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What makes a line cook? The scars, the experience, the way in which they tackle issue after issue, in the right order?
With this in mind, chef and writer Paul Sorgule has compiled a list of some of the key things he think show a person is a true line cook.
Many of them are what you might expect but some of them are bang on and many of them are really funny, like your new found love of cornstarch.
Check out the full list below and be sure to visit Paul Sorgule’s website for more great content.
The Line Cook List
The doctors and nurses in your local emergency room know you by first name.
You prefer to eat most of your meals – standing up and in less than five minutes.
Your houndstooth pants stand up on their own when the shift is done.
You accentuate most of your conversations with people outside of the restaurant with a series of four letter expletives.
When you go home after a shift your significant other insists that you leave your work shoes outside.
You refer to your home refrigerator as a reach-in.
Band-Aids, burn ointment, BenGay, Ibuprofen, and Johnson’s Foot Soap are essential staples in your home.
You insist that dishes are placed in a certain order in your home dishwasher and silverware is pre-soaked.
You tend to shout out “behind” whenever you approach somebody on the street, in stores, or in your own home.
You are obsessive about checking expiration dates on foods in the grocery store – even when you are not buying them.
Whenever you do cook at home you tend to cook for at least ten people even when only two are eating.
Your family is concerned if you have more than one day off in a week.
Coffee is your best friend – always.
You spend more on kitchen knives and specialty tools than on a car payment.
You have a strange attachment to cornstarch.
Most of your friends (fellow cooks) don’t drive because the judge won’t let them.
You know that your tattoos are not a statement of independence, but rather a way to cover up the permanent burn marks and scars from stitches.
Five months of the year you never see a sunrise or a sunset.
The bartender at the local after hours joint knows more about you than your family does.
You don’t even bother opening up a savings account.
Pretty much everyone that you know thinks that you have a few screws loose for working in restaurants.
Friends stop asking you to join them for anything since you are always working.
One of your favorite pastimes is sleeping on your day off.
If you went to culinary school you understand that you will probably never pay off those school loans, have great credit, or save any substantial money for retirement.
As little money as you might have, you would not think twice about lending some to a restaurant friend in need.
If you have to skimp on something it certainly won’t be good beer, wine, or those occasional experiences as a restaurant guest.
You don’t care anything about your coworker’s race, ethnicity, religion, core beliefs, age, gender, or sexual preference as long as their station mise en place is tight and they work well with everyone else.
You are totally anal about the organization of your workspace on the job or at home and have no tolerance for anyone who upsets your system.
You are always tired, but it never shows at work. At work your pedal is always to the metal.
You constantly wonder how in the hell you wound up where you are.
All this being said, you couldn’t imagine doing anything else.