The Great Hall
Long-term effects of the culinary field?? The Great Hall: Long-term effects of the culinary field??

By Chris on Tuesday, May 08, 2001 - 11:43 pm: Edit

I have a degree in finance and an MBA. Six years of FU&KING school. I should be making millions right now!! But I'm not. I'm making a little over poverty a year doing something I love!!! What is that you may ask? Slaving away with people like:Manni, Pannini, Kidd, and Peachcreek. People that give a sh%t when a waitron comes back and says fourtop on 23 said it was the best they've ever had. Or the gm comes on line with a pitcher and says "thanks for kickin' ass shorthanded again". Cystal if you want to get into the F&B business get used to hearing "Crystal shut the f#@k up and get the water to table two!!"

By Kidd (Kidd) on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 - 12:53 am: Edit

Hear, Hear Chris and to everyone else that has contributed to this forum. It's people like you that make this career enjoyable and rewarding. And to Crystalmarie, how can u denounce something that you know nothing about. Maybe you should try it before you tell us how to live our lives. Thanks Kidd

By chefmanny on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 - 11:58 am: Edit

You guys rock! I teach now and I get slackers like this (crystalmarie) in my class every seven weeks. They have to produce 1 item a day and wash their own pot. You'd think they were doing a banquet for a 1000, they whine and b---- about cleaning a few pots and utensils. I tell them in the real world they would be doing every item on our menu which is 2 entrees, 2 soups, 2 starches and, 4 vegs.; they look at me as if I was out of my mind. I tell the majority to seriously consider a career change or go work in a restaurant before they waste any more $$$ in school.
This is why the industry is going to hell w/ convinience products full of sodium and msg, we have a majority of losers coming into the business. Weekends and holidays are over rated, that's when the whole world is trying to have fun, Monday and Tuesday are the days to go shopping or the beach, no crowds.

By chefmanny on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 - 12:01 pm: Edit

This is a great topic! I have never met a "sane" or "normal" Chef. There is no such animal; if they have any degree of proficiency in their field!!!
By the way my favorite TV show, When Chefs attack!!!!!!!!!!

By chady2k on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 - 12:46 pm: Edit

No whining ! We have all made a choice to be foodies. There are plenty of other jobs out there that we can all do. Better pay, better hours, better everything if you want to look at things that way. I personally love the work! I became burnt out several years back and tried other jobs, they all sucked! Every job has it's down sides. I came back to the food biz and will never leave again. Blue collar workers will never get the respect they deserve! when was the last time you thought, wow my mechanic did a great job, or how about the plumber? look at what they must endure on a daily basis. Other blue collar trades do not make much more money than we do. Next time you are headed to work in your car that the mechanic has just repaired for what we think is a real rip off look around at people working and see if any of those jobs suit you! Do you see anything as rewarding or anything that will give the free rush we get when balls to the wall on the line or feeding 1000 people at a time.

By Seashell on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 - 03:54 pm: Edit

Geez looeeze people. This gal is obviously very young, and assumed she could come here and get some advice, and you all attack her like she's the cause of all your misery.

Cristalmarie, I am so sorry that these individuals flamed you like that. It was rude, unprofessional, inhospitable and uncalled-for. Keep doing research about future career options, and I am sure you'll find something which you feel is right for you. I have changed careers several times, and have finally found my 'niche'. Who knows, in ten years I might be doing something different, but the important thing is to do something you really enjoy.

Good luck.

By grouchy on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 - 04:34 pm: Edit

your next Seashell!!! ha! ha! ha!
rude, unprofessional, inhospitable, sounds like a food kitchen!! We are all just products of our enviornment. What kind of name is Seashell anyway?
Just kidding!

