or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Trial run at great restaurant, need to impress, terrified
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Trial run at great restaurant, need to impress, terrified

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! I'm halfway through my culinary program and I've just now started trailing at places. In class the instructors really like me because I work extremely hard and I am always asking questions and then correcting my technique. I'm always willing to help and do any task no matter how menial, and I truly perform these tasks happily. As a result, I've managed to stand out from my peers as valuable and as a team player.

The other day I trailed at a very well known and famous restaurant where people have 10+ years of experience and all work very hard. I think I did o-kay and the chef has asked me to come back for two more days, but I am still on a trial run.

I have a very good attitude about helping people, a strong work ethic, and I always learn something new and I am very eager to learn, BUT my skills are NOT there because I've never worked in a professional kitchen before.

If you were the chef of this really great restaurant (michelin starred, etc.), would you cut me loose, or would you keep me? I need, need, need this job and I love the food they do there. I know I'm not qualified, but how far can a good attitude take you in the kitchen? Any advice about not screwing this up would be very, very helpful.
post #2 of 16
I think he'll hire you based on work ethic, and not experience.
As an Executive Chef, I always am aware that I can teach cooking, working in a kitchen, but can't teach good attitude, willingness to learn, and work ethic.

If it were me, I'd hire you today based on your attitude. Just keep demonstrating how valuable you'd be to the restaurant.

Even if he turns you away, you've gained experience for another place that you may actually like better. You never know when one opportunity will present another.

Keep that good attitude and desire to improve, it's a unique quality in our business.
post #3 of 16
Adding to what Todd said be thrilled that you were asked to stay. The Chef is aware that you don't have experience and are still in school. What he/she is looking for is talent and potential as well as the willingness to learn. Even if it only lasts a few more days remain positive as you never know who this Chef will mention your name to or how it may impact your future. Way back in the dark ages before cell phones, lap tops and Internet I landed a very good job based on nothing more than the Chef knowing the previous Chef I had worked for. My entire interview was listening to stories of the things they used to do. Every thing you gain along the way will add to your experience. The best advice I ever received at this stage was to keep my mouth shut, my eyes and ears open and remain positive. It sounds like you are in a very good position already which is admirable considering you are still in school.

Best of Luck!
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #4 of 16
You need to keep in mind that the chef is fully aware of your experience level. So focus on the fact he asked you to return for two more days. That's a good sign. If Chef didn't see the potential you would not have been asked back.

What is probably going through his mind is that, "sure, for one day he worked his tail off. But can he maintain that spirit and attitude." The two new days will answer that question for him. If he likes what he sees, then he'll give serious thought to hiring you. And he'll teach you what you have to know.

So, all in all, you're in good shape.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
Reply
post #5 of 16
I agree with what everyone else said, and can speak from experience too. I was recently promoted to AKM and when I was spoken to by the owners my "strong work ethic" was mentioned so do the best you can, work hard and it will definitely serve you well. As everyone said, the fact that you have been asked back for two more days is a very good sign.

Good luck to you and keep us posted!
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi guys! Thanks for all of your advice. I'll have to try to remember best that i can that it's not about speed at this point, it's quality. but i can't help feeling useless when i see everyone around me moving like blurs. I'm also glad to hear that the chef is not expecting too much from me...i feel like all thumbs in the kitchen, and doubting everything I do...it's totally nerve wracking. i'll let you know how these next few days turn out. Cheers!
post #7 of 16
Try not to get all worked up in the kitchen...nervous energy/uncertainty on the line can be kinda dangerous. Confidence levels should be tops.

But congrats on being asked to return.

Do your best and good luck to you.

Oh yeah, by the way, if you're half-way through your culinary program and you have yet to work in the professional kitchen do yourself a favor and go get a job!! Seriously!! And be sure to tell your co-workers how eager you are to learn. People are generally happy to teach you all kinds of things if you just put yourself out there.

-dave
“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life.”


Check my blog and leave comments!
http://prodigalguns.livejournal.com/
Reply
“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life.”


Check my blog and leave comments!
http://prodigalguns.livejournal.com/
Reply
post #8 of 16
You said it right on Dave! One of our new hires is a newbie fresh out of culinary and this is a first job. I am so happy with this person.. they want to work, are eager to learn and always have questions. I think it's a good first kitchen experience from their side too as we are over staffing right now so that we can take the time and train our new hires properly so the feeling of OMG it is all on me and I can't hack it is not there for them. I was talking to this person and they said that it was great that we are taking the time to properly train and explain things as we go, and what we have been doing was a total surprise as they expected to be pretty much thrown into the fire.
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #9 of 16
Personally I'd take a great attitude and willingness/ability to learn over experience every time. Sounds like you're being given another chance to shine to see if you're consistent which is a good sign that they liked what they saw first time.

All the very best of luck
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #10 of 16
I agree, bughut!
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
YAY! I landed the gig! The chef is having me come in three days a week for prep and dinner service. I'm sure you can guess which days haha.

Anyway, I have a potentially awkward situation on my hands. This is purely hypothetical right now, but would it be wrong if I were to start working at another restaurant during the hours I have available? In most situations you would say 'of course there's nothing wrong with holding two jobs'. However, these two restaurants are in DIRECT competition with one another (they do the same food more or less) and both are top restaurants. Chefs out there, how do you feel about this? Is this unethical? Do i have to tell either chef about what I do on my "off" days.
post #12 of 16
Can't really offer any sound advice about your question, I have never found myself in the position...can't really think of anything to tell you, so I'll just leave that alone.

I do, however, wish to congratulate you on landing your first kitchen job.

Congrats'! Welcome to the team.

-Dave
“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life.”


Check my blog and leave comments!
http://prodigalguns.livejournal.com/
Reply
“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life.”


Check my blog and leave comments!
http://prodigalguns.livejournal.com/
Reply
post #13 of 16
Congratulations on landing the job! As for your question, I'm not sure but I am sure that someone here will have an answer for you!
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
Reply
post #14 of 16
Thats a dodgy one. You know of course that if you said nothing, they would find out very quickly anyway. In my experience there is always someone in the kitchen who knows someone else in a nearby one. So then you're caught out and suddenly your loyalty is in question.

I'd be inclined to wait and see. Chances are you'll be offered more hours once they see how well you do. Perhaps you could mention to the other place that you'd love a chance to work with them, but that at the moment you need to be loyal to your kichen. That would show you had integrity and you'd be more likely to get a job there in the future should you need it.

Congratulations CommisCookR Let us know how you get on eh?

Ps. Just a thought. Now that you are employed, You may find it easier to find a part-time job elsewhere without compromising your position. Not sure why it works, but folk are often willing to give work to folk who already have a job :rolleyes:. It may simply be a vibe you give off that you're not desperate anymore
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #15 of 16
So you land a job that you were stoked about and "needed" and now you want to work for the competition as well?
No there's nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing wrong with the Chef letting you go on the spot if he/she finds out. Loyalty is a two way street.
In the end the only way to know is to talk to the Chef.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #16 of 16
If an employer can't/won't give you enough hours to survive it shouldn't be a problem to pick up extra work.
A smart employer would use this to their advantage, slyly drawing information from you about the competition.
But, many fail to see competition as a good thing, so no one can really answer this but you, and maybe only after the fact.

Myself, I would go to my Chef and explain the situation and see how he/she responds.
Make sure you mention all of your positive feelings about the place and explain that you are only considering this, and only for financial reasons.

Good luck.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Professional Food Service › Professional Chefs › Trial run at great restaurant, need to impress, terrified