Fire, a term used to get ready to starting an order that the waiter just placed in. The guest have probably been waiting for at least ten minutes from the time that they first sat down at their table, and are now waiting for that meal that the kitchen staff will prepare.
The front line in the kitchen is where most of the food is fired. It is divided and usually consists of a saute section, a broiler, a grill, a deep fryer, a salamander, cold reach-ins or drawers, and hot water wells. One that works on this line, which may consist of 2 to 3 even 4, depending on the size of the restaurant or the menu, are called line cooks. Sometimes the chef likes to get in on the action.
As a line cook you need to be prepared, you need to know the menu, all the different recipes, have all your tools on hand, have all your ingredients in the menu on the line, and of course you need the skills of cooking.
Being mentally prepared, by far, is one of the most important ingredient a line cook should have. One must be able to concentrate on the task at hand over all the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. the chef would be calling out orders, waitstaff are asking all kinds of questions, you maybe working on maybe three or more things at once, and timing is crucial, everyone on the line must be in sync. With all these distractions one must keep his composure. Getting stressed, or angry doesn’t help but it does happen. Waitstaff asking you how much longer, chef telling you to fire one more thing from another order, your saute cook is a little behind, it’s been almost an hour since this chaotic mess started and your wondering when will it end. Temperatures rise on the front line and I don’t mean the burners.
After all is said and done, there are no complaints, no one waiting long for their meal, guests are happy, a few compliments, waitstaff got their tips, line cooks getting ready to clean the line, and making a list of the prep that needs to be done when they return the next day. Everyone gets a pat on the back, job well done. That is the reward and one of the goals of the front line cook.
Guest satisfaction is the priority of the front line cook. The quality of the meal is your number one concern along with presentation. All the ingredients must be fresh, every cook must be on the same page as far as the recipes go, there needs to be consistency making sure that what you cooked today, will taste the same tomorrow or next week. This is what brings in repeat customers, this is what a restaurant focuses on and depends on. The line cook along side the rest of the kitchen staff strive to do this daily. As a line cook you need to take pride in your job, because if you do, that pride will certainly reflect on the meals you prepare.