Becoming a professional cook in any kitchen can be fun, or a bad turn in life. Learning the in’s and out’s of a hot kitchen 10 to 14 hrs a day 6 days a week can be rough by no means. Seeing the chefs on TV is not what is real in any kitchen, these people have been through the grinder many times, they know everything that goes on in a real kitchen. Most of these people have landed a job on TV that sets them up for life, they have paid their due’s or you might say they have paid the piper to go on with this special time in their life. Working in a real kitchen with long hours and days is going to be your life for a long time. Standing at a stainless steel table preparing food for the up and coming meals is very hard on the body and mind to say the least. Besides fighting the heat which can get up to 120 degree’s and stay that way all day long, work will become a mind set. All of this repeated work becomes very dull, adjusting your body stance to feel better will be a all day habit. Starting to feel the stinging in your feet and the pain in your back comes from staying in one place to long. The cement floor shows no mercy, even standing on the wooden slats can become unbearable. Now buying the right shoes may help a little, just be sure you have brought the right kind, or you will know pretty quick.
Remember this is what you wanted, so you have to learn how to deal with all the discomfort that you will come all day long. Now you have not work the line as yet, this is where it can get to be a real challenge, this is where you learn mind speed plus body speed. Let me explain what I mean,your mind has to think fast to fix that special dish the customer ordered. Knowing where the ingredients are to fix this special dish is a must. Most kitchens are set up in a way that all ingredients to fix any dish are close by, if you are working a saute’ station this is the normal way. Your body has to work the same way your mind is thinking, what I mean is your arms and feet have to move fast. There is a time set on how long a dish takes to prepare. This is where you have to learn to do 3-4 things at the same time. You will get better and faster as time go’s on. Your mind will start thinking faster in the kitchen, you will start thinking faster away from work which is a good thing, it will help in all parts of your life. You can upset people with this kind of gift, you will do things faster than most can people. You have learned this in your job, this is one of the better things that comes out from working in a fast service business. Working in a kitchen has it’s ups and downs, good and bad, what you learn will get you ahead down the road.
The bad things coming from being a cook is the hours you will spend inside. In all the heat and pain, standing long periods of time prepping food for all the meals coming your way. Working the line for hours between the stoves and steam tables that are throwing out large amounts of heat that you must endure. Cutting yourself deep enough that requires stitches. Cleaning all of the stainless steel and ovens on a daily basis, this one thing that was not mentioned, the cooks have to keep there stations and areas around them clean at all times for health reasons. Making sure the spider top stoves are free of grease after your shift is over, this is part of your job. Yes loving to work in professional kitchen can be a wonderful job if you like punishment eight hours a day. Your dislikes will come after being in this job after a few years or right away, it depends on how much punishment you can stand. Good Luck.