May/June 2023

the Kosher inspection (This happened)? Being the chef in a large-scale kitchen is like being the dad of a large family. Kitchen work usually consists of long days and most people are there at least 6 days a week. As you would expect, we tend to spend more time with our work family than our immediate family, and just like the dad, everyone looks to the chef for guidance and instruction. Makes sense, right? Making an employee feel good about themselves and the job that they do is my number one most important job on any given day. I personally visit each employee to question them on their workload, make sure they understand their task, and discuss anything else they might like to share with me, be it good or bad. Every employee knows that everyone else gets this treatment, so no one thinks that I’m playing favorites or trying to get something out of someone. The idea that I care about them makes them care about me, and they find it important to excel at their tasks as a result. We speak about the family in many ways in the kitchen. The food that we cook and feed to the staff at mealtimes is called a family meal, and it’s not uncommon for me or another person of leadership in the kitchen to ask a cook to prepare something for it on a given day. Organization and control of inventory would be the next most important part of my day. Running a large-scale culinary operation requires us to forecast what people will eat, and this requires copious and tedious record keeping. Once I see that we are stocked and prepared for the day’s events and

those for coming days ahead, I might get a chance to cook something. I have had many culinary experiences in my long career and each one is different in many ways. The shared crux of every job is always leadership and a strong understanding of the medium. Being a chef is a very rewarding career, but it takes deep dedication. It is a lifestyle that must flow in the opposite way to most of society; when most are dining, dancing, and attending social occasions, we are on the other side of the proverbial curtain making sure they can enjoy that experience. I have been in this industry for over 30 years, and to this day family and friends still ask me what my plans are for the weekends or holidays. I am sure you can guess what answer I give them every time.

Chef Chirs Palmer is on the move. Read more about him, his posd cast, and movement in the industry in the next edition of Hospitality News magazine. Chris’s career has always been exciting and challenging, and now has just become even more exciting.

May/June P 25

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