Friday, July 11, 2008

Back of the House

As I made the transition from bartender to management I was forced to really learn all aspects of the restaurant business.  Without a doubt, the most difficult job in the business is line cook.  These guys work their ass off, its hot, you can get burned, or cut (unintentionally or intentionally if you piss off one of your co workers). Plus, ungrateful servers, managers, food runners, and bartenders are constantly screaming at you for their food.  When I worked with Andres (longtime kitchen guy) behind the bar, I once asked him which job was more challenging Bartender or Line Cook?  His reply was that the bar was more difficult because dealing with a sea of live customers was more of a challenge than a whole bunch of tickets (I think it has been too long since he last went behind the line).   The line cooks are the unsung heros of the restaurant, they get no respect and work 3 times harder than any server does.  And, as Andres pointed out "there are no girls back there!"(I think that is his motivation to work at the bar)

One of my favorite celebrity chefs, Anthony Bourdain, wrote a book about his life as a line cook, and life in the back of the house in general. It is a great window into the what a restaurant kitchen is really like.  Check it out "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain. Here is a clip from his TV show, showing what working the line on a busy night can be. Enjoy, and please if you work in the restaurant business, cut these guys some slack.


Post a Comment

<< Home