By Kidd (Kidd) on Wednesday, May 09, 2001 - 11:45 pm: Edit

No offense but I agree with Grouchy. All the remarks that seashell stated are common and used everyday in our profession. It's better that she(crystalmarie) learn now while she still has a chance to change her mind about what career she wants to be involved with. If she does not want to be around people like us(and I mean most people in the food service business) then she needs to change NOW. If you ever want to survive amongsct people that care nothing but serving nothing but top quality food at a high rate of speed and the sh!t that comes with it, then this is not for the easily offended. There are alot us of that deal with this everyday and are proud(and probably more proud then the team that wins the gold metal at the olympics) to go to work every single day and go through this monotony and have a feeling of accompishmet and pride at the end of the day that we feel so good that we go back to work the next day. There is a sense of accomplishment and gratitude when you see the GM and he/she says "Hey, good job last night." I don't know about everyone else but I love it, more than my fiance(don't tell her that(but she already knows). To all that work and serve everyday....a big congrats and I'll buy you a drink when I see you. To you that are weak of heart.....CLOCK OUT AND PICK UP YOUR CHECK ON PAYDAY. Kidd

By JRRYAN on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 08:27 am: Edit

If I can remember correctly...forgive me, I'm in my hung-over haze...Crystalmarie told me and my fellow professionals to get a life.
Get a life!! What is this the F**king Valley??
I'm in a business that asks nothing of my personallity and everything of my ability. I work 75 hours a week and devour every problem set in front of me. I'm a culinary preditor. Ask any experienced executive if there was a chapter on compassion in their learning years and they will laugh in your face.
I didn't have the oppurtunity to choose this career, this career choose me. I've dealt with the dregs and losers of this business since I was 13 years old. I wasn't spoon-fed this knowledge, I had to fight for it.

By JRRYAN on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 08:27 am: Edit

As a 25 year old executive of a large private club, I ask anyone, Where are you going to be after graduation?? With the attitudes I've seen from most first year chefs, the best bet is either behind the grill at BurgerKing or behind a desk working on a degree in a different field.
Get a life??
How about welcome to the real world. Now hurry up, I need 6 Whoppers for the drive thru.

By chefmanny on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 10:12 am: Edit

Hey jrryan, what's compassion?
In the kitchen?
There is no such thing as a first year chef out of school man, I learned the same way you did. You know that after culinary school most students are not ready to run a kitchen. They need to be seasoned a bit. Someone up top said they were a 24 year old chef, I had my first chef's job at 22 because the executive chef was drunk and walked into the middle of a very busy street and got nailed by a car. I did all the chef jobs but, did not get the $$$ or the title and I know now that I had no business beign a chef at 22. But I did do the job!
After that it was easy though, I learned real quick about cost control and not drinking and walking into intersections!!!
Now make those double bacon w/ cheese you loser!

By peachcreek on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 01:04 pm: Edit

Don't you think you have to be a narcissist to even want to stay a chef? Why else would someone put up with the nonsense? Of course, I'm not talking about me!

By Chris on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 02:17 pm: Edit

You're right there is a lot of B.S. that goes along with being a chef but it is worth it. I don't mean to sound cocky but there is a certain satisfaction one gets from pulling it all together and getting two to sixty talented people to work as a team and put out a kicka$$ product with speed. I've never played quarterback on a pro football team but being a chef feels like it.

By Chef Travis on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 03:19 pm: Edit

I've just come to this site from The Society of Mad Chefs and felt that I needed to put in my two cents. I'm a chef for a five-star hotel that gets its share of interns from a local culinay school and I've noticed that about 99% of them have had no prior culinary experience and only want to be in the industry by what they've seen on t.v. I see people like crystalmarie1 all the time and now my crew and I are beginning to take pools on how long they will actually last in a professional kitchen. This industry is incredibly hard on people and I'd like to see any clueless, Emeril-worshipping wannabe bring their 'creative' -ss into my banquet kitchen to do a party of 2400. At the end of cut, burned and bleeding, I'd like to see how 'creative' they feel.

By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 05:26 pm: Edit

Chef Travis,
Your right, but it is your job to describe what life is going to be like working in your department. You must be a part of the selection process. You can never depend on personal to do this for you. Ya know they probably deposit the best candidates in the circular file just on first impression.
I was in you position for years until I finally figured it out. I opened a very lg property in a large city and had 15-20 culinary grads from a well known school. They marched in every morning like starched penguins. They were like little chicks wanting to be feed. They chirped about doing the pulled sugar and chocolate work.I was hard pressed to get them to run 100 lbs. of cake mix without messing up or taking hours.
I found that the students that were at the culinary on VA benefits or grants or had previous experience were the ones that made it.
Then one day I really figured it out and left to do my own thing.
ps. not a knock on schools, just a knock on the way they fill the heads with Emeril thoughts.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 10:43 pm: Edit

Panini - "Emeril-thoughts" hee, hee, hee, hee! Thanks for my evening chuckle!


