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I just can't leave

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Obviously I'm new to the forum. I've been cooking now for just over 12 years. Worked mainly in Toronto. But also a little in BC and France. I've always worked in small bistro styled restaurants. I like the freedom and experimenting that kind of cooking offers. But the funny thing is that I've never written my red seal papers!:blush: I've just always worked in a setting were I've not needed them. But now I have two small children and want a "normal" job, so I'm starting to think about getting invovled in teaching at the college level. So having my papers is going to be important to say the least! I've submited my hours and education to the apprenticeship office and I'm just getting ready to write. So any tips for the exam would certainly be appreciated for sure. Other than that thought this might a good place to chat with other chefs, get some advice and if I can share some as well.
post #2 of 7
Hi ya chef and welcome to Cheftalk. This may get more attention in the Professional Chef forum than here. This is the Welcome forum where you introduce yourself. Maybe Mezzaluna will see it and move it for you. Good Luck with the exam!

Rgds Rook
post #3 of 7
Welcome to Chef Talk, McB. Interesting how our lives take us to where we didn't necessarily plan on being taken!

As Cakerookie mentioned, the Professional Chefs' forum is a good place to hang out and pose the questions you're seeking answers to. Meander on over there and take a look- try using the search tool to search for particular topics that can be of help to you.

Welcome! We hope you visit often to share and learn.
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
post #4 of 7
Welcome to the forum. Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by red seal papers? I've never heard the term before.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
red seal are Canadian trade papers. Not sure what you call them in the states. But basically they are your "chef papers". But all trades in Canada from carpenter to plumber to chef all have a red seal exam. Once you write the exam you are then considered a journeyman in your choosen trade.
post #6 of 7
Hello McB, I'm new too and already I'm finding this forum an amazing resource.

Have you enjoyed your 12 years?
As a budding apprentice wannabe, I would enjoy reading your response, including any highlights you would care to name.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Have I enjoyed 12 years of cooking??? That is the million dollar question I think. It has been good and bad I suppose. I've actually just taken a year and a half out of the industry. I tried my hand at sales. Motorcycle sales to be specific. That has been one of my hobbies since I was old enough to ride. And with young kids I wanted to be home more for them. But I absolutely hated selling! I realized that the one thing that the food industry has that no other has is that sense of team. In a tight kitchen everyone relies on each other for everything. If one guy is having a bad night than the whole kitchen has a bad night. And if the rest of the kitchen can't see that he's having a bad night than, well there's no going coming back from there. But if everything runs good. And everyone knows who's where and when and the menu is good then It's the best high in the world! No other industry is like that. Everything else seems self serving in a way. That's what brought me back. Now that's not to say that I've enjoyed every minute of the last 12 years. As a matter of fact I've bitched and moaned through alot of it. The money sucks, the hours suck, the working conditions suck. The stress can be a killer. But for some twisted reason I can't see myself doing anything else. Taking that year and a half out was the best thing I could have done for my career. I'm now as stoked about cooking as I was when I was 21. Now lets see how long it lasts. As far as highlights go. Other than working with a really good crew. I'd have to say working in France was an amazing experience. I was young and just out of cooking school, so seriously hardcore! The French have in figured out. For sure! It's the attention to the little things that makes the differance there. Like adding the mirepoix at just right time too a stock for eg. to maximize its flavour rather than just dumping it all in a pot at the same time as everything else. (Thus losing its full potentional). Or the natural balance the french have in food. It's really about the experience rather than just stuffing your face. They think about where the food comes from more than we do as well. I learned more from the 8 months I worked there then I did in the 2 years I spent in school. And other than being referred to as "roastbeef" for 8 months I wouldn't have traded that time for the world. If your young with no responsability IE. car, morgage, kids. I'd say go to Europe. And take your knives(getting them through customs would be a story in its self)!
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