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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Food For Thought - Cooking For A Living

Authentic Vietnamese Cooking : Food from a Family TableThe reason I enjoy Vietnamese food, of course, is the taste and texture, especially the rich flavour of the soup broth. I blog about it enough. But I also enjoyed working in a Vietnamese restaurant as both the dishwasher (by hand) and the appetizers line cook. The pay was poor, but at the end of the day - literally - all of the staff would sit down like an extended family and enjoy a meal together, with good-natured teasing and getting to know each other better. I assume that this had much to do with the Vietnamese lady that owned the place. She was hard-working and very kind. She'd get loud when things got busy and she got excited, but we knew she was never angry. She was certainly open-minded. The main cook was Chinese. She and her husband was Vietnamese. I'm East Indian. Most of the clients were white Canadians. A true cultural smorgasbord. Her husband worked hard, too. He'd work all week in another city at his day job, and on the weekend he'd drive down and help out.

Contrast this with nearly all the other restaurants I worked in. I've never heard so much screaming and yelling in my life. Lot's of preciousness and self-importance, general selfishness and rudeness. While I met lots of great people, there was always a divided between floor staff and kitchen staff. If there was an age difference, I'd be lucky to get a hello with some staff. In some restaurants, floor wouldn't even talk to me because they were too damn precious princesses and I was just a cook. Sure, they earned an awful lot of money (50-80K/yr) working the floor, but what would they have to serve if we weren't cooking our great food? They weren't the ones working for $7-16/hr (line cook rates), getting cut, tripping, slipping, and regularly burned with hot food and oil. Something to think about, if you're a server. Remember to tip your kitchen staff :D

(c) Copyright 2005-present, Raj Kumar Dash,

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About me

  • I'm blogslinger
  • From Canada
  • Writer, author, former magazine editor and publisher, amateur photog, amateur composer, online writer/ blogger, online publisher, freelancer

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