Updated: Oct 30, 2019
Welcome to the thirteenth installment of The Requirements to be a Chef; where every Wednesday I explain everything that it takes to be a Chef in my eyes. This series will by no means be exhaustive, but I will certainly do my best. If you're a Chef and want to share your opinion I'd love to hear what you have to say. Aspiring Chefs: if you have questions feel free to reach out. I'm always looking for an excuse to talk about Chef Life.
Ok, so far in this series we have covered the importance of Passion as well as a commitment to quality in regards to your effort, a commitment to food quality, Menu planning, Temperature control, The Ability to Pass on Knowledge, Building a Recipe, Leadership, High-Level Communication, Cost Control, Roasting and The Ability to Handle Pressure. Today we will be talking about: Patience.
Patience is a skill that we all know patience is necessary in every day life, but I feel like people undervalue it in a Chef. It allows you to train your staff appropriately, to wait for foods to get the most flavor possible and to be prepared for when things do finally happen for you.
If you've ever spent any time as a trainer you know that it can take a great deal of energy to keep pouring into your staff. This is especially true when training entry level cooks. If it weren't for taking care of that training procedure you could not only be affecting your restaurant, but the career of the young talent at your disposal. Taking time to ensure a person is trained appropriately makes everything run smoother. It acclimates them to the culture, keeps things consistent and teaches the best practices.
Patience has another key purpose. Good food has never been made with a lack of patience. Yes we can make food fast, but even the fastest preparations take at least a little time to take. Sometimes we get impatient when we are cooking and we just want to get it done with. If you rush things that's how you get uncooked potatoes, tough meat and any other manner of poor food quality.
Finally Patience ties directly into managing your labor cost. There will be many times in many restaurants where business is slow. The good Chefs know when their kitchen is busiest; though every once in a while we get in situations where we want to cut down on labor. There's definitely nothing wrong with that, right up until it screws over the line. Such a folly causes more problems than long wait times, if it happens too often it can cause the team on the line to lose faith in the Chef of the kitchen; from there the only way is down.
Like I said, Patience is key. Helps with training staff, creating high-quality meals, getting you through the boring times in the restaurant.
Before you go I'm going to ask a favor; I want to hear what you think. If you think I don't know what I'm talking about say so, heck share it with your friends and say "look at this guy calling himself a Chef, he has no idea what he's talking about." If you agree let me know, share it with your friends, you know how we like to see that other Chefs see the world similar to ourselves, get a good laugh out of it.
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