November 14, 2017
No Such Thing As Not My Job
By Christina Castle, Pastry Sous Chef at Hummingbird Bar and Kitchen
A pastry career is often underestimated; it is not Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. This is a hard, unglamorous and rigorous career that strains personal relationships and your sanity. But I love it, and choosing to attend L’Academie de Cuisine in 2013 was the best decision of my life.
I began my apprenticeship with the Eat Good Food Group at Restaurant Eve in 2014 and stayed an additional year as a pastry assistant because the people were great to work with. Everything was small at Restaurant Eve – the kitchen, the utility crew and the chefs. Due to the size limitations and high cover counts it was important for everyone to pitch in. During my first week on the job pastry Chef Josh gave me one rule: “there’s no such thing as not my job.” I would do loads of dishes, run the apron laundry and mop floors.
Transitioning into my role as head baker at Wydown Coffee Bar and Bakery, I lived by Chef Josh’s rule and embodied the work ethic. If the trash needed to be taken out, I took it out. If a customer spilled their coffee, I grabbed a mop. As head baker it was important for me to lead by example.
I returned to work with the Eat Good Food Group with a different restaurant Hummingbird Bar and Kitchen. The location, kitchen and staff were different but the rule stayed the same. Since opening nine months ago, Hummingbird is running smoothly and I credit teamwork for our success and customer satisfaction. Witnessing the willingness of every staff member regardless of title to do anything is amazing.
Hard work is key to earning a Chef’s respect. When first embarking on a pastry career journey, remember to put in the hard work, do more than what is asked of you, and always be willing to lend a helping hand.