Chloë Chandless is a frustrated but resigned pastry chef. Last year the Canadian-based frosting wielder posted on her defunct personal blog, Wake Up and Smell the Cake, a list of things you're never told before becoming a chef. For reasons only known to the Internet, her list didn't get traction until it was posted to Scribd and shared on Facebook. Now almost 30,000 people have checked it out.
Chandless' list takes a hard (and sometimes almost too honest) look at the reality of working in a kitchen on a daily basis. I'm quite certain her points are not openly shared at CIA recruiting events. Here are some of my favorites ...
11. You won't become famous
16. You'll live in a constant state of sleep deprivation, indefinitely.
20. Your awareness of other people's lack of efficiency and common sense will increase and your tolerance of it will decrease.
25. You will not cook gourmet dinners at home. You'll be too tired, and too fed up of cooking.
37. It will become very difficult to watch friends cook.
39. You will be expected to cook for family gatherings such as Christmas EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Luckily, at least one year out of two, you will be working on Christmas.
42. The better the restaurant is, the longer the work hours become.
44. If you are a woman, you will constantly be the subject of misogynist remarks and jokes, sexual harassment, belittlement and remarks about your menstrual cycle.
47. You will develop a creepy obsession with knives.
48. If you are a pastry chef, you will develop a creepy obsession with spoons.
Check out the rest of the list if you want to get the more colorful ones -- including what I think may be a previously undocumented account of "chef's rash." (It's not pretty.) But fear not, prospective chefs, cooks and prep-slaves. It's not all doom and gloom...
50. If you are the right type of person, you will thank your lucky star every single day for the rest of your life for making you take the best decision you ever did and become a chef. And you will fall in love with your job and never look back.
...until you cut off the tip of your finger again.