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I would like to know... if your boss steals your ideas
in kitchen and presents them with his name what one should
do in this case. Thank you.
Suck it up! This is kind of the way life goes until you are
the boss. One suggestion I do have is that before you show
your boss one of your ideas make sure you have some witnesses
to it then your co-workers will know that the idea came from
you! This is not an original sin, you know that Escoffier
did not come up with all of those ideas himself!
I'm thinking about re-entering the culinary field after a
long absence. This time I would like to attend a culinary
academy such as Le Cordon Bleu to get some professional training.
I enjoy all aspects of cooking but would like to concentrate
on their pastry courses, as pastry has always seemed somewhat
of a mystery to me. But I'm not sure if that is a good career
choice. I don't think I'll have the economic resources to
study both cuisine and pastry. What would you recommend for
someone who is not sure what to study? My long range goals
are to work in hotels (Marriot, Melia,etc.) as I live in Costa
Rica and tourism is a big industry here. Thank-you.
Stuart. This is a real easy one, you absolutely should study
pastry exclusively, it is a wonderful career choice, and cuisine
is unnecessary if you goal is to be a pastry chef. Pastry
is much better choice because, 1/-pastry chefs are increasingly
difficult to find and recruit, 2/ it is a specialized field
that ultimately commands higher salaries. Studying pastry
at Le Cordon Bleu will be a fantastic start for any career;
if you concentrate on just this you will be successful providing
you develop your own quality and style. Good Pastry chefs
are a rare thing in our industry right now so you will have
no problem getting a position once you graduate - best of
Hi, how does a 33 year old (UK based) get to be great pastry
chef with only Navy Catering Core training (NVQ 2) and 8 months
subsequent experience in small restaurant? Paid apprenticeship
is a possibility, but where do you start looking and would
my age count me out for this?
Romy, age will not be a factor as far as i am concerned, your
training with the Navy will be enough to get you in as a starter
in any Hotel .The old fashioned way would be to start at a
basic commis level and work up. With your experience and maturity
level this should take a lot shorter time than normal.
Check out the openings in places around you, pastry staff
are becoming increasingly difficult to find and recruit so
I really do not think that you will have a problem. Use whatever
resources you have then to do some specialized pastry courses
to supplement your on the job training. This combination will
push you ahead faster than you would expect. Try to find a
place with a really good name so you will work with only the
If Hotel hours do not suit you try one of the really good
specialized pastry shops, if the quality is really good then
the only thing you will miss out on is plated desserts but
that can be made up for later , best of luck with your search.
I have a fairly broad range of cooking experience spanning
at least ten years. I have worked all positions in the kitchen
and in a number of four-star restaurants in the states. I
am currently a chef de cuisine with full control over the
menu and kitchen. However, I feel less fulfilled with Such
a position because the restaurant as a whole isn't nearly
the same caliber as the other restaurants I have worked at.
I have been seriously contemplating applying to a large hotel
with a good reputation such as the Ritz or Four Seasons because
of opportunities that I might not have elsewhere. What kind
of advice can you give someone like myself who has a few years
of experience and feels a bit stuck as to what their next
move should be? Part of my interest in researching hotels
is for the ability to work in another country. I haven't been
to Europe yet and I feel like I'm missing out on a lot. Thank
Arthur, you should first realize that should you join one
of the larger companies after 10 years in other kitchens you
will be expected to assume a lesser role until you get your
feet wet. You experience and drive should be enough however
to move you up quickly. I would suggest that you join the
company that you choose in a location close to you to begin
with, then push for the overseas postings. This is not as
difficult as it sounds as very few people are willing to relocate
outside of their comfort zone at home. Not having worked in
Europe is not such a bad thing considering the exciting and
varied cuisine being served in restaurants across the USA
.I Would also recommend as an alternative that you try the
old 'show up and Ask'style, just go to wherever it is that
you want to be based and push Your resume around town until
you get started, it is I am sure bound to produce results.
I have been in the restaurant business for about 8 years.
