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Where should I move to for a killer job?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm 22, living in texas and getting married in June, we hope to move sometime in August. I haven't got a chance in landing any sous chef jobs just yet, but it hasnt been much of a problem finding line dog positions, even in some nice french places. My wife to be works in sales, but doesnt have as much experience as I do so were focusing on me finding a job then her following suit. Except for cold places or small towns, were both very open with moving pretty much anywhere. Well, were young and dont make much of any money so the likes of New York, San Francisco or Chicago or probably out of the question. In a perfect world it would be a big city with a small town feel, low rent, high pay, real nice farmers markets, no snow, and a very cultured area, not really down with strip malls and fast food. I'd really appreciate any suggestions, let me know where you guys have loved living.
post #2 of 15
Have you thought about the Portland Oregon area? I am working towards moving out there, have visited a few times and it is everything I have looked for, they have great farmers markets, independent restaurants and coffee houses..laid back, artsy fartsy..I felt like I was home.
post #3 of 15
Just throwing this out there.....how about New Orleans. John Besh is thriving several other restaurants are doing very well. It's a food town that's small but working as one of the top in the nation or was and is hopefully returning.
no snow, in the south, rent has got to be reasonable, farmers markets are great. I'm meeting a friend that just got back from NO this afternoon.....he's in tune with the restaurant scene I'll ask him.

Portland is very nice.....loads of artisan bakeries, foraged foods, vibrant farmers' markets. Beautiful. Not sure about the snow thing, nor temp.....

STL, large city, cheap rents, good farmers markets (no brag just fact:p )
numerous restaurants opening, good opportunities to learn and grow. We do have 4 seasons....and out of a 3.5 month winter 1-2 weeks there may be snow on the ground. It's beautiful....loads of trees and wildlife (in the city, really). I moved here from 15 years in S. Louisiana.....it's nice not living in sweltering humidity.....having indigenous trees, foraging, great parks to canoe through on fun rivers......true mid-west feel. If you are into ACF/Chef d'Cuisine the chapter here is very active and wins alot of national/regional competitions. Well and we do have some of the best pork farmers in the country....and they deliver.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 15
why not stay in TX.?
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Funny you should mention

Thats hilarious but the three cities mentioned, st. louis, portland, and new orleans were all in serious consideration. The top one on my list is New Orleans, were planning a short trip there in a month or so to check it out and i've found some decently priced apartments in the French Quarter. I have a few questions that I would love to be answered:
1. How has it changed since Katrina
2. Would a line cook be able to find a good paying job at a nice restaurant
3. What is the crime rate like in the French Quarter
4. Would it be sensible for us to share one car and I walk to work
5. What restaurants should I look into working in

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
post #6 of 15
don't know current statistics about the quarter but here's a little antiquated advice.

1) the french qtr has had the reputation of being one of the most dangerous in the USA....not sure how that pans out now, but a quick check on line should give you that info

2) getting around by foot or mass transportation should not be an issue....one car is doable in the city.

3)Any of John Besh's operations would be a huge plus.....August is probably one of the best restaurants I've dined.....he now has five restaurants and raises his own pigs. (I love this guy!!!).

Old School cooking would be any of the Brennan's restaurants....Commander's Palace is a workhorse....during Katrina and post-Katrina the Brennan family took care of their staff. Unlike another well known (Bam!) restauranteur who has a very negative rep amoungst the natives now.

Susan Spicer's places....especially Bayona

There are several places using local food, some are surprising......Richard McCarthy is the founder of NO farmer's markets....he is a wonderful resource on which restros are buying local. You can find Richard at Loyola or any of the markets.....Sat on Julia in the CBD is one of the joys of visiting the city.

I'd do research prior to moving to NO....there maybe issues with lack of tourism, or jobs for retail.....Katrina just knock the city for all it was worth, plus the debacle followup. Trully sad. Mardis Gras is early this year it would be hard to gauge any restaurants during the festivities.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 15
i'd say Tampa to selfishly try to snag a good employee, but if you're looking for a strip mall free landscape, unfortunately this is the last place you want to land.
post #8 of 15
fyi i just read in the paper that new orleans is the murder capital of the US for the 2nd year in a row
post #9 of 15
I'd read alittle bit more on NO murder rate.....East St. Louis and the city of STL has high murder rates also, but it all depends on where you are......
I've got no problem working in a transitional neighborhood, nor shopping/eating in a bario, nor going downtown or to produce row etc....but I also don't go to many of these areas alone at night.....I've been known to ask the neighboring policeman to hang for a few minutes as I set alarms/lock gates/doors before walking 100ft to my car.

It's all realitive.
One of the worst rape/murder rampages was in a small town of 10,000 in La. on the Tx border.....no one locked their doors, you knew everyone in town etc.....a transient was on a spree and drove through town. So, essentially no place is safe, but there's no use in not feeling safe where you live.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 15
I wouldn't go to Portland, they have a cooking school that churns out underqualified cooks who flood the market, making cheap, replaceable help easy to come by.
I'd stay away from any city like that, Scottsdale comes to mind.
NY might be okay, because while they have a culinary academy, it's top notch, and the area is huge.
I think you'd have a good shot in a gambling town.
Vegas, AC, Tahoe, Reno.

Just my couple of pennies.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #11 of 15
First off you probably won't find any decently priced apartments in the French Quarter.You need to consider the economy of were your going not where you are used to. Most people make the mistake of moving in there when they first hit town. Look in the Bywater/ Marigny area just outside the Quarter. Crime in the Quarter would be rated as disgustingly low compared to other areas of the city." How has it changed since Katrina" Drastically. But that's a whole long story. On the upside of that is that quality line cooks can get passable to descent wages, depending on were you work. Besh will work your *** into the ground, The place he raises pigs at is way on the north shore, about an hour's drive. But the chef there, Rene Bajeaux, is a top notch french master chef. Commander's Palace is boot camp for line cooks, Bayona will be difficult but not impossible to get into. Get yourself a bike. If you move to the French Quarter and have a car you will have no end of problems. Restaurants you should look into depends on your skill and experience. Learn more about the food scene here. Some young restaurants opening recently with good reps. Patois, Daisy, uptown. Small rest. were you are more likely to be a part of the kitchen instead of shilling for Besh or Brennan or Spicer. They've made their money.
Last but not least, I've lived here my whole life and I haven't been murdered yet. What you might not know is that alot of that stuff is internal conflicts in the hood, revenge feeding revenge. As long as your not somewhere you shouldn't be for the most part, it's easy to survive.
post #12 of 15
I know it doesn't quite meet all of your criteria, but Vegas is an excellent place for job opportunities in our field. The whole town revolves around the service industries. Rent is not exactly cheap, but the pay scale helps to make up for that. As far as the restaurants go, you have everyone from Bobby Flay, Bradley Ogden, Thomas Keller, Joseph Keller, Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon and about 100 other top chefs with restaurants out here. Plus you can get much needed experience with the mega banquets in any of the strip hotels. It is amazing to see a plated banquet for 16,000 go off without a hitch. Plenty of opportunities for the wife too.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #13 of 15
I am going to second Vegas as a consideration. It doesn't fit all of your criteria, but it can be a great place to get started and save up some money (maybe pay off school loans) before moving on.
There are a lot of job opportunites here and they often come with vacation, health insurance and other perks. Your wife should have luck finding work, too.
post #14 of 15
Where should I move to for a killer job?

look up "assassins" in the help wanted column :D
post #15 of 15
Heh.. :D

I'd find a large college town like Ann Arbor or Iowa City. Food isn't that cutting edge, in fact, it's a little dull, but there are a few gems and in general they're nice places to raise kids.
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