Keeping calm in the kitchen

Jun 05, 2017Student Leadership Development Institute

By Kim Stefanelli

From working the line on a busy Saturday night, to opening up and prepping for brunch on a crowded Sunday morning, the kitchen never slows down for anyone. It’s easy to get stuck in a whirlwind when the high speed of the kitchen is all around you. There are always so many factors that can slip you up, but it’s important to stay on your toes and be ready for whatever your shift throws at you. The restaurant industry is an always-changing environment, hopping from one thing to the next. From new plating ideas to new techniques, you never know what to expect from the day ahead, so you have to stay prepared for the seemingly impossible. The industry can be hard to handle sometimes, given the demanding nature of working in restaurants, bakeries, hotels, etc. No matter the job, I guarantee there is no day that will be completely stress-free. So I’m here to share some helpful tips for when you feel yourself getting stressed out, because I know we’ve all been there.

1) Take a breath. If you need some air after a stressful night on the line, let your chef know and I’m positive they’ll be okay with it.

2) Mistakes happen. If you mess up a plate or “mise out” a recipe incorrectly, start over and don’t let it ruin the rest of your shift.

3) Keep a positive attitude. It can get very tense in the kitchen, but if you keep a smile on your face and brush things off, nothing can bother you.

4) Remember your passion for the industry. When things get tough, just remember why you’re there: because you love it.

Being in college while working in the industry has been crazy, but it has taught me so much and I’m forever grateful for the experiences. It teaches you how to have control over your life, how to handle multiple responsibilities at once, and, mainly, how to work efficiently. The hospitality industry is one of the most stressful fields in which to work, but it’s all worth it. You’ve got this!

Kim Stefanelli, Student Leader
Pastry Arts, Class of July 2018