As a bit of an introduction, I'm 40 years old, married with two small children. I work in the IT industry and must continue to, in order to support my family. However, I really enjoy restaurants. I have worked in a couple of large pizza chains, owned a very small pizza joint in my youth, and have worked as a server --- none of which have been in the last 15 years. I want to open my own restaurant, but am not ready to risk my retirement fund without good experience and skills.
As for my level of desire, I have no desire to be a world-famous chef. I wouldn't mind being "boss", but I have no desire to become a true chef. I don't enjoy the types of food that great chefs can prepare. The menu on Hell's Kitchen is about as high-end as I want to go. I also have no desire to spew French words for everything I do. I'm more of a "crap in the right spots" than "mise in place".
I would like to get a part time job where I'm paid next to nothing and can LEARN. I need to practice knife skills, learn some techniques, and am willing to work hard for little money for the exchange for providing sub-par abilities on the front end. I'm not above bussing tables or washing dishes (and actually need the experience if I plan to ever have my own restaurant). However, I'm trying to determine how to find the right restaurant where I can learn quality skills rather than how to open bags and cans.
I accept that I need to put in time as a prep cook and as a line cook. My "vision" of a restaurant wouldn't have a "head chef", and "line cook" would be the top job.
I realize that kitchens have a large Hispanic population (at least in my area) and the restaurants find guys that will work extremely hard for less than ideal pay. I say this not to be derogatory, but to help others understand my area a little better. I don't speak more than a few words of Spanish, so that also goes against me as far as being able to work in a non-English speaking kitchen.
My two favorite types of food are Italian and Mexican, and I'd prefer to find an Italian restaurant. I have worked at O.G. in the past as a waiter and understand that their kitchen isn't going to give me the skills I want. I want to make real Alfredo sauce (involving cream, butter, and quality cheese vs the soy concoctions).
Does anyone have any suggestions? I hope this was the correct place to post such a question.