As long as I’m in the kitchen there has always been a cameraderie between members of a crew then you get out to into the world and you bump into people as you do and strike up a conversation, with them and it enviably leads to food in my experience. Then you go to events and meet more like minded people and discover that there’s another way of doing something or an alternative use for something or a better use of something, both food and equipment. For instance a small tub becomes a speaker for music from your phone aswell as a handy protection from water or liquid that’s are usually around the kitchen that have a habit of spilling, tea/coffee or water being the most common. Communication through social media, looking for pointers, tips, tricks, recipes, ideas and concepts all from other chefs from around the world. From America to Australia from Shanghai to Tralee, chefs from all over the world look for ideas from other chefs on the other side of the planet. Through social media the far reaches of the world are on the other side of a keyboard or a phone or tablet just a click away. (I feel like a travel ad).
I find that the longer I’m in the industry the easier the network becomes, I’ve a spread throughout munster, from the places I’ve worked I love going back to these places and new places where former colleagues now work. The best example of this is a restaurant in Bandon where a former colleague and friend is now the proprietor, of a restaurant serving Irish and Syrian food. The last time i was in west Cork I had to stop by. . Yes this is a gangster blog and my name is not Vinnie. So you can’t say Vinnie sent you. Back to my point I stopped by because I spent a summer in a hot box of a kitchen with this guy who commanded respect and through thick and thin remained calm and I’m forever endeared to him for pushing me through some of the busiest services I’ve ever been a part of. Pushing each member of the crew to do better tighter plates, cleaner cuts, better portioning, better trimming and filleting boning etc. This is just one example, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a few of these type people. When someone is looking to move to another place your friends and colleagues will be the first to know, you could have recommendations from places but it’s a personal connection that will get you a job just as fast.
I worked with Johnny so and so in such and such a place. Often works or a phone call Pat will call into you on…
To me the chef network extends far beyond the kitchen to a life beyond the pass, when chefs leave the kitchen some yearn for the buzz but not the hours and pain it takes to get that buzz once every so often. I was once told you can leave the kitchen bit the kitchen will never leave you.
I suppose this may be true I’m not gonna find out anytime soon, I love what I do, I love where I do it, I look forward to a new shift no matter how tired I may be I still get to do what I do, and I love it