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A newbie again

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I am looking for some help from some of you with experience. I am a newbie to the 21st century cooking environment. I was a manager of a steak house chain back in the early 80.s, when I decided that this was not an environment to raise kids in so I left and became a butcher. It was not what I wanted to do but it was a good way to provide for my family. Now 20 some years later I have an opportunity to go to culinary school and do what I love. I hope I can make it in the new world. I am doing well in school and have years of experience in the catering business. What is the difference between a restaurant cooking manager back then and an Executive Chef now. I did the ordering of food, and the managing of people but no menu setting or bar tending. The classes are teaching me the basics of menu writing and the food difference. I have also talked to an Executive Chef and he said his biggest challenge is consistentsy of the finished product from one line cook to the other. What are the other hidden things that are out there?
post #2 of 3
You're biggest challenge is going to be in cost controls, a very basic version is covered in virtually every culinary program, I would start there. If you haven't done menu planning and the like, that is the bread and butter of your business and you need to know how to control the waste and labor in your kitchen.
post #3 of 3
People have been cooking the same for thousands of years. With the basics, you should do fine. There has been a lot of technique, technological and lawful developments since the 80's though. Chances are, you would have to start as a cook, maybe a sous chef. It depends on the type and quality of kitchen. Costing has gone super digital, menu development and vendor relations have greatly improved. Other than that, cooks are still cooks, and you will still have the same problems of controlling and utilizing trimmings and "waste", scheduling will still be annoying, and you still work when other people play.
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