or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First Jobs

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering some of the first jobs you guys took on when you were fresh out of school. I was also interested in your experiences (good or bad) in the industry when you started out. I am a new culinary student so hearing your experiences is interesting to me. Thanks everybody!!!;)

~Emily
post #2 of 14
I graduated in April of this year and only fairly recently got a job in the industry. Summer usually isn't a good time to get hired unless you where shopping since the Spring Break as most jobs will be taken by high school students so come September, the jobs are back.
I'm currently a "sous" chef in my old college caf (not very glamerous but the pay is good and the hours are consistant and steady). I do everything the chef does but doing the weekly orders. Its rough for the first week or two, especially if your switching jobs like I did but once you get the rythem of things, you just go with the flow.
Now, don't expect a high position job when you go out there. I hear stories that people expect to become sous chefs in 3-4 months of working but are still in the dish pit for the past 6 months. You have to start in the lower ranks and work your way up. I was lucky since I knew the manager who hired me and the school but I'm still doing mediocer tasks like taking out the garbage. But if I work there for a couple years, I hope to land an aprenticeship at a hotel to work towards a red seal. Ultimatly, as long as you can get your foot in the door, its all a breeze from there on but will be a lot easier if you network with people in the industry.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input! Exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for.
post #4 of 14
I didn't attend school, but I'm planning to. One piece of advice I have is not to start at a truckstop just because your mother knows one of the cooks. That was the first and last day of that job.
post #5 of 14
When I graduate, I'll be sure to get right on my reply for this.

*reserves space for his first job out of school*

It's probably going to be in the Lexington/Georgetown, KY area though.

Anybody hiring? *hint hint*
post #6 of 14
Bladester,
You're in culinary school in Alaska?
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
post #7 of 14
My first job out of culinary school was executive chef. I made 68k/yr plus bonus.

























NOT!! :lol::lol::lol::lol:
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
That's funny Kuan! :lol: In my dreams. I know working my way up is part of this line of work. If only it worked the other way, right?
post #9 of 14
My first job out of cooking school was actually setup by the instructor. I was 'head cook' at Liscombe Lodge. Which meant I made all the night line sauces and plated. The chef and sous worked saute/grill on alternating nights. Absolutly loved working the line there. Hated living there, 45 minutes drive from the nearest village, with no car. Unfortunately, all I learned was (even more than before) the value of making your own stoc, instead of bases, and so dirty tricks for sliced meat dishes, like blotting it when it's a touch under done.
post #10 of 14
Yeah actually, I'm attending the 2yr program at UAA (university of alaska anchorage). It's a great program and truly requires you to actually pay attention and not just "coast" through, not to mention the instructors are great.

I should graduate in may barring any emergencies or unforseen screw-ups (a bad grade sneaking in somewhere).
post #11 of 14
I can't believe it's warmer in Anchorage than it is in Minnesota. :mad: :mad: :confused:
post #12 of 14
LOL

nice.
post #13 of 14
My first job out of school (NOT one of the better-known schools) was pretty typical for a female, alas:* garde manger, making salads and plating desserts. Fortunately, I got to show off that I could quickly learn to do other stuff, so pretty soon I was also making sauces, and moved onto grill. (My partner on gm [a young male, not from school] did not show any initiative, and so was stuck there for a couple of years.) Then when my buddy the pastry chef left, I was asked to take over his job. Not that I was any good with pastry :rolleyes: but since it was basically a one-person production department, the fact that I was well-organized mattered more. In all, I stayed at that first restaurant almost two years. After that I mostly worked saute (which included vegetables and sauces for my station as well).

[*When I would change jobs after a few years, I would see that at some places, guys straight out of CIA would be started on saute -- and look like deer in headlights when the station got slammed. :eek: ]

For school graduates, a lot depends on the reputation of the school; how much help the school (placement department and instructors) can give you; where you do your externship, if you have one; where you are looking(geographically); what the restaurants in your area are like; what the chefs are like ("old school" versus open-minded); and what you demonstrate you can do when you trail. This last factor can be the most important if the others are favorable.

Kuan and I know a guy who was, in fact, hired as an exec at a country club straight out of CIA. Big mistake for everyone involved.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
Reply
post #14 of 14

first JOB!

When I started cooking, I had this bad habbit... Every time I started a new job, I would cut one of my fingers and I had to go ask the head chef, "excuse me Chef, do you have a BandAid, I cut my finger"
Now, this does not give out a very good impression of your skills of the first day. I could see the Chef's face, he was thinking, "what the **** they I just hire":eek:

I later realized that it made more sense to carry BandAid in my back pocket until I learned to use my knives:) so that way, I don't have to go ask the head Chef:smiles:

I'm Ok now, I can manage to cook with all my fingers:beer:
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home