By Chef Travis on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 02:07 am: Edit

Panini, thanks for the laugh. I just got home and saw your reply to my post and I agree. that 1% percent I mentoined are the prior experience or vets that have been there and done that and only went to school to get a head.

Once again thanks for the laugh.

By W.DeBord on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 07:37 am: Edit

It's too hard, too many hours, too much personal sacrifice, TOO FAR AWAY!

Complain about the quality of the culinary school graduates??? I posted an opening for a pastry assistant at 5 culinary schools in Chicagoland and can't get one kid to respond. They pay what ($15,000. a year) for these "educations" and no one tells them "Oh, by the way one day you'll need a car to get to work."

My advice to culinary students "SKIP YOUR LAST YEAR AND BY A CAR WITH THE MONEY, we do provide you with clothes and food though."

We have a good public transportation system that goes into the burbs....what's the problem, do they need limo's?

Actually, I personally wish we organized and got better wages and hours, then we might get "reasonable" new people to enter this field. I don't mind being a blue collar worker (like someone else mentioned) but the kitchen wages around here are 1/2 what the average labor makes.

By Yankee on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 02:53 pm: Edit

Look, there are idiots everywhere. The FBI just screwed up big time in a slam dunk case. Hello?

I think the main problem with most of the younger kids going through school is more about how they were raised than a blabbering slob on tv who sounds like one of the babies from the Flintstones.

If you were born in the early 80's, you have had a pretty easy time of it. I can remember gas lines in the 70's and 80's, and a few bad recessions. The only way you can appreciate something is if you have had to struggle and work for it. It's the work ethic that missing.

People were asking me if the pastry assistant position that I was hiring for a while back came with a parking space. What planet are these people from? Sorry, no pool table, popcorn breaks or casual days. And please, leave your dog at home.

By Grwall (Grwall) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 04:03 pm: Edit

The trade is tough and demanding. Hours are long, conditions bite and pressure can be incredible. Something like jogging in a sauna with 40 kg of flour on your back while 12 people want 17 different things 5 minutes ago. Oh yeah, you have to make a profit by squeezing blood from a turnip.

Chefs who last and survive do so because they are tough, and because they love what they do. Contrary to what Crystalmarie perceives, the complaining here doesn't mean these folks hate their work. If they did, they would quit - no question.

I teach students to work in this trade. Some are great but some should heed the advice Crystalmarie has been given. You must be passionate about food and love the atmosphere and the challenge of cooking professionally. If you don't, then you will not be doing yourself or anyone in the trade (including your customers) if you enter it. Find something that suits you and your personality better.

Chefmanny - I would be interested in your views and experiences with the quality of culinary students. I realize you don't want to influence posters in the other thread. Email me, let's share stories

By Ignatz on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 07:04 pm: Edit

Come on Grwall don't take it off list this is one of the best threads here in ages. perhaps just start another thread.

By Panini (Panini) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 07:50 pm: Edit

I AGREE!!!!!!
A lot of this thread refers to training and understanding of this field. If you are on the teaching side, your input could be very valuable.Maybe we can all learn somethings.
Grwall, you mentioned the customers. This is something very interesting to me. For the past 10 years this industry has fazed out the CUSTOMER and focused on the bottom line. Just my feelings.
I also personally feel that a Culinary Arts Degree is worthless unless backed up by a Business Degree. One can never rise to the top without this knowledge.
If you really want to know someones view on the quality of culinary students than I really feel that you should talk to the Chef's on the receiving end of these students. I have many questions about curriculums, tests and things like that. It's been 25 yrs. since I've been in school.
Thanks to all

By Rc_fleming (Rc_fleming) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 08:20 pm: Edit

Though I am just a lowly student starting off on the bottem of the food service chain, and I agree with the more experienced posters that you need the passion for food to put in the long hours and to produce some kicka$$ product. However I wish you would give more credit to us novices in the feild. After all we aren't all headless chickens running around needing constant direction.Like alot of you out there, I've spent a tidy sum of money on professional books and some proffesional equipment so I could teach myself and waste less time learning in the class room and more importantly in the working kitchen.
I figure that food just like any rewarding career requires alot of blood,sweat,(and tears?).
Just to shatter your Emeril dreams, I saw the Emeril biography on A&E a few weeks ago and he's on wife #3 and his kids hate him. I guess thats what his dedication cost him.
I would like to know the best way to show your own great ideas for better product to your higher ups, and in some cases is this inapropriate to do? Would too many egos get stepped on? Let me know what you guys think.
BTW if any of you've got unasweared ads in the San Fernando Valley (yes,the f'ing valley) I'm your man.


