The Team...

We hear it all too often...the team this and the team that. But does everyone place the same importance and truthful meaning in every ounce of the word? Perhaps. For me, it is every bit of the truth. The team that I play on at the club is a great one, barring none! They have my back and I theirs. They are great people.

It is only with the frame of teamwork that we have embedded in our brigade that allows us to accomplish what we do.

Do we have problems and issues? Sure. Do we have some of the similar frustrations that some of the other finest establishments encounter...absolutely. Do we sometimes miss that proverbial mark of perfection only because of our weakest link...I would be lying if I said no. Our team simply plays on a field that is really just a slightly different shade of green, and there is always another side of the fence with some of the same.

All in all however, it is a great place to be and it inspires me daily to come in and cook together, or help to run the operation as a whole and in sync collective driving force, all passionate about food and driven towards a common goal.

There are good times. There are tiresome times. There are times of focus and sincerity and times of contemplation of what could be.

Players on the team move on, and join other teams, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Our sous chefs and chef de parties are totally some of the key players, who for most, have been with me for some time and know what my focus and drive is and what I am trying to achieve in our quest for great cooking.

They enable me to get there. There are players who have stayed a long and great while, while others have joined only to move along or get dropped off.
There is no harm in it or ill feelings toward them, it simply was not the right fit. Whether we are cooking on the line, or working on projects together, trying hard to find that next fix of a dish or concept or scrubbing down the kitchen, there always is the ever-present happiness between the brigade. They work well together.

It is an honor and extremely satisfying to experience as a chef.

I have worked in many kitchens that have a plethora of hostility and anger towards each other. Places that purposely aggravate each other or another shift, or where the cooks find humor in burning the waitstaff with morbidly hot plates. Places that can not seem to get along to save their souls. An environment that breeds vulgarity and uses tactics that intimidate others into doing what they are supposed to, rather than inspiring them, developing their passion and mentoring them.

A kitchen where sometimes at first glance, good food and cooking seem to be the farthest thing from their minds. How can one truly cook great food and focus on ingredients and be passionate about cooking if this is present? I have not a damn clue. When I was younger I fell into it, just like any other young cuisinier, and at times felt like this was the norm.

As I grew older and wiser(well a little bit anyway) I knew but of one thing...that when the time was right, when I was charged with the runnings of a kitchen, I would do it differently. It is unnecessary. It only gets in the way of things that are good.
Sure, there are times when one has to be stern and even borderline abrasive and definitely assertive, but only to make sure the point is made and that the message gets across. Looking at our team and how we work together, is a testament to that philosophy, and one that I will stand by for the rest of my days. This post is really about the team, about them, both past and present and the great things that they do for me and the club. They are truly wonderful. Keep cooking team!


Anonymous Theresa said...

How true this. One of the things that I truly learned from you is: "Not only did you say do as I say, but do as I do!" The three things that stand out in my mind in my career at the club are:
1) Early one when I first started , I had screwed up making a sauce(the BPS)and I thought that you were going to yell at me. You very quietly told me if I made a mistake, it was because you hadn't showed me how to do it properly.
2) The entire 2yrs that I worked breakfast, you had such trust in me to run and take care of the shift, that you only ever called me during a shift once. That day was 9/11 and had nothing to do with breakfast.
3)Since you are never one to use profanity or vulgarity or raise your voice. As purchaser I had screwed up. In seven plus years of employment under you, this is the worst thing that you had ever said to me. It really made me want to cry. In a very quiet voice you looked me in the eye and said" I'm so disappointed in you" That was truly heartbreaking for me. If you had yelled at me, I probably would have forgotten this incident.
I learned alot about people skills under you. Both from discussions with you ,but mostly from watching you.

6:32:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

It is amazing how deep you actually travel and how far you reach someone. It seems that one only knows after somthing like this. Thank you for sharing.

9:33:00 PM  
Anonymous chess2@kent.edu said...

You have an amazing business philosopy... how can i join your team?

11:04:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

hello chess...thank you for your comment. All I can say is we try hard to be proactive and act responsibly. We try even harder to be the best we can. We are constantly looking for good people to join our team. The best thing is to send a resume and letter to bill@therainierclub.com.

9:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cakespy said...

I love this blog! I really like your whole philosophy--it brings richness into what you do. Plus the food looks amazing!

10:05:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

cakespy...thank you for your comment! I appreciate it greatly. The philosophy I have gathered in my mind along throughout my travels are based upon the many great people I have had the wonderful and fortunate opportunity to work with in my past. I love food. I love working with great people. And, I thoroughly am passionate about my craft. I look froward to hearing more from you in the future. Many thanks.

10:43:00 PM  

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