Kitchen realities: Mike Poston of Katalina's Cafe Corner

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

How long have you been working at Katalina's?

Only a few weeks. Before that I was working at Raisin Rack Natural Food Market in Westerville. I've been cooking for about 13 years now.

What sorts of challenges do chefs face when they start at a new restaurant?

You have to prove yourself to the people that have been there a while. It's one thing to have the credentials, but then you have to prove yourself.

Do you watch any of the cooking-related shows on TV?

I'm a pretty big fan of "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares." With "Kitchen Nightmares," I think there's a lot of good info on that. It's not just based on cooking; it's a lot to do with running a restaurant. I would like to someday open my own restaurant, so the information is pretty valuable. Gordon Ramsay preaches the business aspect of it.

On "Hell's Kitchen," the chefs sometimes get hurt. How common are injuries in the kitchen?

It's pretty common to get hurt. Expect to get burned every once in a while. I've been injured a few times because of other people. I had to get seven stitches once because someone hit me with a knife. I had someone close my arm in an oven. Most people who have been in the industry for a while have scars on their arms. That's just part of the job.

What is the least glamorous aspect of being a chef?

When most people have a day off for a holiday, I'm stuck working. I didn't get to hang out with my family for Easter. I've had to sacrifice a lot of days like that, and that's standard.

I know you're the drummer for the local band Old Worlds. Is it hard to balance work with other interests?

It's hard to balance. It's pretty rare to work Monday through Friday, and with a lot of those jobs there isn't a lot of room for creativity. Outside of those jobs, it's a lot of weekends and evenings. Being in a band, you want to play weekend evenings. That was one of the big draws for me to [work at Katalina's] was that I know every evening I'm available.

Mike Poston

Age: 28

Title: Kitchen Manager, Katalina's Cafe Corner

Hometown: Columbus

Neighborhood: Merion Village