The New Guy

Sorry for the delay foodies, I know it’s been a while since I last posted anything. I took a little hiatus from writing; kind of hit a creative dry spell. Plus I haven’t been to any shitty chains recently, soon enough though. Anyway, as you know I recently left Poole’s to work at Garland. I couldn’t be happier with my decision, although I definitely miss everyone. So it got me thinking about what it’s like to be in a different kitchen, pretty much starting over in a new place. First of all, I’m the FNG. The f’n new guy. I haven’t been that guy in years. I’ve been the old man of the kitchen. Heck, I’m still the old man. Simple things like learning people’s names, getting the lay of the land of the kitchen, and especially grasping a totally different cuisine can take some getting used to. Plus you have to feel people out to see if they get your sense of humor. I’ve started to come out of my shell already, and have started with the kitchen puns. A lot of PUNishment will ensue.  Good thing about a new job is that it’s all new material to them, not the same jokes I’ve used a million times previously. On the other hand, I feel annoying having to ask where everything is. Sometimes I’d rather just find it on my own rather than having to ask again and again. You have to learn a new station, a new menu, and how they want things done. It can be overwhelming sometimes. That’s why it is sometimes easier to stay at a job rather than venture out and explore what else is out there. Once you reach a certain comfort level it becomes easy, there is no challenge. Not saying it’s not hard, it’s just that once you work somewhere long enough it becomes like second nature. I think that you only get better as a cook or a chef is by challenging yourself. Learning a new style of cuisine, as well as different methods and ingredients has been a welcome change. If you can cook, you can cook, no matter the ingredients. Something else I wasn’t accustomed to in my job search was a mystery basket and/or a cooking test. I had done a few, but it had been years ago. I think the last one I did was at The Umstead, and that was like 10 years ago. Time sure does fly in the service industry. Kind of like Chopped, you’re given ingredients and told to cook a dish or two. When I was younger, I was a ball of stress when I did these. You’re in a strange environment, cooking something you might not be comfortable with, trying to impress a chef. Sounds fun right? Doing it again now that I’m older and have been cooking for a while, it’s gotten a lot easier. One of my old chefs told me just cook what you know, similar to what my creative writing professor in college told me; write what you know. Keeping things simple rather than trying to reinvent the wheel is the way to go when given a mystery basket. I think I have rambled on enough though, but it feels good to write again. Merry Christmas foodies!



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