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Life After Culinary School And Becoming A Chef  

It has been a good six months since I last wrote an entry for Cheftalk, and I have gone through more than I can write about.  If a PC could run out of ink, I could easily run it dry.  Instead, we'll revert back to 10th grade English Literature and go straight to the Cliff Notes version.


Early this year my wife and I decided it was time to move again, for the last time, again.  In May I took a Sous Chef job with a large natural foods grocery chain opening a store in Sacramento.  I went into the job with nothing but excitement about having responsibility and helping the Chef run the show.  About two weeks into the job I started to doubt myself and my abilities to do the job.  It was bulk cooking, something I had no experience with.  My experience was on the line, slamming out plate after plate.  I had lost my focus and drive and quickly became overwhelmed with the job.  It was a matter of hours before I felt it was not a good fit for me.  Three weeks into the job, my last day was the day the store opened.


I began my search for a new job and started feeling the desire to look for something outside of the kitchen, but still in the food world.  Many things lead to this decision, including the customary low pay in the kitchen (even as a Sous I was only making $12.50 an hour) and odd hours, both of which are nothing new.   At first I was not finding this job search to be an easy one, but I eventually found a job as a Territory Manager for a food safety company.  The pay was good, the company car was better.  For the past four months I have been working as a food safety specialist for major grocery chains and a few fast food chains.  I have eaten far less fast food since I started this job. 


And then the wild hair reappeared.  Although I have not missed many things about the kitchen, I do miss some things.  I'm not truly happy unless I'm cooking or talking about food.  I called a friend and told her we have too much ability not to be cooking together and trying to make some decent cash.  She agreed, and our very part time catering company was born.   We are holding our first tasting party in February and we'll see where it goes from there.  I think I finally figured out that I needed to be out of the kitchen, and into my kitchen. 



ChefTalk.com › Articles › Life After Culinary School And Becoming A Chef