Lessons. Andy Elliott

5 06 2009

So, I started my first kitchen job about 4 weeks into culinary school without having the slightest clue what I was in for. In the few months I was there it taught me more about food, cooking, and “the industry” than the past year at culinary school has. The lessons that that experience taught me ranged from what “sense of urgency” really means to how to recognize when your restaurant is going to fail miserably (that one was easy). However, the most important lesson I learned was “keep your shit clean.”

The first time I staged at said restaurant I had only home cooking experience and a Skills I class under my belt. Needless to say, I was scared shitless. I walked into the kitchen the first time and everything was absolutely spotless. The whole place was gleaming stainless steel and the tile floors didn’t have so much as a footprint on them. This made a huge impression on me, and I knew that I’d have to keep everything as clean as possible – kind of a long way away from the world of culinary school. So, that’s what I did. It started off with me trying to make a good impression and eventually evolved into me trying to be as clean as possible all the time. When your station is messy and disorganized it basically means that your mind is a messy and disorganized, and I quickly learned that a disorganized mind usually doesn’t lead down a good path.

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