By Yankee on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 09:40 pm: Edit

I think it's a bit silly to clump all culinary students into one batch of losers. As I've said before, all those losers in each class make it cheaper for the few people with a sense of direction to graduate.

Besides, I don't think you need a degree to suceed in anything, but having one should never hurt you.

What I resent from the culinary grads that have come through our place is their complete lack of reality. I think this is partially their fault and the part of the schools. As someone mentioned earlier, there is little or no concern for the product they put out and the customer who is paying for it. They would rather have a "cool idea" that appeals to their nano-second attention span, than look at what the customers sees. It's also hard to find people who understand how important plating and running the station during service is.

Rick, don't degrade yourself so much.

By Panini (Panini) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 11:24 pm: Edit

I don't think there is any people bashing here, the criticism seems to be with the schooling itself. I'm assuming that most of the old dogs here have schooling. I must tell you when I came out of school I knew what I was in store for. Like yankee says, It's time for a reality check with the schools. Rick, a good chef will spot someone like you. The problem is it's very expensive and time consuming to run through 20 people to get one good person.
Think like a professional and you will be a chef.

By tortesrus on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 11:17 am: Edit

I love this forum!Disregarding the chef term that is used so liberally in this day and age. Everyone is a chef...schooling, no schooling, a fry cook at a 24 hour restaurant- I still hear people using the term chef. I feel that chefs are born not made. There's a driving compulsion within the individual that constantly forces them on to the next food challenge, perfecting the next area of their skills, achieving a near "high"
at serving a perfect meal. Cooks can be taught to
follow things to the letter, but only a true chef at heart will put up with the frustration, physical agony, grief and thanklessness and continue striving ahead...not necessarily because they want to, but because their make up will not allow them to do otherwise. Yes I am a 26 year veteran chef-I sometimes wish I could stop thinking about food, I likewise wish I could shut off the "on "switch that keeps me obsessed and striving forward in this field. But I can't. This is who I am. Sound familiar?

By JRRYAN on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 07:12 pm: Edit

Personally I feel that my biggest B*tch regarding formal education involves public perception. I step out of the kitchen after 14 hours of spilling my guts all over a cutting board or range top, put on a fresh coat(god forbid anyone saw what we reallt looked like at the end of the night) and hit the dining room to get feedback. The first question out of those idiots is.."So where did you go to school??"
I know how to kick my own @ss everyday no formal training needed!!
I feel like giving them a rap sheet...Freshman year-5 years in front of a sink scrubbing pots
Spophomore year - 3 years of short order/garde manger
Junior year - 4 years of making my executive look good with no credit from her(that's right her).
Senior year - Still happening check back later

By JRRYAN17 on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 07:19 pm: Edit

I don't care if I drink too much...Or have to pop a pill here and there to keep my head on straight.
I've tried to get "out" a thousand times. I was made for this business as were many of you. It takes a real passion to put up with this crap, but ya' know what screw it. If I had the chance to get back all of those weekends, painfree mornings, lost days and every other problem that's smacked me in the face, I wouldn't take it.
I love food, I love feeling accomplished, I love hard work and I'll tell anyone who thinks that mom and dad's checkbook is going to make them a chef...kiss my @ss!!
Claw your way up and make it on your own.

By Born in the USA on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 08:01 pm: Edit

I understand what you are saying. Your just a product of the enviornment here in the states. Most areas in Europe require Certification, work experience, and on the job training. It will be a long time before we are recognized as professionals. Even then there will always be the fluff. I've run up against crappy lawyers, doctors,law enforcement etc.

By W.DeBord on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 08:04 am: Edit

At another "professional food site" they have a similar thread talking about our profession. Over and over everyone just keeps repeating how their in this business for the love of it regardless of what their wages are, blah, blah, blah. A love for cooking and food is a "given", no one stays here with out that drive. But I get damn mad at everyone settling, it's not o.k. to have completely unreasonable weekly hours with minimal overtime compensation! We have professional skills and I would like to be treated as a professional instead of as live-in domestic help.

