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I'm about to move to New Orleans this fall and I have a couple of interviews and mystery baskets at what I think to be some real nice places. I have dealt with some nice foods and can hold my own to a certain point but the places that I have applied to are real nice fine dining and I haven't yet worked at a fine dining establishment yet.

My question to all of you is what should I do if they give me something that I simply don't know how to deal with? Like sweetbreads or licorice root, I haven't had the chance to work or even eat sweetbreads yet, I've read about them and understand the basics, but I've never done it and I can't find any or afford them where I'm living now. Should I just wing it and put out a plate of **** or just tell them that I haven't worked with them yet. Also, with it being such a high end place, should I pull out all the stops and go for broke and try to really impress or mess up or would it be better to play it safe and make something I know will come out really good and correct but not great?

Also, during an interview what are some things that you guys look for from a possible employee? I'm pretty good about schmoozing and talking all "professional" like, but can you see through that and would just rather hear me talk honestly about things? I have been through many interviews already and done fine, but these places I'm going for are much better than what I have worked at before and would be a big step up for me, so I'm honestly a little nervous about it all.

And lastly, what should I ask for for compensation? These places are in the garden district of New Orleans and the rent there is $750 a month easy. Do any of you know what a line cook with 4 years experience and a culinary degree should be making? I don't want to say too low or too high. Any input that you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated.