New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How should I get a job?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I posted a thread awhile back about possibly getting an apprenticeship, but I'm now thinking that it makes more sense for me to work in a restaurant and then see if an apprenticeship is the right way for me to go. The problem is, I don't have a degree from a culinary school, and judging from the ads on Craigslist, everybody wants experience.

I consider myself to be a very good home cook. However, I don't know a lot of the lingo that I'm sure would be important, and if I somehow did get a job, I feel that my lack of knowledge would do me in. What should I do? Is it possible to find a kitchen in which my lack of culinary knowledge wouldn't do me in?

Edit: Even a job like dishwasher requires experience, judging from a lot of the ads.
post #2 of 10
Others may agree or disagree but thinking that you are a good home cook and equating that to you working in a pro kitchen is setting yourself up for failure.

The other thing is, quit looking at Craigslist. They will see dozens to hundreds of resumes so yours would probably go in the "no" pile immediately.

I have a student I am working with who has no experience but is starting school soon. Comes from the corporate world and the guy walked into a good restaurant with a solid chef and landed a stage. Sure, he is working for free and sure he is doing whatever they let them, but he is gaining experience and if he doesn't muck it up, they will probably teach him a thing or two before he starts school.

What did he do to get it? He ate there, knew the food, went back and sat at the bar on a slow night, got to talk to the staff, then the chef, then later that week he was buying new shoes so he wouldn't lose a foot.

I recommend this approach to every person looking at breaking into this business without any experience. And if you aren't 21, order a coke.
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
post #3 of 10
I agree. I have worked in many restaurants that have had stages come in, some with no experience. Right now places here have slimmed their staff down so much that the remaining cooks are overworked and appreciate any free help they can get. If you can afford to do this one or two shifts a week, you will gain experience without paying for school, and if you prove yourself are likely to get a job offer through the contacts you make.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for your help. Sorry if I came across as naive, but I only mentioned that I'm a good home cook because it would seem that having some cooking skill would be important in getting a job (although I'm 100% sure that as you say, cooking at home is nothing like cooking at a restaurant).
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
So what kind of place should I try do some part time work at? In case it matters, I am under 21 (I'm just finishing up my degree). Should I steer clear of a really fancy place?
post #6 of 10
First off, where do you live? This is the best starting point.

If you want a paid job, you will probably want to go to a less upscale fine dining place. If you want to learn from the best chefs in your area, you will probably have to live without pay for a bit.
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I live in Denver, so there is a pretty wide range of restaurants. I'm fine with no pay. So you think it would be okay to contact a high end restaurant and tell them I'm willing to work for free? (this would have to be part time since I'm still in school)
post #8 of 10
It may be fine to contact a restaurant to tell them you would work there but I would recommend doing it on a slow night, knowing the food and have eaten there before, and ideally doing it in person.

Target the restaurants you like, go alone, grab a seat at the bar, order a few apps, strike up conversation with bartender, hopefully get to meet someone.

That's how I would do it. Doesn't work everytime but it has worked enough for people in your situation.
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
Reply
post #9 of 10
Persistence is the key, that and a keen mind and a good work ethic.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #10 of 10
lol, a closed mouth doesn't get fed, and not filling out applications or talking to chefs will never get you hired. fill out the apps, make some phone calls, and maybe someone will give you a chance. but for sure, not doing any of that is sure not to get you a job.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home