Mistakes=Learning

Food — By Crust on November 28, 2009

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I’ve been trying to not be afraid to try, because that is how you learn, but with this comes mistakes. It seems like I don’t learn unless I make mistakes, basically the first time I do anything I fuck it up. But people don’t hate me because I don’t make the same mistakes twice. Apparently I’m not equipped with common sense. I’ve blocked out most of the dumb little things that I’ve done since I started working at Boneta. They’ve turned into things that are just sensory memory now, like I’ll inherently do it right from now on. But there are a few things that leave the chef and sous chef looking at me in disbelief. So here’s one. That’s all you get, but I do about three a day.

Last week just after the rush the sous handed me a fine mesh basket of rinsed capers to deep fry. I was so excited to help that I said, “Sure thing!” and dumped the capers out of the fine mesh into the fryer basket. He came running over and pulled the basket up and all of the little capers fell right though the fryer basket into the deep fryer and were floating around with all the tempura and fry bits. I stood there frozen feeling so stupid. We skimmed them all out on to a tray, but they were riddled with fryer bits. As we both stared down at the tray, he said, “I usually keep them in the fine mesh and dip them in.”
Sigh, “Yeah”, I replied.

This is just one of many, I can’t believe how many mistakes I make. New kitchen, new environment, a lot on my mind. I have so much to learn. I need to learn how to think and focus.

4 Comments

  1. Matt R. says:

    Hahaha, that’s awesome. I hope you are able to laugh at yourself sometimes, because it’s the people who can’t and wear their hearts on their sleeves when this stuff happens who really bring a kitchen down.

    I don’t know any good cooks who don’t learn from their mistakes (and make them, they do!). It’s an admirable and desirable quality.

  2. eric says:

    I can relate to this post.

    When I first worked with a deep fryer the Chef asked me to change the oil.
    I emptied the Fryer….. filled it backup … I had forgot to close the Drain. Fresh oil on the floor 1/2 before service. Let me tell you, I’ve never done it again. Could be worst, I’ve heard horror stories of people using plastic buckets to catch the hot oil! 🙂

  3. Matt R. says:

    or rendering duck fat in the steam kettle with the drain open, or reducing veal stock in the steam kettle with the drain open ….

    both go in as solids, but start to pour onto the floor when the kettle heats up and you’ve moved on to the next task…

    or draining the chicken stock then asking where the bones go and why we keep them, not realizing the part we keep is the stock you’ve just poured down the drain…

    None of these were me, by the way, but things I’ve seen!

  4. benjamin says:

    or….. I hate it when the fryer is dirty, in my eyes it should always be crud free. use the strainer to scoop the shit out of the fryer whenever your done a job, always clean the fryer before a job. Its not hard and its a good habit.

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