What’s happening with the standard of chefs and pastry chefs coming into the industry today ??
Many young chefs have applied to work for me at the resort which I think is something special in it’s self, pleased that they want to join our team. The first thing I say to them is “what is it that you want by joining the pastry team?”, the answer they usually give is that they want to learn how to be the best they can in patisserie, Great!!. Their CV’s are pristine, fresh out of college with a selection of beautiful photo’s, lovely creations and seemingly the right attitude for the career they have chosen. Well this is what you would have thought, but this couldn’t be more further from the truth. I never shy away from saying at the begin that this job is extremely hard work from the get-go, so if you are willing to roll with the punch’s then I’m the man to teach you the ways of fine patisserie.
In the begin things go well for the new arrivals, they are keen and buzzing with enthusiasm, their minds charged to absorb the difficult and complex dishes we are about to create for our hundreds of guests to enjoy. I try not to overload them with too many things at once because that in itself is counter productive, lets walk before we start to run. Don’t get me wrong though, even the basics are difficult to master and this is where the realization comes in for the younger chefs on how different it is from the easier college lives or where they have had a job in which the work wasn’t as precise and detailed as they’d imagined. This is a wake up call and can be quite unnerving for the “more delicate chef” , as the pressure builds and the work load increases, mistakes start to form and cracks start to appear. Before you know it they are handing their notice in or going off on the sick. The resort is a huge build where Patisserie plays a large role, not only to the customers love what we do but the team enjoy the benefits of our creations, they bring joy to a stressful day. This in turn maximizes our work load and every single item that comes out of our kitchen has to be on point !
I say this as this is what I need the younger chefs to understand when they come and join the team. Only through hard work and dedication to the job can you achieve the skill it takes to deliver this kind of quality. I feel that they watch too much TV where they think everything is golden and things will fall in their laps without the hard work involved. Cooking programs and social media butter the lifestyle up making it look glamorous and appealing to the younger generation, which is great, but it doesn’t prepare them for the reality of the kitchen. I didn’t just appear here fully equipped with the knowledge and skill, no mate, that’s not how it works. It’s taken me many years of long hours, struggles and determination to get where I am today. Complete perseverance and pushing myself to the limit, sleepless nights and crying over cake, whatever it took to expand my knowledge. Unfortunately this is what is lacking with the chefs of today, they can’t do the hours, they don’t want to work hard and they don’t understand what a chef means. It’s a trend that is very worrying for the future of patisserie in and around Birmingham as we already have a lack good creative minds. I would like to say this to all want to be chefs, It’s one of the toughest industries going but the rewards get be fantastic as long as you put in the effort, I have had the privilege of creating great pastry chefs, these are the ones that to what is needed to achieve their goals. So if you are thinking about leaving college to become a pastry chef or chef, please remember, work hard, listen and develop. This in turn will boost your skill level and drive you to achieve the goals you are aiming for, or don’t bother as the job will eat you alive!