The kitchen is a highly stressed, intense and HOT environment....at least for me. I think a lot of people think culinary school is a cake walk (no pun intended) and I spend my days leisurely cooking a la Food Network. I'm actually going miles a minute, trying to stay on track, watching the chef demos, reading my recipe cards and mentally planning out what to do next and how....oh and I'm basically sweating for 6 hours. Not a pretty sight. I've been able to handle the fast pace and pressure so far, but today I worked without a partner on a labor intensive recipe and my normally cool, calm exterior cracked a bit. Maybe I was tired...or just not prepared enough...or having hormonal changes because it's that time of month...whatever it was or was not, I had a meltdown.
I'm not proud of this at all. In fact, I've never felt so unprofessional in my entire life...not even during my 2 years of working in finance. I hate all that this incident implies...that I can't handle pressure, that I'm reacting like a stereotypical woman when things go wrong, that I'm a girl! The restaurant industry is still predominantly male, contrary to normal belief that it's mostly women in the kitchen. Similar to finance, it's still very male and a place that I feel I have to prove that I am not female, but just as tough as one of the boys. I know I am being hard on myself, and it's okay to have a bad day, but it doesn't make today any less embarrassing and draining. I'm vowing to not let myself get into another situation where I am that stressed. I lived. I learned. And I'm moving on.