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Advice for getting a job in a kitchen?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I really really really really want to get involved in the industry, but I have very little experience, yet I have been in a professional kitchen, and I LOVED the environment. I'm really wanting to improve on my skills, but when restaurants don't give me the time of day, what should I do? I dress nicely, fill out applications, etc and never hear anything back. I'm a couple steps away from willing to commit murder if it means I can get a job in a kitchen, I'd even be happy as a dishwasher!

What am I doing wrong? Am I not speaking to the right person, am I being let off too easily? Do I need to stay away from the chains and stick to other restaurants?

I need help!! I can't tell you how bad I want this!!
post #2 of 8
I would stay away from chains ... or at least the big greedy ones. But that is just me.

Read the book 'Becoming A Chef.'

Tell them that you would work for nothing, that you want to gain experience. So you might need to keep a regular job and work in the restaurant on your free time.

Some chefs like it when a person constantly bugs them week after week about working in their restaurant. It shows the chef the person really wants to be there and learn.

This is also a bad time to look for a job, especially with minimal experience.

Who are you talking to at the restaurants?

Have you thought about working for a caterer?
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
post #3 of 8
Dont just go for an interview, go to get the Job. I have hired and fired people for 30 years. In those years I have never NOT hired a person that told me they would be the best employee i would ever have, they could be called in anytime to help. they are dependable, willing to learn, self starter, work any hours offered. Every Chef/Kitchen manage wants the best people they can find, they don't have to be the most talented. Look them right in the eye and have confidence and thell them you will work hard and not disappoint them for hiring you...............Good luck..............Bill.........P.S.Make the interviewer remember you from all the other people. If you want it, get it.
post #4 of 8
I agree with ChefBillyB

Also, if you are trying to get a job at a certain restaurant, learn as much as you can about that restaurant (history, menu, philosophy) and the chef. Make it a point to mention some of these things during the interview. Don't wait to be asked anything. Take the initiative and fit into the conversation what you have learned. Try to think up a few good questions to ask the interviewer. Do not hesitate to tell the interviewer what you are trying to accomplish. And regardless of how it went, ask for advice how you can be better, and more hirable.

Good luck
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
post #5 of 8

National Parks

OK, as a start I would seriously look into applying at the Park Service sites...ala Yellowstone.

They always are hiring and do a fantastic job of basic education in commercial kitchens. I worked at Mammoth Hot Springs many years back. It was a great experience (besides loving Yellowstone and all) and I was impressed with the degree that they train people of all walks of life. People from all around the world apply, many with no formal education at all.

It would be worth looking into.

All the best.

April
post #6 of 8
Can you please supply a link where I could find out more about this?

thanks :)
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
"To be a good chef all you got to do is lots of little things well" -Marco Pierre

"As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit." -Fernand Point
Reply
post #7 of 8

Yellowstone

No problem. These two links should take you pretty much where you want to go. One of the perks is on you're days off you're in just about one of the prettiest places on the planet.

They provide employee housing and inexpensive meals as well.

Another good part is they are gearing up for Summer so now would be a good time if it's what you want to do.

Oh, and don't forget there are numerous National Parks, everything from Death Valley (although during the Summer, I don't think so) to the Florida Everglades if Yellowstone doesn't suit you.

Good luck! :bounce:
April


www.yellowstonejobs.com
www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/ynpjobs.htm
post #8 of 8
I am in Culinary school at this time and have been very lucky to land a nice job as a cook. My inverview was to be on Friday so I went in on Wednesday to check the menu and get an idea on the meals to be prepared. As I was looking the menu over the person that I was to see on Friday came over and we talked for about 2 hours, he was very pleased that I came in to check the menu and did not take for granted that I would be able to prepare anything that was ordered without knowing something about it first. Now with that being said I would talk with those in charge of hiring and then make a point of showing them that I understand their menu, if not completely then the greater part of it and let them know that you WANT to learn those items that you do not know.
I used to hire and fire people, as a suppervisor for a couple of buisness before starting on this present path. GOOD LUCK to you.
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