or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hiring a New Chef

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We own a country inn with a 50-seat fine dining restaurant in New England. We are really struggling with finding the right chef for our restaurant. We had a great chef for over 3 years and now we are seeking someone new. Unfortunately, we had two short lived new chefs (one with an ego the size of a bus and one who spiked his coffee with booze on a nightly basis!) Needless to say, we had to part company with them both continuing to look for someone who is a good match for us.

The salary is good, the benefits are good and the opportunity to be creative with hand-crafted food is all there. We are struggling with candidates who want $60,000 to $70,000 k (we have a budget of $40k for someone with about 5 years of exp, 3 as a chef) or who can't work with just a sous and a dishwasher...but are accustomed to a huge brigade which obviously our business can't support.

We are 90 min. north of Boston and in a charming New England village. We have listed our position on ihirechefs.com and other online sites...any other advice on seeking out good candidates? Your feedback is sincerely appreciated!!:o
post #2 of 9
All I have to say is good luck. I've turned down a couple similar chef jobs in the city - 40K a year to be in a kitchen 12 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week? No thanks. I'll take my hourly wage, working easy mornings Mon-Fri.... I know line cooks (some as young as early 20's) who make more than 40K a year. The average sous-chef makes more money.

Honestly, I'm not trying to be mean here, but as a cook, I don't see anything about your job offer that would attract a decent chef. Low salary, long hours, lack of staff and it's in the country...

The only thing I can think of, is to try finding a chef to buy into your business as a partner.
post #3 of 9
OMGosh! I cringe every time I hear the word partner.
I am going to go on the other side of the fence. 50 seat is nice and intimate. I didn't hear anything about 20 hrs a day. A good sous could handle a few meals. I'm in Texas, I guess our pay scales are low compared to the NorthEast. 40 plus benies doesn't really sound that bad to me for someone with 5 yrs. experience. Sounds like an opportunity. I know locally a lot of chefs are sacraficing a little money for freedom and controll. We have a lot of very qualified older Chefs here that have been replaced by younger very good cooks, based on dollars.
I will email you and get some info to post down at the Chefs Association.
A lot of people are talking about Craigs.
Can you put up a chef for a couple of weeks until he or she completes a relocation?
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. Actually I am surprised by one of the posters assumptions of the days and times of work here...since I hadn't mentioned them. Most chefs love our situation here----they work a 5-day week, we only seat guests between 5:30 and 8:30 and the chef is never cooking a steak at 10 pm. They are usually finished and out of here by 10 pm durig our busy times and many days (especially weeknights) they are out of here much earlier. Our chefs don't work 12 hour days and 7 day work weeks...and that is one of the things that make the job attractive.

While hourly wages with overtime can surely deliver a line cook more than $40k per year in an urban market, we are looking for someone who wants to be creative and build a career with us as a stepping stone. Our experience promoting our property and our chef has been very effective in gaining national publicity including an upcoming spot on The Today Show.

I do appreciate the opinions and the feedback from all that answered my post. We have had our ad posted on Craig's List and ihirechefs.com. Of course, we put up a chef for an interview and once hired, until they can get settled in housing, we are usually able to accommodate them as well.
post #5 of 9
I live in Maine. About 3 hrs from Boston. I have a culinary arts degree. I have been working in the food industry for too many years...ok..35 yrs. and I would love to be pulling in 40k with bennies. Staffing is really hard up here. Sounds like you have a really nice place. Im sure someone will come around the corner soon.
post #6 of 9
50 seats is comfortable, not a walk in the park, but comfortable enough to cook to your heart's content and still have a life.

Now, a Hotel with 3 outlets, banqueting, tour busses, whining staff; conniving, unexperienced F & B boss, breakfast shifts and breakfast cooks who don't show, AND sunday brunch, is a nightmare. I wouldn't do it for a blank pay-cheque. Perhaps this is what Mikeb means.

You've got the goodies, so flaunt them: Medium sized seating, control over food and creativity, fixed day off; solid, trained existing staff, decent salary and good benifits. Then again, your last Chef wasn't a "Wunder-Chef"-- leaving behind big shoes to fill, so the next Chef will have a clean slate and an easy time of stepping in and taking over with a minimum of fuss.

It took me almost 4 years to find the right sandwich maker, almost 5 to find a good dishwasher, and I'm still looking for a cook that I can trust enough to take a week off. It'll take some time, but you'll find the right person.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #7 of 9

hello my name is chris nebel.I have been the chef-owner of the bluewater grill in pt.pleasant beach nj the past six years.Prior to the bluewater I worked as a chef in kennebunkport maine for eight years.I recently sold my restaurant and would like to be back in new england where I have friends and family.I would be happy to discuss the details wit you-pleas call 732 600 7556 anytime or to this e-mail.Thank you

post #8 of 9
This thread is seven years old.
post #9 of 9
Hahaha too funny!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs