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Stress

Unfortunately, this gig comes with stress aplenty. A restaurant kitchen can be an absolute madhouse. Thirty seconds after the couple at table fourteen has given their order, they're already getting hungry and craning their necks to see when their meals will be coming out. 

The chef must immediately delegate—is this a dish she'll be preparing herself, or does she already have her hands full? If she takes it herself, she has to get it cooking immediately. Not all ingredients are at her fingertips, so she's racing across the kitchen floor, fetching each thing she needs, and then racing back so she can get that order in the oven or on the stove. And she's making maybe a dozen meals at once.

If, in the hubbub, a pot takes a spill and some grub is lost, or one pan gets forgotten and a chicken is overcooked by a minute and a half, she'll have to start over again and double her speed to make up for lost time. At that point, she's also just cost the restaurant money. 

Same goes for each glass and plate that bites it. All the while, she's either yelling at people from across a crowded room or hearing them yell at her. It's like being in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner every night.

People running every which way; plates crashing to the ground; irate or picky customers sending food back, demanding that their meal be delivered to their table within seconds or they're leaving; ingredients or cooking equipment that's been misplaced; lobsters that just don't want to die...if you can't handle pretty intense situations, you should probably look elsewhere. 

A chef doesn't just use a pressure-cooker—she's in one.

Perhaps ironically, one of the most stressful times in a chef's life is when that's not happening, when things are absolutely dead and there's no running around whatsoever. A chef needs her restaurant to do well if she expects to keep her job, because if the place ain't hoppin', the ax starts choppin'...

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