14/03/2017 by Edwin Pangestu 0 Comments
Mental Revolution 3: Hard Feelings
What happened in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen
One of Rahmat’s concerns about the kitchen staffs’ attitude would be on how we handle hard feelings. After all, we are living in Asia, along with the eastern tradition. Actually, it is one of the most common westerners’ complaints about Asian staffs; they tend to take things personally.
Rahmat admitted that back then, he was one of them. “I learned about many things abroad, but one of the most important thing about western people work’s ethic, is that they don’t keep hard feelings. For example, in the meeting, westerners might swear a lot, any swear, harsh, curse words, you name it. But outside the meeting room, we’re clear, no hard feelings.”
“In the beginning, it’s hard for me, I can’t really take their words, I was pissed off and ready for a fight. But the great thing is that they still try to persuade me, even in that condition, they said, ‘come on Rahmat, you still mad at me?’ they even treat me some beer. After we cooled down, the chef told me to surpress my ‘Asian’ temperament a bit in the kitchen. I was amazed, I mean in here, if I scold my staff, he won’t talk to me in three weeks!” he laughed.
As the president of Indonesia Pastry Alliance (IPA), Rahmat is currently active in holding seminars, mostly for the vocational high school students where he can explain these negative mental attitudes early on. Everyone needs mental revolution, but according to the chef, it is easier to do the mental revolution to younger people. “Ability to make good pastry product for a pastry chef is mandatory; it’s like speaking English, nothing special. If you can speak French or Japanese, now we’re talking added value.”
After meeting with Chef Rahmat Kusnedi, it becomes apparent that there’s more than meet the eye about the job of a pastry chef. “Simply put, a pastry chef is a combination of a manager, a shrink, a human resource, and also finance. If you want to be the top chefs, you have to arm yourself with the required skills; this is what I mean when I’m talking mental revolution. You have to master everything within the scope of the job. Some chefs can only criticize without giving any solutions, this has to be changed. Becoming a star is truly a struggle. I mean in basketball, you can’t be a 3 points star if you only able to shoot from the center. You have to master every corner of the field.”