I do private catering for business colleagues of my father
in law and I work full time in a local restaurant. I have
been feeling pressured from myself to begin looking for a
executive chef position or at least a sous chef position but
I do not have formal culinary education. How much does the
lack of formal education hurt my chances? I read everything
about food and techniques possible, I have created at least
8 full menus from original ideas and I feel I would not benefit
from a culinary program. Is this just my own arrogance? Thank
Jason , I don't think that this is arrogance ,an expensive
degree does not Always guarantee that the person will be a
successful che . However,in the United states job market,
culinary credentials are becoming increasingly Necessary,
few places will hire without them. This is basically a assurance
For the employer that the individual has at least the basics
and will not Be starting from the ground up. There is nothing
wrong in getting for Yourself some kind of formal training,
this, coupled with you good Experience that you already have,
will make you much more marketable as a Chef. The problem
with experience alone is that it should be from an Establishment
with an incredible name in the market , a name that really
Stands on its own . Without this you will always have a difficult
time Selling your credentials, good luck.
Hi chef, I'm a graduate of a great culinary school and
after working in the industry for almost 8yrs now. I'm getting
tired of working the busy restaurants and would like to try
other jobs that are not always in cooking. I really would
like to be a Food Stylist, have you heard of this type of
job and what kind requirements/credential do i need to have?
I really do not know how about to go and find a job like this.
Help me !!!! thank you chef…
Chad. I'm not so familiar with this career choice. I have
worked with food Stylists but they all seemed to have at least
a basic culinary training and Were employed mostly by magazines
or worked with freelance photographers. I Would assume that
the safest route to such a position would be through large
national publications that work with food. Why don't you get
yourself a portfolio of pictures and approach the better-known
ones and see what the have to say. I am not sure if you would
need to tie in some form of educational credentials for such
a job but I'm sure the would be able to Fill you in on the
requirements. Good luck
I am a Kenyan, currently employed here in Kenya as an assistant
chef de partie, in one of the five star hotels, and I need
a change or I would wish to work abroad , what should I do
to get a good, challenging job? Is there any hope?
Michael, try to contact the larger hotel chains and check
out the Opportunities with them .a lot of them have web sites
with employment information, including overseas opportunities.
Use any contacts you may have within your area, especially
with foreign chefs who might be in a position to help you
relocate. Finally just mail your resume or e mail it if need
be to as many people as possible, if this is something you
really want then you will need to give it all your attention.
I am currently employed as a chef in Austin, Texas. U.S.A.
I am 2nd in charge. I am feeling in a rut lately. I have always
wanted to travel, but it seems there is not a job out there
that would want to help me even 1/2. What I am looking for
is a creative place to be able to use my knowledge, and travel.
How would you go about doing that? Thank You
Brian, I will give you the same advice I try to give people
in your Situation. First try to identify exactly where you
want to go, Paris, London, Berlin or wherever, decide whether
in a restaurant or hotel then start mailing your resume off.
Try to find people who have been there before and worked,
work their connections, personal relationships will always
open doors. Contact the larger hotel chains, they all have
websites, send them your resume and specify that you are willing
to relocate overseas, this should get their attention as there
is a shortage of trained chefs in a lot of the major cities.
Do not expect any of these establishments to sponsor tickets,
accommodation etc as this is usually not the case, this would
only apply in extreme locations. Finally try calling the hotels
directly, this shows an aggressive spirit And enthusiasm,
which goes a long way in the hiring process, good luck, Ciaran
I am a 25-year-old culinary graduate, and am currently
working at a four-star four-diamond hotel for the past year.
I am looking to work overseas, but it seems the only postings
are for Exec. Chefs. How do I go about finding a sous chef
job or even demi chef position overseas? Is that even possible
for Americans. Thank You
Chad, if you are working for a chain look at you options there,
otherwise Look into traveling to wherever it is you want to
work and starting from There, London for example has a great
demand for trained cooks at the Moment. The easiest way is
the un official chefs network where people are passed from
one kitchen to the other, if your current chef worked with
someone before who maybe has moved and is looking for staff.
