Sunday, August 30, 2009

In It to Win It?

Being a restaurant cook is NOT an easy job. It’s like working in the military except you work with tomatoes and bacon instead of guns and grenades and your life is not at risk every day you’re in the kitchen (or is it?!). The hours are long and you’re on your feet the entire time. Ironically, I’m always terribly hungry at the end of the shift. The earnings aren’t great either, especially in the best restaurants.

Ever since I decided eight years ago that I wanted to cook for a living, I’ve had several people in the industry talk me out of it. They’ve tried to convince me all along that the sacrifices that this job demands dictate a miserable life. I have never met anyone who’s thought otherwise. But I wanted to find out myself. I believed that I really loved to cook and the idea of feeding people happiness appealed to me so much that I felt that my passion would override all the discomfort that came with the job.

In between dealing with the tantrums of a bossy fellow cook and figuring out that the front waiter earns thrice as much as I do while working far fewer hours, I was having yet another bad week and it had only been a month since I started. Moreover, I knew that this was how it was going to be for a really long time. I was ready to give up and leave. Not just quit the job but the profession altogether. Doing that however would make me a quitter, and I seriously doubt if I would be able to live with that. Besides, what would I do?

Durango persisted that I shouldn’t be putting myself through this if I was really unhappy. I know that I need to give it more time. This is my first job after all.


  1. Stay strong my brother! You are without a doubt one the better cooks i have ever had the pleasure of cooking with and I have much confidence in you. aint shit sweet in the heat. Geldi!

  2. Thomas! We all feel that way sometimes, but certainly there are moments when all the pain and hard work seems worth it. Give it time, it will get better or you will be called in another direction. Besides, you didn't just spend $60,000 on a culinary education for nothing right? ;)

  3. my first job was even worse. After taking a degree in mech engineering from a premier institute,i joined what i thought was the best job for me- become a marine engineer and see the world. and did i see the world? my first job was to understand all the hundreds of pipelines under the floor of our engine room which is always filled with dirty oil!and my first port of call was Barcelona in Spain and beleive it or not, we were there for almost 15 days and according to tradition, a junior engineer is not allowed to go out( those days). Life was very tough as the ship was very old and we had to work for atleast 16 to 18 hours.But my initial tough life and great training has made me what i am today and today i am quite comfortable to handle any thing.
    i am sure you will get over all ur hardship soon and u will start enjoying what u have been always wanting to do-cook.
    love appa

  4. i know wht u mean with the quitter bit. but hang in there. if your not yet dragging your feet to work the next morning, you might actually be in the right place. :)