10 Things You Didn't Know About Getting Into Professional Cooking
- “You are a blue collar worker, and this is a physical job you will do every day. It’s an honorable career. Have pride, but don’t go in thinking it is easy.” -Maureen Cosgrove, Rogue Restaurant, Southwest Harbor, 33 years experience.
- “Put out a fair, honest plate. Start small. Pay attention. Read.” -Bret Baker, 76 Pleasant Street, Norway, 15 years experience.
- “Understand the mechanics of cooking and also how a restaurant operates. If you haven’t done well, find out why.” -Paul Landry, Fishbones American Grill, Lewiston, 40 years experience.
- “Cooking is not just about making a name for yourself. Be true to yourself. Nix the ego.” -Eloise Humphrey, El Camino, Brunswick and Salt Pine Social, Bath, 35 years experience.
- “The dirty stuff, like peeling potatoes for three hours, comes before the awesome stuff. Be dedicated. Persevere. Then you get to the good stuff.” -Mel Chaiken, The Fiddlehead Restaurant, Bangor, 10 years experience.
- “Cooking is a ribbon that ties communities together. Get involved. Make your restaurant feel like an extension of home. That is what a restaurant should be.” -Melissa Kelly, Primo, Rockland, 30 years experience.
- “A restaurant operates well when things are clean. Embrace washing dishes. Everything you are going to do in life revolves around that.” -Josh Mather, Joshua’s Restaurant and Bar, Wells, 18 years experience.
- “When you are sourcing food, ask the question, where did that come from? Look at ingredients in the supermarket. Go to the fish counter. Get answers.” -Evan Mallett, Black Trumpet, Portsmouth, 28 years experience.
- “Experience a cuisine you are not familiar with. Set goals and hold yourself to them. You are the only person who can do that.” -Courtney Loreg, Woodford Food & Beverage, Portland, 20 years experience.
- “A lot won’t work right off. Start slow. Be willing to sacrifice everything. It takes everything.” -Nick Sandon, Zapoteca Restaurante Y Tequileria, Portland, 23 years experience.