There is a wonderful website called chefjobs.com which has
a lot of great Opportunities posted, look into it. The last
advice i have is get hold of a international hotel or restaurant
guide, for example the leading hotels of the world guide and
use the addresses to mail off your resume, the might just
be in a position to take you on. Good luck, Ciaran
I am a '95 CIA Graduate looking for experience overseas.
I have opened and sold two restaurants (one fine dining) in
the states but I feel like I need overseas experience to get
to the next level, as I have been self-employed since I graduated.
First, am I correct and second, how will my resume be received
in Europe? Most establishments want Michelin Stars.
Stuart, your CIA credentials will carry a lot of weight wherever
you go, stars are nice to have but not necessary. It sounds
as if you are heavily In to the business side of the restaurant
business, can you adapt to being an employee for someone else.
This could be a difficult transition for you if you have been
used to calling the shots. Most of the fine dining kitchens
are as you know strict and very much ordered by rank, you
will have to focus on learning the cooking which will make
you successful in the future. Your resume will as i said be
evaluated based on the position you are applying for. You
should look to start slow, long hours and unexciting salaries
but you will for sure pick up enough ideas and styles to make
it worthwhile. An other option which is popular in London
is to go and work for free in the really high end Michelin
places, you have no guarantee they will take you but it is
a good place to start, I have seen many situations where this
kind of approach has always led to a permanent position with
the restaurant and shows the owner / chef that you are serious
about your career, you never know, give it a shot, Ciaran
I am, just like many I am sure, planning on leaving the
high Tech industry within the fairly near future to pursue
a job in the culinary arts. My ultimate goal being to own
my own restaurant, I understand that I will be working my
way up the ladder after completion of culinary school, but
my question is how long can a competent person expect it to
take to become a chef, and will my previous experience of
managing people as well as experience of being a line cook
years ago help that much? Also, do you have any recommendations
on how I can make myself more familiar with culinary lingo?
I read lots of recipes and many times I don't understand what
some of the ingredients are and what some of the lingo means.
Jack your previous experience will of course help you along
faster but of course is not the sole aspect of your new profession.
Firstly it is usually assumed that 5 years is the average
training time for a chef, again depending on how that person
moves around to gain as much experience as possible in that
time. If you choose to work in a large operation with a few
different outlets that would be a big plus as you could do
everything under one roof. Once you master the culinary side
your previous experience will accelerate your progress along
for sure. As for the lingo there is a great book called the
'food lovers companion ', a well know reference in the trade,
which is fill with explanations of everything to do with food
and ingredients, I would really recommend this to you Best
of luck with your career.
Dear Chef, I would like to know, what equivalent position
you believe I could apply for overseas as a chef or cook.
I have held Sous Chef jobs for 5 diamond hotels such as the
Ritz-Carlton, and for large casinos such as the MGM Grand
Hotel in Las Vegas. I have 7 years of experience and have
a formal education. I do not speak another language, but have
a working knowledge of German. I am very aware that European
vs. American training can be different and the approach to
kitchen management quite different. Can you give me some insight
on what to expect from an overseas offering?
Based on what you have told me you should have every confidence
to apply For the same position, kitchen management is not
so different here. The job you go for should however be of
a similar standard to your current Hotel. If you feel that
you want to polish your cooking skills it would not be Harmful
to take a lower position in a very high-level restaurant or
hotel, This kind of training will always pay off. Do not however
expect to find the salaries similar as the cost of living
in Europe is generally higher than the US and the salaries
can be a little Lower. Best of luck, Ciaran
I am interested in changing my career from the high-tech world
to that of a professional chef. What is the best way to go
about making this change? The starting pay for a line cook
around here is below what I can safely pay my bills with and
the culinary institute in town would not allow me to work
full-time while attending classes. I have a strong passion
for cooking and wish to begin my career as soon as possible
despite these challenges. Help!
