One of the things I enjoy so much about where I’m working these days is the fair amount of freedom I get to produce what I want instead of being held to a list of prescribed recipes and procedures. Once a chef has spent a certain amount of time in self-employment, it is extremely difficult to go into someone else’s kitchen and do their thing their way – just as it would be for anyone in any industry to similarly adapt.
During the Great Job Searches of that dismal year 2012, I purposely avoided applying for employment in any kitchen run by, say, John Besh, Emeril Lagasse or any of the Brennans (among others). There were several reasons, but the chief among them was respect. These folks have excellent reputations and proven track records, and it would be an insult for me to try to “improve” on what they do. Given my junior status in the food industry and my lack of a culinary degree, it would be doubly stupid of me to think I could make their operations better by saying anything more than “yessir” when given a task.