I'm bored with "I love my job, and I'll put up with anything to be creative" sh**! And the "bottom line" crud too....whatever happened to REASONABLE profits? Getting rich over time instead of over night?

P.S. I get asked where I went to school alot! I think it's a great compliment because although they don't know what to say to me, is an opener line to tell me they do appreciate my work.

By olfart on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 02:38 pm: Edit

As soon as one "WORKS TO LIVE" and does not "LIVE TO WORK" they forget the excusses. I love what I'm doing, I have great passion for food, but when it's all said and done it's a job and my family is more important.

By Grwall (Grwall) on Monday, May 14, 2001 - 05:44 pm: Edit

OK, let's talk about culinary education. As mentioned in discussion with Chefmanny, in another thread and personally, I love teaching but there is no doubt that culinary students can be real slackers. Maybe more now than before.

What we teach at SAIT in Alberta is driven by industry advisory committees. The list of objectives is vast and in the one year program, nearly impossible to cover in any real depth. However it is industry (y'all) that tells us what they want.

Students come out with an overview of the field - all of it. The good ones have developed some decent skills as well although I suspect that is in spite of our instruction. Often, chefs expect culinary school grads to have the same skills and speed as full journeyman cooks (they are not and can't be without real world experience). But they are paid about the same as dishwashers.

Some of the chefs in our area are committed to education and promoting the next generation of cooks, both here at SAIT and in the workplace. Others pay a pittance and expect the grads to walk on water. We all know it takes at least 2 years in the kitchen before you can do that :)


By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, May 16, 2001 - 06:19 am: Edit

I had a large post but it never made it. Great! I have lots of ?'s. I will post again tonight.
have a good one

By ann on Saturday, May 26, 2001 - 11:22 pm: Edit

You have some pity for culinary school grads. they plunked down thousands of dollars for education, got their piece of paper, walked out the door and landed a job paying 10 bucks or so. Not to mention with that piece of paper in hand they think they know how a kitchen works and they don't and the smart ones realize they don't. As a cook i have had to deal with culinary grads (many of them bitter about the money issue, amazed by their eventual disillusion) and interns and spent many a drunken hour enumerating thier failings. Take issue with the schools, they are taking these poor sots with "emmeril dreams" and blowing sunshine up their skirts! This is not an affront against teachers, want to make that clear. More a critical question of how culinary scools are set up.

By Rc_fleming (Rc_fleming) on Sunday, May 27, 2001 - 01:35 am: Edit

I guess I've been doubting the value of a cooking school diploma. Seems that they don't offer that much for the money and time investment. Things that you can get paid for on the job. It also seems that diploma or not ya' always end up starting at the bottem. And as far as the advantage of a culinary student of being able to be told ta whip up something on demand with out being baby sat, well...Not being formally schooled I would first find out what I would be working on and what the restaurant makes and be sure that I know the procedures involved in each product, and I gather that most chiefs would prollably watch any chef to make sure they know their stuff.
As for not getting enough practice... You have to atleast eat three times a day and you might as well home your skills at home.
As far as spending thousands and getting your self into debt to pay for a "courdon bleu" You can take your classes at a trade college. My local trade school charges aprox $700 dollars for equipment and textbooks for the entire program, and the first semester tuition.
Personally I think the route I will take is:

1)Add to my collection of pro books.
2)Practice on my stomach as well as my family & friends.
3)Get part time work in the field.
4)Start earning that bachlors in mathmatics.
5)Eventually get ACF certification.

The question for me now is, I like cooking, but do I like it enough get bad pay, bad hours, the non existent benefits, and no time off.
But I look at it this way, either way I still can cook great food even if its just for me and not for the clamoring patrons of a restaurant.
P.S. DeBrod, I gather you like Indian food. I just finished making a bunch of samosas, and it would be great to compare notes.

By W.DeBord on Monday, May 28, 2001 - 08:17 pm: Edit

At least you know what the reality is Rick. Most of us didn't when we started. The old timers laughed and told horror stories but they needed your body and didn't want to scare you bad enough that you'd leave them with all the work them-selfs.

