The email newsletters sent out by The Park Restaurant in Echo Park are often devoted to more than just new menu items, with many of the weekly messages penned by owner and chef Josh Siegel offering lengthy and detailed insights into the challenges of running a small restaurant. In this week’s newsletter Siegel, who signs his emails as “Chef Josh,” describes the difficult task of replacing a line chef. He has so far hired two chefs, each of whom failed to show up for work after one day on the job. One of the short-term cooks texted Siegel 30-minutes before his second shift was to begin, saying he had been admitted to the hospital. He was never heard from again, and Siegel assumes the man was lying. Why all the turnover? Siegel said many newly trained cooks and chefs are not up to the challenge of restaurant work:
We are restaurant people, living the restaurant lifestyle where work is the currency of respect … Unfortunately, the new generation of cooks has been trained differently. I think looking tough by sporting tatoos has replaced being toughened by hard work.
The opening of many new restaurants has also made it easier for cooks to job hop more easily, Siegel said. “Jobs are getting easier to find and cooks are probably courting multiple opportunities simultaneously.”