It sounds like you have your hands tied a little here. My
suggestion to you would be to approach a local restaurant
or hotel and apply for some part time kitchen experience (unpaid
if necessary) in your spare time while continuing with your
current career. Use this experience as a base and try to convince
the establishment at a later date to take you on full time
at a slightly higher position while also looking for a culinary
school with more flexible conditions. It is very difficult
to get into this line of work late as the initial stages are
always tough and underpaid, there are very few ways around
this unfortunately... good luck.
Hi, I plan to attend culinary school after I get out of the
army. As of now I am working as a food inspector, and towards
the end will switch over to Cooking to gain experience for
Culinary school. I am also working towards a degree in business
management. How more desirable would the business and food
inspection background make me to any prospective employers
along with the B.A in culinary arts I hope to get? and how
useful will these skills come in handy if I am ever the executive
chef in charge?
Your skills attained in the Military will of course go
some ways to helping you along but ultimately the base for
your goal as Executive chef must be primarily your cooking
skills. It may be possible to get a position with academic
know how but it will be impossible to keep it. Of course what
you have learned to date is relevant and will shave some time
off your training period , but you must get as much time as
possible in on the stoves , there is no other way .You are
of course a good ways there already with your experience but
do not rely too much on it as it is important but still secondary
to the main job in hand, cooking.
I am an African Lady who has trained as a chef and worked
as a chef for a about 4 years. Though I am not in the profession
now I do wish to go back and I have since landed a job as
a pastry lecturer and I feel a bit rusty. Please give me tips
on how to brush up before I go back and what you would write
down as tools and equipment for a budding pastry demonstration
kitchen. I will be very grateful for this. I should start
my new job in July. Meanwhile I work at an Internet cafe...
Alice, The best advice I can give you is to get as much experience
as possible in a busy operating kitchen , 2 weeks should do
to re cap your knowledge. Invest in a few good general pastry
books and practice at home if you have too, every little bit
counts. If you are in the Internet cafe then you must know
the website www.epicurious.com , this has a huge recipe base
to draw from for all areas of pastry production, also you
will find links to the equipment that you would need. Good
luck with your new position. Dear chef, why do you think
it is good for chefs to work overseas?
Working abroad has a few things going for it and several against.
Firstly as a chef you are in a creative profession and the
only way to feed this creativity is by constant exposure to
new ideas and techniques. Being over sea gives you this opportunity
as well as learning from the culture that you live in daily.
The other thing that I have found is that because you are
expected in most cases to be a teacher of sorts also, you
push yourself harder to come up with ideas to share with your
guests and staff. If your goal is to learn, then of course
you would not head for somewhere that you think that you will
be more of a teacher than a student. If you think you are
ready to share your knowledge then by all means do so.
The downside of being overseas is that you run the risk to
loose touchwith what many people would call mainstream food
styles. No matter how global food style and culture has become,
it will no do your career any good to be too far off the beaten
path for too long. If you go make sure you keep up to date
with food magazines, books and web sites - it is vital to
stay current. Good luck!
I will be a graduating culinary student in march. First
question is do I call the restaurant first to talk to the
chef or someone else or do I just mail my resume. Second,
If I just mail my resume, who would I mail it to if I have
My advice here is always the same. If you want to get a job
really badly, go if at all possible and knock on the door
personally. If that is not possible fax the chef your c.v./resume
and then call the him/her personally as it is always best
to start a dialogue. Out of all the c.v.'s yours will be the
one that is remembered.
I was wondering what the starting pay was working as a line
cook (or pastry chef)for upscale hotels like The Four Seasons
or The Ritz Carlton. I am asking because I am in culinary
school, and I spoke with a rep. from the Four Seasons and
she said they started at about $14 an hour, but that it was
always changing and she wasn't sure what the current rate
was/is. Do you know if other hotels pay more? I would appreciate
any info. Also, is it possible to work Monday - Friday and
not weekends? Do they have people doing those shifts? I ask
because I have an infant. Thanks
A couple of things, where are you located (N.Y?) $14 an hour
is decent if you are in N.Y or San Fran, else where in the
US it is good money. I can tell you first hand that the majority
of hotels will want you on the weekends and in many instances
the employees who get the weekends off are the ones who have
been working there the longest not the new employees... Sorry!