Yes, I adore Indian food. I really enjoy spicy enthic foods packed with flavor more than taditional American and subtle French (there like a flavor vacation). I'd love to compare recipes, I use Julie Sahni's from "Classic Indian Cooking". It very close to the ones at my favorite restaurant but my chutney isn't as great, yet....

By The Baker on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 05:35 pm: Edit

Long term effect of the culinary field,

I was crazy when i started just 2 1/2 years ago as a baker.

I used to be a stock broker.
I made Money but I did not have fun.
People told me "you must be crazy id take the money"
I tell them why yes, thank you I am crazy (hahah)
I work 6 days a week for the same amount of money I made the first hour of the day as a broker
Why yes thank you I am crazy....But

can I see myself still being a broker in ten years. NOPE!!

But Ill bake till the day I die....
It will be a long time from now... and Ill be happy and content In My little corner of the kitchen, Sweating so much I change my shirts and Jacket 3 or 4 times a day.
But as long as I can Still hear the Oohs and AHHs of delight from people that eat what i make Ill be happy.....baking my life away!!!!

By chefgbs on Friday, June 01, 2001 - 06:20 am: Edit

Has anyone noticed exactly when chefs became second class citizens and took a back seat to the bottom line? A lot of larger companies say it's all about the food but it seems to me that chefs are treated as blithering idiots who don't know the first thing about business and therefore need to be controlled by managers. I find it very amusing that there is a distinction made. Aren't chefs managers? Aren't we all supposed to be on the same team?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, June 01, 2001 - 08:48 am: Edit

A lot of Chefs are not managers, that's one reason so many restaurants business plan. If you notice a large portion of these Super Chef's restaurants close down because of food cost, I know a chef down here in S. Fl., one of the best in the country who's restaurants have all closed down because they were not making money.
Read the thread on quality of students entering Culinary Arts programs.
You cannot have all the knowledge to be a Chef at 22-23 years old, you may have the basic cooking skills and be a good cook but, the business skills have to be learned with time and are indiginous to every single operation.

By Ben Kramer on Sunday, June 03, 2001 - 12:09 am: Edit

Hey, chefgbs,
What do you mean when did chefs become second class citizens...we've always been second class. It's only in the last decade or so that we, as chefs, have gained any recognition.
We're in the hospitality industry. It's our job to please people... bottom line. If you don't do that, you won't succeed. It's not about ego or recognition. It's about pleasing the customer.
As for all the Emirel bashers, I don't like him either, but like Julia child he has given us the recognition we look for. He, and others like him, have made chefs "celebrities". Now when you tell people your the chef of ... you get looked at with admiration and not distain.

By The Baker on Sunday, June 03, 2001 - 07:20 pm: Edit

I dont like Emeril's show but I have met him
and he is a very nice guy....

By Yankee on Monday, June 04, 2001 - 12:27 am: Edit

Sorry, but I fail to see the need to see yourself as "second class." Sure, at work your job is to take care of people. But, what happens when you walk out the door? What happens when you are the guest? I never let people look down at me, and I never look up at them beyond giving them the same respect that I would want to recieve.

My wife and I worked this $1K a plate fundraiser a few weeks back. Since we provided product, we also got to eat dinner with the guests and enjoy the concert afterwards.

On the way home, everyone had to ride in these shuttle busses to get to the main parking lot. Someone mentioned "that this shuttle must be for the 'help' as well," when we got on (we had our starched chef's jackets on). Thankfully, I didn't hear them and my wife didn't tell me about that comment until after we were home, otherwise I would probably be in jail for assault.

A service business, yes, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Thursday, June 07, 2001 - 05:05 pm: Edit

It can happen.
A good friend of mine is a recent casualty in our field.
He closed his restaurant, where he was partner and Head Chef after Mothers' Day. His friends had known for a while that the restaurant was struggling(my daughter worked for him). We had no idea how badly this had affected him. He disappeared for almost 3 weeks. It turns out that he was institutionalized for attempted suicide.
I caught up to him yesterday, and asked him how things were going. He told me that the stress of foodservice after 36 years was too much. He turned down a plum position, to which he would have been ideally suited, because he can't handle the anxiety of possibly failing. He is well liked in our community, and it will be difficult for him to explain why he no longer in our field.
It is a real shock to see someone you know have their life fall apart in front of you. But it happens. And it can happen to any of us.

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