>Dennys chefs have a harder job then gourmet chefs
You go to a nice gourmet place the menu is usually limited. You go to dennys and they have to know how to cook steaks, pancakes and wings in like one order
It's OK, they're Mexican. If you give them instructions in espanol they are actually amazingly hard and diligent workers. Just don't ask them to learn english or come up with anything creative.
Why? Where do you think those chefs started??
Most didn't leave culinary school and start at a gourmet place.
Maybe it wasn't Dennys, but there a lot more restaurants out there with similar menus that probably use more fresh ingredients and don't have corporate training that spoon feeds them the recipes.
>comparing a line cook to a chef
My mom was a line-cook, pretty good actually but she is so far from a chef its almost an insult. Line-cooks are glorified assembly line workers. There is no nuance or finesse or even understanding about their food. Just a mechanical rote memory of temperatures, times, and assembly.
Its like comparing art to paint-by-numbers, even if most artists are shit.
Its more mentally demanding than physically demanding. You have to be able to stay focused and work quickly and accurately while under a lot of pressure.
i agree with you mostly but just because they are not chefs doesn't mean there is no understanding of their food. I dont know shit about food i'm basically just a temperature/time/assembly robot like you said but i work with line cooks who are really skilled and knowledgeable. Not to the extent of a professional chef but certainly more than your average cu/ck/
thats because stations are meant to be worked two or three at a time, the regular employees probably work more than one station alone every day. Every shitty restaurant ive worked at is understaffed 90% of the time and everyone has to work multiple stations
~30 years in the industry. Last 10 years exec. chef. 2 as sous here, 2 as sous there...
There is no fucking way I would EVER be a line cook at Denny's or the like. Not because I don't know how to cook, but because of how hard it is on you physically. It's a young person's game. Takes a lot of stamina.
The places that I work at get "busy", but NOTHING like what those poor lost souls have to go through in a shift.
At least there is pleasure derived from putting out great food. What does a Denny's cook have? ?? "I finished my shift"???
Turn and burn is way harder. Quit saying "chef". It means "chief". As a chief I did scheduling, food costing, inventory, ordering, and baby sitting. That's what a chef does.
oh, and a small amount of cooking and menu development.
Lemme guess, you are "executive chef" at some major brand or chain where all the thinking was done in advance and you just parrot the corporate menu.
No one was denying that its physically intensive work or "worse" than being a chef, just that its not the same job. A chef has to have training and education of the principles required for the cuisine he is making. He should be able to create a menu on his own and understand they "why" of everything he is doing. A proper chef should be able to completely control the end product of his kitchen without any influence or instruction from management if need be.
Unfortunately the term "chef" is lazily thrown around these days, and although I don't doubt you personally are good at the food you cook within the designated repertoire you have been given for your alleged 30 years in the business, you clearly are under some strange misconceptions of what it takes.
Do you think you need to get some kind of a special degree to become a chef?
They start as a line cooks, start taking on more responsibilities, usually move up to sous, and eventually become chefs. There's no reason a chef needs to have all the extra, special knowledge that line cooks who've been doing it for years by definition don't have.
>Do you think you need to get some kind of a special degree to become a chef?
Yes. Or at the very least you have to apprentice to a good chef, who in turn has to have gone to culinary school or trained under a good chef ect.
Here is my take on the the whole issue. I and and many of my friends are Denny's lifers. A little background, grew up in NY, started as a server at an Italian restaurant and pizzaria, eventually weasled my way into the kitchen and eventually moved to prep cook and pizza man. Then I worked a Southern style BBQ place for a while, then my sister got me a job as a cook at a diner she worked in.
After that I got a job at Denny's and worked there for 5 of he best years in my 20's. Like someone said before, its a young man's game. Late nights getting slammed with orders, 95 guest count hours on an overnight with just 2 of us in there cooking! Sunday morings with all cooks in deck, packed kitchen, packed house. Man, those were the days. We were all young guys making crazy good money, working nights then going to party. Like most restaurant staffs we spent way too much time together, work, party, gym, smokeing weed out back when the place quieted down.
As far as cooking, I learned a lot, much more than any place I worked before. I was not making any fancy sauces or the like, but I was churning out pancakes, burgers, chicken strips, steaks, pot roast, etc. Basically a lot of good, simple comfort food. The emphasis on speed helped me a lot too, a good Denny's crew can knock those checks out quick (company standard is 8 min checks). Cont ...
Don't work in he food industry anymore but all my Denny's bros and I still hang out. People love coming over to my house for me to cook for them. Tomorrow my bud from my office is coming by because he said he got shit for a bbq. Im glad to cook and entertain. My wife's gaybro who went to culinary school but is too much of a pansy to survive in a real kitchen (he does not work, quit his only cooking job in th first week cuz kitchen staffs are all assholes) talks down to my cooking experience, but when he comes over, he brings shitty food that he talks about taking hours to cook. I call him a theoretical cook because for all his big talk he cannot cut it in a kitchen.
>making crazy good money at Dennys
I'm actually curious, how were you making crazy good money at Dennys? I've never heard something like that before. Is it because you got to split the tips over a small staff?
>Line-cooks are glorified assembly line workers.
I still wonder why we don't have robots cooking our food yet. This goes for fast food as well.
I'd much rather prefer a machine preparing my meal rather than some high-school dropout doing God-knows-what to my food.
We made pretty good money. I was making more money than the daytime manager who I worked with 3 shifts a week (I did 3 weekdays and 2 overnights). Also you could dual rate, that is serve some shifts and cook some shifts. My bud Ali served all week but cooked on weekends because he hated dealing with the Sat/Sun crowds.
We didnt split tips wih servers or anything of the sort, but you are paid based on what you can do and good negotiating. From my previous pizza and diner experience I used to make pizza, pies and apple crisps rather than having those things come in from a supplyer.
The owner of our store owned 6 of them and us staff frequently rotated to other stores other than our home store depending on if they needed us and he asked. It also helped shareing with other stores. We always had a shitload of deserts and kids pizzas because of me which I would make and freeze. Then there was an old Philipino guy at another of our stores who was he roast beef guy.