Staging (pronounced- sta- j- ing)
You show up at 10. Legs shaking, knife bag in hand. Nerves shot, you’re thinking maybe two coffees instead of four tomorrow. The dampness on your legs pales to the beads of sweat rolling off your forehead. Whatever, no biggie. Stepping inside, you know it’s on.
A stagiaire is an intern, a chef who works temporarily to gain experience and insight. “Staging,” or interning, is a way of life for every cook interested in broadening his skill, talent, and knowledge about the craft of food. His contributions are immeasurable; his passion relentless. Motivation, creativity, and excitement about food is part of being a cook.
Without those qualifications, the long hours, fast pace, and the difficult lifestyle, which all good kitchen environments have, can chew the bone of even the most hard-core cook. But, it’s about keeping things fresh. So good cooks spend their vacations travelling, eating, and working in other restaurants and cities.
The kitchen is a symbiotic, cerebral environment. Fast-paced and sometimes angry, you’re always pushing for service. Stagiaires bring different experiences and ideas. Interns often are hard working, passionate chefs eager to see, learn, and taste. As chefs, it is important to stay current and engaged. And, of course, always appreciate the extra hand.