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What do you think I should do?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey hows it going guys my name is Sam, and I am currently 18 years old. About a year and a half ago, I was a line cook for Outback Steakhouse, and BJ's Brew house, not for a long time, but the reason I left is because of some insomniac issues I had, and I couldn't open anymore, so I had to leave work. After 2-3 months I really needed a job, and I didn't find a current line/prep cook job opening so I took a Barista position at Starbucks Coffee, that I had waiting for me. I have been with the company for about 12+ months, and I am a very fast-paced barista, and it is a very busy store, just like how the restaurant business mostly is. Now that I am 18, healthy, I think its time for me to start fullfilling my dreams of working my way up to becoming a Chef. What do you think is the best thing to do for me right now, should I stay with Starbucks , until I find a line cook job opening , and working my way up in the corporate world like many others do, or enroll into a culinary school. The one thing is that getting a loan is hard right now, and atleast the corporate way of working my way up is harder, but atleast your getting paid right :]. Thanks alot for the help guys, and I hope to hear from you guys soon!
post #2 of 10
I would hold off on the schools till I worked in a classy operation for a while. Why put yourself in hock in this economic climate if you dont have to?
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post #3 of 10
Usually I am in favor of young folks getting formal training/education in their chosen field as I feel it gives them a broader foundation to work with compared to job site training. However at this point in time and given the extreme cost of culinary schools I heartily agree with ED BUCHANAN.

You commented that you are a "very fast paced barista", which is all well and good but my question to you is, What do you understand about coffee? In other words do you understand the whole process of getting coffee from the tree to the customer? Do you understand the differences in flavor in coffees from various parts of the world? Do you understand the effects of the different levels of roasting on the finished drink? All of this is stuff you can learn pretty cheaply while becoming somewhat of a coffee expert. Same kind of thing could be applied to what you were doing and working with at Outback Steakhouse.

IMO really good professional cooks understand food and really good chefs understand food, management and leadership. Much if not most all of this can be learned on your own for far less money than the schools cost.
post #4 of 10
Very good point!

and while you were at outback did you learn where the different cuts of meat came from. What chemical they tenderized their meat with and why it works. How long for rare, med, and welldone? This is observation and retention part of the whole chef picture. But most important::: TIMEING""" which no school can teach.:chef:
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post #5 of 10
Outback ony Jaccards some cuts. No pump or chemicals.
Sam, what lines positions did you hold at OB? Your experience there might help to answer your question.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
All of you had very good points , on the coffee part all of them are a big YES , on the meat part not so much, but the reason being is I was mostly on Fry/Salads/Desserts. Like I said I wasn't there for a long time. I did cover shifts on all different parts , though but not long. I know how to close and open the kitchen very good , when I was there. I think the best thing to do right now is not get stuck with expensive culinary school. I think what I will do right now is apply and get my self a job as a line cook , at a decent well paced restaurant, and start training my self. That way I can work on all the skills I should be doing. But again all of you are 100 percent right, and I appreciate your answers. More of them would be appreciated! As I am here to learn every bit from you guys! :D
post #7 of 10
sounds like you're a smart kid and a hard worker. reminds me of me.
I think your next logical step would be day prep type stuff. That way you can learn your way around ingredients and recipes. This knowledge will help you a lot on the line shifts as well. Where ever you land a job, find a mentor. Work hard and learn always...you will be offered additional responsabilities, raises, promotions etc.

But trust me, never stop learning...every chance you get. You want both experience and knowledge, it will take you far.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much Cat Man , I really appreciate it. I will definitely have that in mind!
post #9 of 10
you can find culinary schools that arent outragously expensive. some community colleges have culinary programs, you just have to look around. about the insomnia issue, when i was younger (18-19) i had the same issues because i was smoking a lot of pot, i dont know if that is part of your problem but i would suggest putting that on the back burner for a while. if you really want to get serious about becoming a chef i would suggest getting a job in a high end kitchen as a prep cook and bust your *** to work your way up. culinary school is great and all but there is much more to be learned on the job than there is in a school enviroment. culinary school teaches you basic technique, not how to be a chef.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey buddy thanks for the reply, no thats actually not my problem never touched pot or ever will. The Insomniac problem was with me since I was in the 2nd grade. I would always sleep 4:30-500AM wake up at 7am and go to school all the way up to 12th grade. Just was always like that. Its still with me , but it never really bugged me to much. And to let everyone know I am applying for a lot of line/prep cook positions for restaurants, and will give you guys some good updates if anything comes up. Replys will still be appreciated!
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