or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Best place to live if you are a culinary professional?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best place to live if you are a culinary professional?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So if you work with food..whether it be a baker, confectioner, cafeteria worker, hotel and banquet or just a plain ole cook...which areas of the country do you think are good places to move to?
I'm asking b/c i want to relocate to a different city/state..and i was looking at a couple of areas..and any other ideas
so along with other ideas what do you guys think of these cities (btw, i've visited all of them so i know about them just not how hot their tourism, restaurant or food opportunities really are...or about their real affordability)
so here goes

-Denver or surrounding areas
-Buffalo NY
-Atlanta GA
-Louisville KY

anywhere in OH or OR good?
california is way to pricey for me...at the moment anyway..i loved denver..and it's very cheap for an apt but could i find a job easily there or in any of these places...??
post #2 of 22
Las Vegas comes to mind. My daughter did her externship there. Lots of different cooking/food experiences there.

What put Louisville on your list?
post #3 of 22
Any place where there is a steady influx of tourists if steady work is your objective.

Otherwise, explore regional styles, such as Southern California, Maine Coast, New Orleans, etc.

A few years ago I was approached by a Club Med recruiter. Something worth checking out as you can tour the world and get amazing experience. Good for single, no children.
post #4 of 22
Sorry, forgot to address your question on Oregon. I spent 4 years in Astoria and found an awesome food culture in Portland, Or. And in Seattle, Wa as well. Not overly expensive to live in Oregon and Portland is a very cool town. Good luck.
post #5 of 22
Depends on what your want to cook, what you want to learn and where you want to take your career. IMHO, forget about cost of living. Pick a chef you want to work under that cooks the style you want to learn and go there. You can figure out expenses and living arrangements when you get there. Experience and knowledge, imo are the key.

My suggestions.

New Orleans

As far as your list.

I can't say much about Denver....Louisville? Have you really heard anything culinary wise coming out of that town?

Buffalo? Has a great blue collar food culture.....but the area as a whole is very depressed and taxes are sky high. How do I know, I used to live there. Also, the money is NOT there in this career...why? Because of the low cost of living.

Atlanta? From what I have heard it is a **** town...not to mention but they are having HUGE water problems there. Their infastructure sucks (like most southern cities) and again....not much happens there culinary wise. There may be some nice restaurants there, but not to the extent of the areas I listed above.
post #6 of 22
Boston is great. If you were to move in one of the surounding towns, it is very cheep.. I have worked up and down the east coast from Portland, Maine to South Beach. Boston was top dollar as far as pay, heritage, culture, sites, and people, always, always, always work.. Well maybe not people. People would have to go to the south NC, SC, and Virginia.. There is so much work in Boston and money to make.

Plus New England's Fall season, there is nothing like it.

Did I mention the Red Sox and Patriots and Celtics... :bounce::bounce:
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
When I stop loving what I do, I will do something else: Clint Eastwood http://NewDreamCatering.comCharleston, SC
post #7 of 22
Don't take Lolla Rossa's word for it as far as Atlanta goes....I think you'll find
there are oodles of great restaurants and different restaurant groups to work for. Although most outsiders think of Atlanta as some generic Southern city, it is as diverse in food as it is in culture.....Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, Decatur, etc.....take a second look.....google some of Atlanta's Best Chefs....you might be surprised.....good luck
post #8 of 22
Las Vegas:

been there, done that.
three years, all expenses paid.
would not do that again except: time limited; big bucks - really big bucks.

if you are NOT a tourist there are exactly four activities available:

if you ARE a tourist, omit "work"

LV is a glitzy green spot in the middle of absolutly flipping nowhere.
unless you are completely absorbed by watching sand blow thru weeds, the place gets really old, really fast.
post #9 of 22
what you "heard" about Atlanta is not true...if you read any of the magazines you will find something about that town in every issue. i started my career in Atl. and I still have family there. you can learn to cook any cuisine you can imagine there. so much more affordable to live there than NYC, which is another culinary destination.
it is THE hub of food in the south with a farmer's market in every neighborhood. don't knock it until you have tried it. and by the way, water is an issue all over the world...
you mention N.O. also, water problems? floods are a nasty thing...
post #10 of 22
Sure your right Chefjnstwrt,
So much to choose from......Piero Premoli, Tom Catherall, Anne Quatrano, Cliff Harrison, Kevin Rathbun, Gerry Klaskala, Pano Karatassos, Joel Antunes,
Guenter Seeger(perhaps a little eccentric by now?).....Not only do you have some great chefs there, and I didn't mention but a few....you have some great operators...some truly great operators....would be one of my top choices.....all things considered......Atlanta is a great town....big music scene, great colleges, beautiful city, really affordable, etc.
post #11 of 22

