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« Great Chefs Speak, tell it like it is & mull over some current issues | Main | 7X7 Eat + Drink Awards: YOU Can Vote! »

13 November 2007


It is tough to live in this town on $11 per hour. It is mysterious, though. Maybe it is because there are so many restaurants in SF. I'm always looking around for a decent cooking job. It is hard to find what I am looking for, though. I want to work part time because I organize my own vegetarian tasting menu events on Saturdays and do catering. I find the line cook world to be pretty brutal. I am amazed at myself for having been doing it this long. I always take a good amount of time off between jobs though. I don't seem too cut out for the restaurant industry but I so love to cook and I'm very talented and I think it is a great job in many ways.

Sounds like the SF School district needs a Vo-Tech program in cooking. Who else can work that hard, that long, and for so little than young, hungry kids -- but if they're saddled with cooking-school debt, they'll never be able to do it. Somewhere along the way, we stopped teaching the trades, as though everyone has to go to college to make a life. Here in Montana there are no line cooks, no plumbers, no tilers, etc ...

Do you think you'll still need help this coming summer?

Tom G.

Sending along a resume never hurts... As good staff is hard to find, preemptive measures always welcome!

*raises hand*

The trend seems to be that the new people coming into this field do so not realizing the work one wants to do, I've been working in kitchens for 25 years...I love doing the dishes, it's my favorite job! What can be better than warm soapy water and immediate gratification! They will come in asking for a job, saying they bake all the time at home. Then I have to point out that if they still love to bake after making 3000 cookies or mixing and turning 100 batches of pastry dough, then a baker they are destined to be! No ones hungry enough to just put it all out there anymore! It makes me scared and a little bit sad...

Line cooks in Vegas? They're here... of course, they're all illegals, but they're here.

lol -- this town's a joke, kind of like a clown with metastatic colon cancer. I have stopped romanticizing it and started treating it with the exact amount of respect it deserves. Zilch.

carri..but we have dishwashers of the non human kind!!

i dont believe in 'brutal kitchens'. some of the best run kitchens operate silently and efficiently. it is unfair to ask young people(already saddled with debt) to work for minimum wage and ask them to love the 'heat of the kitchen'...seriously.

after reading the chronicle article...2 things.. re the wage/incentive discrepancies between cooks and waiters, it is not unlike how in more tech companies, the marketing/sales guy gets paid more/commission/perks than the actual R&D/techie/code monkey. he wouldnt have a job selling products if it wasnt for the sloughing hundreds who develop the product. somehow people who run these corporations forget who is putting out the product that rakes in the profits. seems to me that the restaurant problem is somewhat similar to that.

secondly, minimum wage is a crippling feature that keeps employees firmly under the poverty line. it hinders the natural supply and demand functions of an economy. i would totally support abolishing minimum wage laws. let chaos reign before things fall into equilibrium.

chef, i know u get many comments on your blog, but i have to tell you that I enjoy this blog soo much: you write with such insight and intelligence that it is actually humbling for me to read in a good way...i love each and every post since i was introduced to it through michael ruhlman's blog...I find myself sending copies of it to friends who teach high school!
Such wisdom and yet you don't mock or write with arrogance...thx reading this actually makes my day a touch better and believe me with the stuff out there you are a "woman" among girls and i suspect a man among boys...i think u shud consider publishing ur posts into a book one day...

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