If you can look past the fact that the only chefs quoted in this piece on Eater National are male, you'll find that I'm not the only chef wondering where the cooks I remember working alongside 20 years ago, are today.
My personal favorite quotes:
Tony Maws, Craigie on Main, Boston:
"What we get now are these Gen Y kids that aren't used to receiving feedback that's even remotely negative. They're not necessarily the come early, stay late types. They don't understand that this is a craft. Who doesn't wish this was easier?"
"The other thing is that culinary schools aren't setting expectations. You basically don't need any experience to get into the CIA anymore. It used to be that you needed a year in a restaurant and things like that. Now they just want your money and don't bother to tell you that when you leave culinary school, you'll be lucky to make twenty-thousand dollars and won't be able to pay back your loans."
Matthew Accarrino, San Francisco's SPQR:
"When I started cooking, you used to stay at a place for two years. Then you left and went to another place for two years, and so on and so forth. Hell, when I was getting started, some chefs would tell me, "If you stay here less than a year then I'll blackball you." That never happens any more. The chivalry has been lost. Now every resumé that I get shows people that move around more than once a year. It's hard to really harness any kind of talent other than natural talent in a cook if they're not stable."
Stephen Wambach, Philly:
"In the States, it's all talk. Kids want to learn how to make a sphere of whatever before knowing how to make a proper red wine sauce. The problem is the executive chefs at the mid-range level are not leading and nurturing their cooks — there is no foundation, everyone just wants to be a superstar."
Sang Yoon, Father's Office LA/CA:
"It's not so much talent that you look for in young cooks. It's worth ethic — showing that you'll do whatever it takes — that is the key factor. I look for dedication and loyalty, since if I'm going to invest time in them, I want to be sure that they stick around, absorb the information, and want to move themselves up."
"There's more and more people to choose from now, but it's harder to weed through that number of applicants."
speaking of applicants, I'm looking for 1 solid pastry assistant at Peels. Just 1. You wouldn't think it would be so hard... email me your resume & cover letter if seriously interested.