Wining & Dining
A Day in the Life of Chef Andrew Green
2/1/2020 1:00:00 PM

Chef Andrew Green

The life of a chef isn’t all pristine white coats and foodie glamour. It’s sweat and stress and passion. It’s long hours and impossible demands, but it’s all worth it if you’re the kind of person who can put it all together.

Andrew Green, proprietor and chef of 1910 on Ryan Street in Lake Charles is one such individual. Through hard work and determination, he has established 1910 as one of the Lake Area’s premier dining establishments.

From Sunday brunches to seasonal cocktails and their famous gumbo croquettes, 1910 keeps Green hopping. Some weeks he works eighty hours, other weeks only fifty or so. But forget what you’ve seen on TV. The day of a working chef is a little more involved than cooking up a quick dish between commercial breaks.

Green’s Mondays start with the weekly deep clean and organizing of everything in the restaurant to prepare for the week ahead. Tuesdays, he digs through the bar and meets with representatives from the liquor industry to determine the month’s unique cocktails. Wednesdays are for receiving new stock and rotating out the old stuff so everything’s always fresh. And Green does mean everything.

Nothing in the restaurant is pre-packaged or otherwise prepared or processed in any way before it arrives. Everything is made fresh, from scratch, in-house, including every sauce to each salad dressing and everything in between. This takes time, serious effort, and a dedicated staff.

For example, while their gumbo croquettes might be locally famous, they eventually became so popular they had to remove them from the menu due to the elaborate prep requirements. The roux is made from scratch, then combined with methodically prepared rice and vegetables that have been cooked down for the better part of an hour, along with sausage and chicken both cooked fresh in house. Then, the whole thing rests in the refrigerator for four to eight hours before croquettes can finally be formed and cooked with house-made stock and homemade breadcrumbs. Keeping them on the menu could occupy one cook’s entire day, every day.

The good news is that while they’re not technically on the menu, 1910 does still serve them. You’ll just have to catch them on an unannounced day before they sell out. Good luck with that!

According to Green, "A chef is only a chef if they’re in charge of a kitchen and their pretty white coat is stained from work.”

While the job is still fun and one definitely needs to have a passion for food, Green says you can forget the romanticized version of chefs depicted in movies and on television. A working chef is an exhausted chef.

For the aspiring chef, Green emphasizes the importance of the three factors he judges his staff on: Awareness, Reliability, and Work Ethic.

Be where you need to be on time and ready to work, then give it your all while you’re there. Dependability and drive are more important than anything else. If you want to be a chef, he says, you’ll need to start at the bottom, pay your dues, and work your way to the top. Once you get there, you’ll find more, even harder work waiting for you. And you’ll love every minute of it.



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