LEARN TO MANAGE THE PRESSURE
I grew in a family of chefs, raised in an atmosphere of aromas and recipes. Having a strong background of professional chefs, I entered the industry, as an apprentice to some of the best Chefs in the industry. It has been a rough journey. Speaking as a Chef, the kitchen is not a glamorous place to be in! It’s very different from the ones you see on TV shows. You have to be ready to face challenges (physical & Mental) all the while. One fundamental idea that was drilled into me, during my younger days, was never say NO. That is a basic principle I have followed in my long career. Also, in the course of induction of kitchen trainees, I try to inculcate these positive habits, for them to face future challenges. Long hours, working on National holidays, sacrificing social obligations are some factors, one must accept before joining the Industry. Of course, there are different ways you can adapt for work and life balance.
I had the opportunity to work in a major labor strike period, which was a very critical period for the company. Suddenly, there was flash strike, and the company was left with skeleton staff. That was the turning point of my life. Just a fresher, a few months in the kitchen, not knowing to hold a knife properly, became a professional in 2 months! That was the pressure (I would rather call it a challenge) that shaped my future. I like, many others, who decide on a vocation, without knowing about the end, were given a chance to decide my future career.
So, I always advise youngsters, when they enter, to withstand the initial pressures, and take the same as a challenge to achieve their goals. It’s a rewarding and can be a satisfying experience, depending how one takes it.