Words of Wisdom from a "Prep Monster"
Randall is a positive guy. He sums up his philosophy with three words: cool, calm and collected.
“I believe in a positive attitude,” Randall said. “Getting mad will never change anything. Practice your three c’s all the time.”
Randall has had a lot of practice.
Things haven’t always gone the way that he planned and his road has had a few bumps. But he never forgot the lessons he learned from FareStart as he went through the Adult Culinary Program and graduated with perfect attendance in 2010.
“I think about the lessons from FareStart all the time,” he said. “The knife skills, the learning to stay calm and the two best words you can say in a kitchen, ‘yes chef.’”
His voice sped up as he started describing the work he has done since graduation. He got a position at a restaurant in Virginia, after moving East from Seattle, and he worked his way up to the position of sous chef.
“A sous chef is the second in command,” Randall said. “I did it all, profit and loss, placing the orders with Cisco, scheduling and lots of cooking. I loved it.”
After 18 months Randall moved on, leaving the food industry for a while, but after a time the kitchen started calling him back.
He worked with a professional staffing agency and used the resume he had put together during his time at FareStart. He got a temporary position at a restaurant that turned into a permanent one as they saw his work ethic, leadership skills and dedication to doing whatever it takes to make the kitchen work.
“I’m a tournant now,” Randall said. “I call myself the prep monster. I’m the guy that comes into the restaurant at 8:45 Saturday mornings and by nine o’clock I got four pork butts in the oven, with Hawaiian pink salt and come out so tender you can’t even pick them up with tongs.”
Randall started speeding up again.
“I basically do whatever is necessary to ease the pressure off the chefs,” he said. “Everything is ‘yes chef, right away chef.’ All those cuts and skills I learned directly from FareStart. They teach you to be 100% accurate. I knew nothing about knife skills before I went. Going through the program was pretty awesome. I looked up to all my teachers and I loved it. I got my certificates right up on my wall at my house; they’re framed. I never missed a single day. I had perfect attendance.”
Randall wants anyone coming into the program to know one thing.
“Go for it all the way,” he said. “You are going to learn things you will never forget.”
Eight years after graduation, Randall is proving his point.