack
    #6
    OzDogs
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    RE: Out of the frying pan into a frying pan - no fire? 2006/10/28 19:14:18 (permalink)
    Gosh, I must have been around some fancy pants chefs because where I'm familiar with, Chef's word is LAW, it's Chef's kitchen, it's Chef's product, it's Chef's menu. I've seen guys chase the owner out of the kitchen. Now I can see if a chef comes into an established place with a regular following and a menu set in stone. You don't like the menu, don't take the job. But I don't see any point in not letting the guy set up the way they want. It'd be like wearing someone else's shoes for a day. Nobody will notice, but man, you feet know.

    Owners that don't let a good Chef dictate the ordering, the prep, everything back-of-house either don't know how to hire or they are costing themselves money. Those are the guys that have to throw food out every time a delivery comes.
    #7
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