Friday, December 2, 2011

Portrait of a Line Cook, "T"

I miss T.  She's the opposite of a kitchen success story.  Kind of.

A few years ago I was working for a friend of mine, Michael, in the north 'burbs.  We were looking to open another place that never quite manifested.  In term, I ran his kitchen line and was very often training the younger cooks that came through the ranks.

Theresa was one of those.  She'd worked with the boss before at Le Francais and had a distinct fear/respect for the big guy.  I started training her on fish/broiler and she was fast.  Didn't think too far ahead yet, but the girl could dance.  If I ran the station and called the orders, she worked around me.  I could call what needed to be done and she'd react on a dime.  The food was going out better, hotter, and faster than it'd been.  Given a few years and Michael's support, she had the potential to become one of the few female chefs worth their salt in the Chicagoland area (even though I covered for her when she f*cked up veal mousse on two seperate occasions, sorry, Mike).

But she quit.  She got too nervous when the boss was around and took a job with assisted living closer to home.  To this day I'll drink to "T", the line cook that didn't realize her own potential. 

We could all end up that way some day.  Fight the good fight, put your nose down and work through the chaos.  Otherwise, as cooks, what do we have?

No comments:

Post a Comment