Working the Line

Nothing is cooler than being able to experience the line in a real kitchen. The rush of orders coming in, the smell of fresh food being made, the sauna-like environment that slowly cooks you like a turkey by nights end. I’d trade anything for this. It’s part work, part learning and all educational. When in culinary school, everything you do is organized, so you never have to worry about running out of ingredients. In a real kitchen, sometimes you have to learn as you go.

Running out of ingredients is common in fast paced kitchens like the one I’m in. It takes a lot of patience to keep your composure when orders begin to pile up, and your stuck looking for broccoli to shock or steaks to cut. I had to learn to move faster, think on my feet while in school. In restaurants, you must prep everything ahead of time, and when stuff runs out, there is no magic little stockroom that will bring you more. You have to adapt, 86′, or get creative. Just yesterday we were making a delicious scallop special: a frozen stalk of romaine lettuce, four seared scallops upon a bed of shiitake mushrooms and crushed macadamia nuts, with a light balsamic glaze. Now what happens when you run out of mushrooms and nuts? You adapt. Swap out mushrooms for morels, nuts for pumpkin seeds.

No matter what the rush will always come, hundreds of hungry patrons who don’t care how tired or how much that cut on your hand hurts now that you have lemon juice in it, they still want perfect food. A rush is one of the greatest tests for any chef, for it shows how capable they are in leading, and how well they can stay cool under the pressure. I’ll admit, that even I get into the weeds from time to time, but I don’t let it phase me. I have to focus, on whats going out and what I can control coming in. Did I mention that all the while your cooking, the kitchen grows hotter and hotter?

Heat is a wonderful thing and a terrible thing at the same time. Summer days outside at the beach or in the park is amazing and great, but what happens when I take that heat and put it into a 10′x10′ kitchen and combine it with five other guys, six burners, 3 ovens, 4 salamanders, and a steaming dish pit? It means if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Featured Culinary Schools

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5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
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Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
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Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
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  • Online Courses