What working at a 1-star Michelin restaurant is really like, according to one chef

A pastry chef named Ksenia (@ksuunya_) enjoys taking viewers behind the scenes of her craft and showing off some of her newest (and yummiest) creations on TikTok. Sometimes, that means making strangers drool over her ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies or perfectly decorated strawberry cheesecakes. Often, this earns her comments like, “you are living the life!!” and “Youre out there living my dream.”

But in one of her recent videos, Ksenia gets real about what working as a pastry chef in a top-rated restaurant is really like — and honestly, it’s not quite as riveting as you might think.

In the 20-second clip, Ksenia stands in the middle of a restaurant kitchen wearing an apron and holding a pairing knife. As the video continues, she slowly and methodically appears to scrape off any excess strings that hang from a small clementine, repeating the process on a pile of others.


“Working at 1 star Michelin restaurant must be so exciting,” the video text reads, presumably quoting something people often say to her.

But as her video quietly demonstrates, the reality of her day is often slow, quiet and tedious. In fact, she says tasks like these often take up about 70% of her day.

That said, Ksenia appears to love what she does and has zero regrets.

“I do more exciting things sometimes!” she adds in her post caption.

In the comments section, a lot of people seemed surprised.

“I would quit first day,” one person wrote.

“I pray you get paid handsomely at least,” another chimed in.

Others defended the so-called “tedious” tasks of a highly trained chef.

“Dermaplaning oranges is important work,” one person said.

“Thanks for showing all the painstaking work that goes into a beautiful meal,” added another.

Many people who worked in restaurants themselves also jumped into the conversation.

“As a chef this is accurate 100%,” one person confirmed, adding that the more stars a restaurant has, the more tedious the work and food prep is.

“I used to work at a 2 Michelin star restaurant and everyone was constantly stressed,” someone confessed.

“I tried working on a 1 Michelin star restaurant ones and I’m never been so bored at work,” another added. “we were like robots walking around emotionless.”

In a later comment, even Ksenia admitted that she thought her job would be more exciting back when she was studying to be a pastry chef at a French culinary school.

“This is my first time working at a Michelin star restaurant,” she shared with one commenter, “and tbh I romanticized it way too much in my head before starting the work.”

Even so, it’s clear from a lot of Ksenia’s other TikTok content that she doesn’t regret her career path.

For now, though, she’s content with the quiet work that allows her to be alone with her thoughts (and, occasionally, listen to her favorite music).

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