As a professional chef, what are some dead giveaways that a person is a complete amateur?

A few different ways

  1. The way they prep, if they are neat, everything to hand and clean up after each job then they have experience, amateurs are messy.
  2. Heat control, amateurs seem to think everything has to be cooked on a high heat as fast as possible, professionals know some things need to be started on a high heat then turned down and sometimes up again at certain points.
  3. Eggs!!! One of the first things when you do a trial your asked to do is make chef a classic french omelette, if you serve anything to the chef that isn’t still slightly runny in the middle or baveuse to us pro’s and little to know colour then you don’t know what your doing.
  4. Time management. When doing your mise en place list a chef will prioritise things that will take the longest and have them going while simultaneously doing other smaller jobs. Amateurs can’t multi task well.
  5. How they hold a knife is a simple one.
  6. How they respond to being roasted by the chef. If they get all pissy and defensive they are an amateur, if they respond with yes chef, won’t happen again chef, then they are a pro, we learn that even if you think your right what chef says is law.
  7. Lastly the hours!! If someone is moaning about doing 8 hours straight they aren’t a professional, in my last job at a 2 rosette hotel did regular 10 hour straights before getting a small break then back in for 6 hours, and a few 14–15 hour straight days around Xmas and I bloody loved it because I’m a professional chef
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