Today I went to cafeteria I was formally employed at for the last time. I dropped off my chef coats and picked up my last check. It was nice seeing everyone again.. I was greeted warmly, considering the circumstances. I left to focus more on my school work, and to plant the seed of my career in a different location.. besides, my co-op is coming up soon.. I got the opinion when I left that everyone assumed that I thought I was "too good" to work for a cafeteria. Honestly, I just don’t want to be stuck there forever. It’s not that I think I’m too good for serving cafeteria food.. It’s not that I think I’m too good for it, It’s just that it’s not something I can express my passion to the fullest in. I was nothing more than a monkey with a spatula there. That’s what they wanted, and thats what I was.
My problem I encountered there was the same problem I have encountered in almost every establishment I have ever worked in. Lack of passion. That’s all we have in this line of work. Why else put up with the grueling hours away from our family sweating our lives away serving the public in a sea of flames and neon lighting? We get to express our creativity via our passion. Now I’m not necessarily talking about the fluffy bunny, squeeze colored sauce on a crumb and call it art kind of thing here.. I’m saying love your food as art, and treat your art like it’s food. I come in contact with a lot of folks who love fiddling with food, but can’t hack it on the grill line. I don’t think there’s room for that in this thing of ours. Look, if you’re wanting to get in this business, get in it because you love to cook. Not only do you love to cook, you love the comradeship of the grill line.. you love the wall of heat of the grill and salamander making you sweat streams… you love kitchen work! I think the misguided assumption that kitchen work is squeeze bottles and sprinkles of parsley is the downfall of passion in this business. Once someone gets in there and feels the inferno, they hate they’re job forever.
Don’t be one of those people. Love this business for all it encompasses.. Don’t forget to express yourself.. Don’t be afraid of work… and don’t be so sensitive, and your passion will carry on.