"Stay a line cook and train for as long as you can.", is a statement that a great chef said to me along my path as a professional cook working to become a chef.
This is something that I didn't really understand back then when I was working the line, but today I understand it more than ever. Being on the line is serving time in the trenches, in the heat of battle carrying out orders in an effort to win or achieve a common goal. Being on the line and working as a valued member of the team is a great feeling. There is nothing better than getting through a bone crushing busy night on the line, with the barrage of orders, verbal corrections, vulgarity, stress and pressure of professional cooking. Knowing that you pulled your own weight and handled your station well is a very rewarding experience that NOBODY can give to you, it is an experience that is earned through blood, sweat, tears and psychological strength and conditioning.
Today the line cooks in our kitchen are working diligently and learning in the process. It is ironic that in my culinary travels in the world, I shared the culinary traditions of Native America, my home in Apacheria and Dinetah, now that I have returned home to work as the chef, I share the culinary traditions of the world with my crew. So we are in fact honoring the great culinary traditions of Eurasia as well as the age old culinary traditions of Native Peoples in America. It is this combination of culture and cuisine that makes what we do so exciting and rewarding.