Atl baby

I live in and love the ATL. I am an ec and make more money then I want to admit. The city is good to me and the cooking ranks and files are very hard working. I love Chi town as well but they get snow and we dont. Learn to cook grits and settle in to the south.
post #12 of 22
New York. New york.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
what made me think of louisville...i know it's pretty cheap to live there and I found it to be one of the more enjoyable areas in that part of the country. I don't think I could live in chicago..
i think i need a coast..
atlanta is one of my favorite cities so the more votes for that the better... i just love that city...and i've been there 3 times now and every place i eat I'm never disappointed.
Last time I ate and Gladys knights (nights)...??
chicken and waffles
and this awesome japanese place...wish i remembered the name...
the city is just awesome...
denver..another city i really liked and according to prices on the internet it's pretty dirt cheap..at least compared to what i'm used to.
and boston...i love boston ....but what i don't love about it is the fact i got lost parking only 3 blocks away..that place is so confusing.
plus, i didn't think there was a huge foodie scene there and i thought it would be pretty expensive.
Buffalo because i just love upstate ny area and (although I didn't stop in i drove through)..it seemed like a nice place to live.
Oregon was an area i was thinking of only because i love the west coast and california is way outta my price range..unless i want to live in a box..
i mean if there was a way i could afford san fran without it involving oakland or vallejo than I would pick that in a heartbeat..but i just don't think i could manage it.
nyc..my families from there (and some still lives there)...i just hate it actually...i don't care if orgasms were served on a plate i just really hate that city...it's just toooooo much.

thanks so far for all the suggestions
keep em coming..
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
I would also like to add, that i think I'd rather work in Atlantic city NJ before las vegas.
I got the worst feeling from that town. Not everybody in Nevada is creepy but there were definitely an abundant amount of shady people during my trek through.
I just didn't get a safe vibe...if that would be a good way to describe it.
post #15 of 22
even stephen, chefjnstwrt:

I think you guys are taking things a bit too personal. I said from what I have heard. I have about 5 externs ranging from 21-30, that came from LCB Atlanta that hated Atlanta. There are a ton of NC native I work with as well that moved there and then moved back because they hated the town as well....again. Why I stated from what I had heard. as far as the culinary scene. I said they have some nice restaurants. I don't dispute that, but compared to NYC, N.O., Chicago and L.V....Atlanta just doesn't compare...as far as well known, well skilled top Chefs. I can say the names, Emeril, Thomas, Charlie, Gordon, Mario, Rick, Joel, Todd and Guy...and none of them, so far as I know, are in Atlanta. I am not discounting the skills of the guys/gals in Atlanta, but the OP asked where to go. I mentioned cities that have VERY well known skilled Chefs.

A little story. I had an ACF apprentice here at the resort. He asked me the same question while he was in his last few months of his apprenticeship. I told him as I said in my original post in this thread. He then proceeds to go to NYC and bench test for Keller at Per Se and gets the job. He is now a Sous at Babbo for Batali. Two pretty impressive names on his resume now that he would not have gotten in Atlanta.

In regards to the water problems. Atlanta is just as prone to floods by way of Hurricanes just the same as N.O. Don't stigmatize the city because government failed at all levels to take care of the situation. Atlanta and the Southeast are in a severe drought.........at one point Atlanta was all but out of water completely. Something to consider (just like Hurricanes, but Katrina was much more publicized than the drought) when one is planning to relocate.

Upstate NY. BEAUTIFUL area. I wish to death I could move back. But the area as a whole is depressed, from Rochester, Buffalo to Syracuse, the money just isn't there and the taxes just kill what one does make.
post #16 of 22
as far as Boston not being foodie, it couldn't be further from the truth. check out www.bostonchefs.com for menus, pictures, and job listings from some of the greats.
it is fairly expensive, but you can live in the burbs and take the T in.
post #17 of 22
Myrtle Beach, SC
Charleston, SC
Asheville, NC
Charlotte, NC
Raleigh, NC
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
you brought up club med..which i found interesting...I never thought about it. The web site doesn't really give any examples and when i tried googling nobody talks about working there...
Do you know anything about it? I get the impression they pay for room and board and pay you a small wage...

I was just wondering if anybody else knows anything about CM..??
post #19 of 22
Las Anglas, CA
Napa, CA ( im working in yountvill right now and love it)
San fransisco (bay area) CA

go to an area where people have money, there will be good highend places to work
post #20 of 22
Single, No kids? Move to France for a few months and pick up some room and board stages. Denver is good they are up and coming in the culinary field. Boulder has some amazing restaurants too. The kitchen, 4580, the Med. Im with some of the others dont worry about price work that I know bills have to be paid. Pick a chef to work for get that experience and you can be more picky later and learn a lot more not working for someone you dont like.
post #21 of 22
Lolla Rossa,
didn't mean to offend.....I agree...NYC has a lot of the great TV chefs and great Chef's in general....Had a long dinner at Daniel....was one of the best I've had....just wanted to let people know a little first hand experience about Atlanta....
post #22 of 22

Vegas Rocks

Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las vegas.
There is no other city in the world that can offer you such a diverse culinary environment. Regardless of whether you want to learn traditional Salvadoran food in a hole in the wall joint or cook for banquets of 15,000, everything in the culinary world is represented here in Vegas. Jobs abound, year round sun, beautiful scenery, beautiful people, tons of activities. It is one of the only places I know of where you can learn Italian, Asian, Hispanic, Buffet, Steakhouse, Cafe, Bistro, Pastry, Banquets, Room service, Deli, Mediterranean and French without ever changing jobs.
It's Good To Be The King!
It's Good To Be The King!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Best place to live if you are a culinary professional?