Michael Jarvis/Chef Tim, Blog Post #2 “Myself and the Industry…”

24 07 2009

More and more lately I’ve been thinking about where I would like to see myself end up in the industry. With so many choices and options, it seems like I could take my career into many different directions.

Right now I am a lowly pizza and line cook, which more and more begins to get on my nerves. Not because of the job, but the fact that I work my a** off in the kitchen and everybody else in there sees it as nessecery to do nothing but just watch me work. All and all it will probibly end up being for the better, just to know I do everything by my self anyways, so when I finally find a new job and am not doing everything alone, I will be much more efficent.

I would like to find a cooking job at a more respectable establishment, just so I can learn more and have more opprotunitites to advance. eventually I would like to be a chef de cuisine somewhere until I have finished my online business classes. once that is all acomplished, then I will really get out there looking for an executive chef position. Obviously this is not for the immediate future, but with in the next five years I would like to have all of these things acomplished.


Service, Its all about the details: Raymond Schultz

17 12 2008

In my little time as a server I have noticed how much goes into service. Service, from what I have seen, is not so much one simple process as it is a series of many small tasks that make up the whole experience. For a recent class trip we went to Mercat for lunch, and it was my first time eating out since I had learned the basics of serving and seen how it can go wrong. There was no one thing I remember that was singularly bad enough to make the service bad, but there were a lot of small things that added up quite quickly. The first thing I noticed was the fact that the silver was unpolished, which alone was not that big of a deal, but then I got my wine , and the glass was unpolished and there was a small crack in the base. Then the waiter asked us multiple times weather or not we were there for a special occasion. This along with my very small amount of waiting experience has shown me that service is very detail oriented, and getting one thing wrong will probably not hurt the experience but once you become careless things will begin to snowball on you and you could end up with unhappy customers and a small tip.

Service Charlie M.

5 11 2008

So, in regards to service in terms of front and back of the house, I prefer back over the front. The day drags, and is a lot slower when you work the front. With back of the house, though you have a lot to do, and you end up being more tired, or even exausted, you still get more satisfaction because of the hard work you’ve done throughout. Because you do a lot, and are so busy with your work in the kitchen, being in back of the house, the time passes by so much faster than if you were just waiting on duties to be done while working the front. I got a rush working, and plating dishes while chef called out my name within that fast-paced environment.

may i take your plate? by cory straeter

16 10 2008

After being in the front of the house for cafe, I noticed there is more going on when serving than when being a guest.  Not only paying attention to your guests needs and making sure the dishes go to the correct positon, but the small items as well.  This would include picking up discarded straw wrappers, used sugar packets and the like.  Often times for myself, concentrating on one aspect would leave another on the back burner, like not silvering for an appetizer, or putting a salad for in the dessert positon.  I  have to admit, I hope I stay in the kitchen as I begin my journery into the industry, but if the time comes, I will apply what I learned here in cafe and always remember the little things matter too.

keep them guessing by Cory Straeter

15 10 2008

The industry has had many Chef’s that have modernized the way we prepare food and even taken a scientific approach to it.  Is the general public ready for such a new and sometimes frightening dishes?  Food that appear famailar only to be undisgused once on the tounge.  Whether or not Chefs in todays industry will be taking steps to creating more exciting dishes such as apple cavaiar and implementing science, I say keep them (the general public) guessing what’s on thier plate.  Peak thier intrest and give them something to talk about the next day at the office.  It’s goes with what I have been told before, do it better than your competion, so why not venture out of classical techniques and create dishes that are mysterious and  keep them guessing.

Mind your manners by Mandy L.

25 09 2008

Ever since I can remember, my grandmother has made numerous accounts of how a child should be able to adapt to good manners and table etiquette, so as to carry forth into adulthood. As much as my cousins and I had been driven crazy by her perseverance, it is these microscopic lessons, that now become pivotal in executing a sense of class. An attractive napkin fold, a traditional utensil setting, or even the do’s and dont’s of bodily functions and habits at the dinner table.

In school, culinary students learn various cooking techniques and appealing presentations. They know that typically people eat with their eyes first. It is up to them to set the tone for a true dining experience. But I’ve noticed that perhaps with all this focused concentration, somehow personal habits are cast aside before we sit down to eat. And for that matter, one may construct a dish that is colorful and voluminous, but would you have it served on a surface of disarray? I would think that bad manners and table settings,is a default in what the cook worked so hard to make memorable in the beholder of the eye and palate.

Although my concern may come across somewhat snobbish, it isn’t my intention. I simply believe that most outside opinions can be drawn by how one carries themselves in front of others, not just your craftmanship. I consider myself to be visually stimulated by most of the five senses one inherits at birth. It is crucial to me, as I’m sure to others, that dining out should be pleasurable not forgettable.

I think everyone would benefit from this, and more over, a bit of culture. Recently I had the undesired privilege of witnessing some modern day archeology of the nasal passage and ear canal at a local cafe. The evidence had been discarded by wiping it upon the tablecloth and napkin, followed by a masking of irrefutable burping. This was an appetite suppressant to say the least. Maybe habits are formed by the way one is raised, or good manners were implimented but the person is careless and lazy, and simply doesn’t give a hoot.

Whether you were raised in a barn, or the Four Seasons hotel, you should carry some core lessons with you to succeed as a respectable chef.

Anyone who has spent time with me in the kitchen, knows how detail oriented I can be. It seems like the older I get the more I strive to gain success in the way my outcome will be in this industry. I truly would like to see my peers have the same as well. Maybe when you are younger the little things seem to be trivial, but actually it is that in which only improves personal and professional ethics.

It is said that cleanliness is next to godliness. But to dine amongst grace and elegance is perfection.

Hospitality Is A Way Of Life By Nicholas Conley

24 09 2008

            My first interaction with the hospitality industry was when I was a freshman in high school. I took culinary two hours out of every day, to study the arts, and on many occasions cook and serve banquets and private parties. My whole life I have enjoyed working with people, and most of all being that person that makes their experience just that much better.

            When I was cooking at the Tapa’s bar back home, in Ketchikan Alaska. Most of the time I would just be back in the kitchen, but after the line was prepped and orders were served I would be asked to go out into the dinning room, and talk to the guest’s. Not only to see how the food was, but also to add to they’re overall dinning experience. People really enjoyed being able to ask questions, and see who was preparing the food. Also some nights I would bartend, and get a great deal of interaction with customers.

            I know that when I go out to eat I have a certain expectation, and when I am serving the public, I try to hold up to that expectation. People want to be treated with respect and they want good service, or at least I do.

            Today I teach Adult cooking classes at Sur La Table. This is another job were positive interaction with the public is essential. For 3 hours 5-6 dishes are prepared, cooked and eaten. People learn from dramatic experiences and generally don’t like to remember negative ones. So it is very important that they have a good time while they are learning the various techniques. I have really enjoyed working on this side of the industry, teaching classes that is. I cant express to you how it feels when, the class goes so perfect and the people are all smiling, and I can just feel all the positive energy that is created from having a great experience.