Before I was a marketer, I was a line cook. On my first day in a professional kitchen, I got the assignment of peeling and dicing a 10-pound bag of carrots, a 2-hour task that I needed to finish in the 1.5 hours before dinner service started. About 15 minutes in, the chef said to me, "Talia, I need you to come help me strain this stock."
I was confused. What about the carrots? Would I have enough time to finish them? Maybe he meant after I was done? "But, chef..." I started to explain myself.
"Nope," he cut me off. "Whenever I ask you for anything or say anything to you, the correct response is just 'yes, chef.'"
If you've ever been in a restaurant kitchen, you'll hear this phrase (or "Oui, chef!") on repeat every 10 seconds. Because when the chef speaks, there is only one acceptable response. Does this mean you need to drop whatever you're doing and immediately do the chef's bidding? What the phrase really means is "say yes now, and figure it out later" or "make it work."
Kitchen work is hard, back-breaking, fast-paced, and rewarding enough to keep you coming back for more, no matter how hard you got your butt kicked.
Moreover, the pithy sayings from my three years as a line cook now help me to be a better marketer. Here's a look at four.
1. "Would you eat it?"
On the line, there were times when a sauce or dish didn't come out perfectly, and I wondered whether it should be served. If I asked any chef what he or she thought, the answer was always the same: "Would you eat it?"
Take the first step (it's free).
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