The Path & The Staff
Written by Daryl Dean, Sous Chef.
When we first opened our blogs, we introduced the department heads with their bios, containing information about themselves and what they do here at Golden Ocala. So, you all got a bit of information about me and my passion and love, but not the kitchen or the staff. Then, I got ahead of myself wanting to convey what we all do and didn’t explain who does what and why. However, to truly understand the way the kitchen flows at Golden Ocala, I’d like to explain how each of the kitchen staff is an integral part of what we do for our members each day.
The Kitchen Totem Pole
The totem pole starts with the dishwashers, then goes on to the porter, the prep cooks, the line cooks, the Sous Chef, and finally the Chef (Chef Rick Alabaugh). Every person in the lineup plays an important and integral part. As the Sous Chef, it is my responsibility to make sure they have what they need, they are trained, and they are coached on the correct ways to do their job.
First, we have the dishwashers. When we hire for this position, we try to find someone who has interest in moving up through the ranks and wants to be in the restaurant industry as a career, not just a temporary job. We have 5 dishwasher positions here at Golden Ocala, one for each kitchen shift (day, night) and one that covers just deep cleaning of the equipment and the kitchen itself.
Next, there is the porter. This is the guy who has worked his way out of the dish hall up to the next level. There is only one porter position here at Golden Ocala and this person is responsible for organizing storage areas, checking in supply deliveries, and making sure product gets rotated and into the right area. The porter needs to be extremely hard-working and responsible, so we look for people with these qualities for this position.
From there, we move up one more step on the ladder to the prep cook positions. We have 2 of these individuals who are responsible for preparing large quantities of food on a daily basis. They are responsible for preparing soups, salad dressings, sauces, condiments, and portioned foods, which are then distributed to our 4 different venues by our next echelon of cook, the line cook.
The line cooks are the people who conduct a specific work area or station on the line. The line is the area of the kitchen where food orders are cooked upon request. The line cooks are accountable for setting up his or her station to ensure proper execution of nightly service. These staff members have the most understanding of food out of all the cooks. They also have the willingness to work in a high pressure environment to expedite service orders out of the kitchen for hours at a time. We have 6 line cook positions here at Golden Ocala and each one of them have years of dedication to their passion, which is the main attribute we look for in hiring a line cook. After all the cleaning, the organizing, and the preparation, they still have the energy to serve their passion to table after table.
Giving Our All Every Day
Each one of my staff members gives their all every day just to “put food on a plate” (as some would say). Though it’s much more than that. It’s really an art that is full of pride, dedication, and many hours of preparation that gets consumed in minutes. Why do they come in for 10 hours a day after just working a 12 hour day, only to look forward to another 13 hour day? The only reason I can come up with is the passion and love for food.
A person might get as lucky as I did getting the position that leads a team as good as the one that works in the kitchen here at Golden Ocala!