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what is your typical day as a chef like?

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rob’s Answer

Ashneel,

The typical workday as an executive chef. I worked for a hospital where I would work 14-hour days. I would start about 6am, would check the kitchens and the satellite kitchens for the logging reports, then would get the equipment started in the main kitchen. I would then oversee and monitor the employees as they worked. would attend meetings, and help with the lunch rush, then paperwork creating menus, food orders, and budgetary administrative work.
As a chef the day can vary from prepping the evening's meals to cooking on the line and cleaning the kitchen. It really depends on the type of establishment you work at and the hours of operation. Normally for a restaurant that is open in the evening, only you could be working until midnight or later.

Retired Executive Chef Rob Mingus
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Lilia’s Answer

Everyday will be different depending on the expectations of that day and the level of chef that you are. An Exec chef is responsible for creating the menu ie: specials, monthly, catering etc.. once they create now they need to train their cooks and sous chef, they are required to keep up with inventory, daily and monthly. Cost control, ensuring you have quality food but stay within a budget can be challenging. If you have a restaurant that also offers catering, you now have to ensure you have the staff for both catering event and restaurant. You deal with complaints at times, incompetent staff, wasteful staff, careless staff and also staff that want everyone to succeed that are also family etc.. Being a chef is not a position or title you graduate with from culinary school (although that's what they tell you), you earn that title by proving you can be creative, inventive, different and also balance life and the whole restaurant all at once. It's time consuming, exhausting, stressful at times but at the end of the day if your day and restaurant is successful all the rest doesn't exist. It is definitely a job that requires patience and passion because unless you know people in the industry the pay is not always worth the stressors but if it's something you strive to not only do but excel and move mountains for then you will love it.
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Garth’s Answer

Lilia is right. Every day is different. But, at the same time, they're pretty similar. You'll do the same things over and over again. Some people find that to be like the movie Groundhog's Day and they get pretty bored. Some people enjoy that repetition and finding little ways to improve and become more efficient. If that continual improvement is something you enjoy, it's a unique job. That's something I've enjoyed about being in kitchens.

The hardest part is that so many of those days aren't in sync with your friends and family. When you are young, that's no big deal. But as you get older, that can be a real stress. In my case, my spouse works Mon-Fri, 9-5. Our kids are about the same. So, I was the odd man out for a lot of activities as I either worked late or on the weekends. That's really hard.

Good luck!
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