Thursday, May 10, 2007

all the kids these days...

Am I just lucky? Everyone wants to be a chef these days, and this is not the first article I've seen this year on how the industry's flooded. That's why I left Boston...Cheffy's enrollment was up 300% and I knew twice a year a crop of new kids was going to graduate and suck up the available pastry assistant jobs, which would make it that much more competitive to find jobs, and would mean we'd only be circulating the same ideas around. Cheffy was a lot of great things, but tolerance for others' ideas, not so much. My way is the best way, he would say, and it was true, his recipes had been tested and proven. They always work. I will take them out, when I'm doing a classic like puff or I want a good brown butter financier or a custard base.

Boston wasn't fun anymore. Sonsie wasn't fun anymore. I was working all weekend long for a boss who left me out of all decision-making processes and staging with a woman who asked me what I wanted to make and how I'd want to serve this flavor. I wasn't going to get where I wanted to go in Boston anytime soon, but we were all doing well and good. We were all working within the pay grade of our positions (are pastry assistants just paid significantly more that line cooks, and our $10-12/hour salary expectation therefore something good?). We all had secure jobs at restaurants most Bostonians would know. We were pretty much in the elite establishments in town. We never had too much trouble finding other positions.

I understand how there's too many cooks in the kitchen, too many with unrealistic expectations. I don't expect to be famous for cooking at least, so I'm not suffering. But I don't see it personally, really. I can't help but feel that these cooks who can't find jobs are just lazy or ill-prepared or expecting to land good jobs right away. It's a hard industry. But I would say one with plenty of positions for the willing.

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