The Laws of the Kitchen


You are now at the point of your life when you are developing your professional reputation. You are doing so at the top tier of restaurants in New York City — make it count. Only your work ethic will speak for you, not past chef’s or friends.

You must love the do this for a living — no question. You must love to stay late or come early if it is necessary to get the job done. You must love to practice only the best. Most perfect techniques in order to produce a product you are proud of. Your end product is a direct reflection of how much love and respect you have for yourself and your work.

All cooks must work in the most efficient manner, with full regard to producing the highest quality product possible.Responsibility of each and every cook to keep any area at which they are working spotless, regardless of its condition previously. Responsibility of all cooks to know everything about their stations. What is it? Why is it here? How long has it been here? Who made it?

Each cook should familiarize himself with every product they are using on a hands on basis. Learn its origins, its classic uses in the French kitchen, and how we use it here at Cafe Boulud.

Each cook should know and record all recipes and techniques that are applicable to their stations. All cooks must think ahead and anticipate. Having your stations set up completely, with back up mise en place close at hand is anticipation. Doing small projects during service lulls is a way to think ahead for your partner. Always think about the next project, doing mise en place for the next day, work to keep your partner set up, start breaking down your station early, etc.

All cooks must watch each others back. If you are done setting up, see who needs a hand. If someone is in the shit do extra chives or shallots for them. Split common jobs between stations. Work for the team so we can have the tightest kitchen in New York.

These rules were posted in the kitchen of Cafe Boulud in New York, during Andrew Carmellini’s tenure as chef de cuisine.  

They are still up today.

Posted on May 21, 2012

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