The Great Hall
Control in the kitchen The Great Hall: Control in the kitchen
By Chefacec (Chefacec) on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 06:56 pm: Edit

Well....Back in the kitchen after a two year stint doing consulting. I took an Exec. Chefs position with a large hotel group and have been here 90 days. My particular property was operating without a Chef for almost a year using the Exec. Sous and Banquet Chef to perform the duties of the missing Exec. I must admit that under the circumstances, they did an excellent job. My problem now is that I seem to feel out of the loop when it comes down to me doing my job as Exec. Chef. I didn't want to come here kicking @** and calling names so I've been fairly easy on them about relinquishing their former duties so that we all are operating within the tenents of our job descriptions. It ain't working...their skill levels are sufficient for line cooks, but nothing close to being able to handle what's necessary to get the job that I need done. My Gm wants me to just bring them along slowly and thinks that it'll be alright....ain't feeling it. So, my friends, what would you do? Thanks in advance.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 07:29 pm: Edit

You are in a great position dude, I always like to run my kitchens as if I was not there, this way, if you were out nobody noticed!
This has a drawback, owners usually think they can do without you!, and they try so you tend to go through a few jobs!
Personally I like that style of mgmt. because it develops other talents, I worked at this job as an Exec. Chef, I brought 8 other line cooks from my previous job and 7 went on to Chef jobs and one to a Sous position, it hurt but I was proud because I know I helped develop their talent!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, November 26, 2003 - 10:59 pm: Edit

My 0.02, teach 'em, train 'em, talk to 'em.
Maybe give them a little more time than you would give yourself.
If they don't pick up on it, replace em.
Being out of the loop is crappy, don't put up with it from anyone.
keep an eye on the attitute,(theirs), I always found thats a dead give-a-way to whats com'in in the future.
Don't look over the shoulder too much, let them make a few mistakes, it may humble them.
can i e-mail you too find out what hotel?, I have a good friend in Vancouver whos always looking for a good meal, and your right around the corner, yes?

By Chefacec (Chefacec) on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 12:06 am: Edit

Chefspike,I am at the Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles, WA.. You can reach me @ I'm a 30 minute ferry ride from Victoria.
Thanks for the advice.

By Dpconsu (Dpconsu) on Thursday, November 27, 2003 - 09:55 am: Edit

Dear Chefacec,
I spent 12 years working for VIP out of London as an Executive Chef "Tournant" I replaced the executive chefs at dozens of hotels and country clubs throught the world when thier bosses allowed them to go to Europe to further thier training, e.g. go and spend three months working with Roger Verge at the Moulin d Mougin in France. So I had to often arrive in a foriegn country and take over a large kitchen and crew and try to run the place as if the old chef were still there. Relating to the crew was the first job to get done, A) observe the work habits and methods, B) take each senior chef/cook aside and develope a one to one relationship, C) have a general kitchen crew meeting and lay out the way that things will be done while you are in charge because ultimately the way the place runs in the abscence of thier real chef will reflect on him when he returns. D) be friendly but keep the line drawn between staff and management, no going out to party after work as it is realy hard so suspend someone for being late or goofing off when you were as pissed as a rat with him the night before. E) it is your kitchen, run it as you see fit, if they dont like it, tough, you are working for you bosses, not them.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Friday, November 28, 2003 - 12:05 am: Edit

Chef Acec,
Thanks I will let him know, he loves good food and loves to talk about food and hardly ever has the chance to cook with pros.
If and when he goes I'll have him call or e-mail ahead.

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