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Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Touch it. Experience it. Own it.

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Rocky Rocha

How many years have you been a chef? 15 What or who inspired you to be a chef? Since I was 3, I was running around professional kitchens with my father helping out by peeling asparagus, making kabobs, peeling potatoes, etc… I just enjoyed so much that I knew I wanted to do it when I got older. What do you like most about being a chef? Pressure! It’s almost like being in the middle of the biggest game in sports (just with out millions of people watching you) coming together with your staff as a team to pull off dinner service. What do you like least? Probably the money because you have people demanding a lot out of you but chefs aren’t really paid as well as they should be. What is your favorite thing to cook? Anything that involves fish. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career as a chef? Work under the direction of talented, professional chefs. Always give 100 percent effort and attention. Make sure you pay attention, ask questions and most important BE INVOLVED.

 


 

Mark Kantaras

How many years have you been a chef? 11 years What or who inspired you to be a chef? The type of work inspired me to be a chef. It is generally fun and everyday is an adventure!!! I am a results oriented person, so it is a really good feeling when you leave work with a perfect successful day. What do you like most about being a chef? I love constantly having something going on. I can't imagine having an office job and sitting at a desk all day. What do you like least? The hours. You are on the clock even when its your day off. What is your favorite thing to cook? Asian Foods What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career as a chef? Start in the business itself and gain experience. Don't just wake up one day and want to become a chef and go to school and expect to succeed when you get out of school. I see alot of times people get out of Culinary school and don't succeed without the hands on experience.

 


 

Cedric Fichepain

How many years have you been a chef? 12 years What or who inspired you to become a chef? Grandmothers and mother cooking. I was the chef/ party organizer at every dinner event with my friends in my teenage years and after. What do you like most about being a chef? Organization skills, leadership, innovation. What do you like the least? No weekend with my kids and friends. What is your favorite thing to cook? Fish. There are so many different species and so many ways to cook them. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career as a chef? Be ready for long and hot hours for a ridiculous pay. You must have it in you or you will not succeed.

 

 


 

Victor Cabriales

How many years have you been a chef? An Executive Chef for approximately 3 years. What or who inspired you to be a chef? Growing up watching my Grandfather (Ramon Cabriales) and my father (Victor Sr.) who were chefs.What do you like most about being a chef? Creating dishes, seeing people eat and enjoy the meals I prepare. And now teaching and sharing ideas with the young future chefs that work for me. What do you like least? Sometimes the hours. What is your favorite thing to cook? Well as a Chef, I love using Fresh Seafood, especially Tuna, yet the Texas origin I love using Beef Tenderloin. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career as a chef? Honestly turn off the Food Network, Listen to your Chef, believe me they know best. Stick with it, and your time will come.

 


 

Bobby Mekiney

How many years have you been a chef? I have been in kitchens for 13 years. What or who inspired you to become a chef? The never ending education that food and the restaurant business provides as well as being able to help educate other people with the things I learn along the way is what has always inspired me to be a chef. There are so many variables that come together to complete a great dining experience. I like the chaos! What do you like most about being a chef? The thing I like the most about being a chef is that my work day is never the same. What do you like the least? The thing I least like about being a chef is the hours. What is your favorite thing to cook? It’s hard to narrow down what specifically I like to cook the most but I would have to say vegetables in general are my favorite products to work with because of how much influence you have in the cooking process to change their flavor profiles. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career as a chef? The advice I would give to anyone wanting to pursue a career as a chef is it is important to get some experience under one’s belt (at least two years before going to school) and it is equally important to get a formal education. The balance of the two is most important. Both can take one pretty far separately but if one has both it provides more options in the future.

 


 

Kelly Schwarz

How many years have you been a chef? I have been in the restaurant business for 20 years since I was 14 years old.What or who inspired you to become a chef? I was inspired by the cooks and chef at my first restaurant job while I was bussing tables. What do you like most about being a chef? My favorite thing about being a chef is playing with all the ingredients and the creative freedom. I also enjoy the thanks and smiles I get from people after having a great meal.What do you like the least? There’s nothing I dislike about being a chef. It’s hard though sometimes when people try to come in and get free food after finishing their dinner. What is your favorite thing to cook? My favorite thing think to cook is fall ingredients and game meats. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career as a chef? The advice I would give to anyone coming into the restaurant business is to observe everything around you as soon as you walk in to the job.

 


 

Enzo Zurlo

How many years have you been a chef? Cooking for 20 years. What or who inspired you to become a chef? I love food & am passionate about it. What do you like most about being a chef? I love feeding & catering to people & watching them eat my food, guess it’s the hospitality I’ve learned growing up in an Italian family. What is your favorite thing to cook? I don't have a favorite or least favorite food to cook. I love cooking all of it. I do however love to cook for guests with special orders due to allergies because I feel like it keeps me sharp & on my toes!! What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career as a chef? My advice would be keep an open mind and stay focused, also make sure you have a strong foundation with your family & friends because you will be putting in a lot of hours in the restaurant!!

 


 

Mark Black

How many years have you been a chef? 15 Years What or who inspired you to be a chef? The many chefs I had the fortune of working under and the opportunities they presented to me. What do you like most about being a chef? The guest’s immediate reaction to an outstanding meal. In addition, the camaraderie and teamwork needed to successfully execute a dining service. What do you like least? Long hours, weekends, Holidays, time away from family. What is your favorite thing to cook? Seafood accompanied by seasonal ingredients. What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career as a chef? Seek out a formal culinary education but remember that education is only the “foundation of learning” for many years to come. How you apply yourself and your drive to improve and succeed will determine your success.

 

 

 

 

 

-end- metroMAGAZINE

 

 

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