I'm currently working in one of the American casual restaurant chains. While I try to be open minded, and try not to under appreciate the experience I gain anywhere, I do worry that I could be getting off to a better start. After making pizzas for a couple years, and then finally some prep work for an Italian restaurant, it is the first line cook position I've been offered. I've been working there for a year, and believe that working on the line anywhere should make me a more serious applicant for many restaurants than when my experience was limited to pizza making, simple pasta and sandwiches. On the other hand, it's a kitchen that is delegated 90% by computer software. There is little "prep work" involved, but rather portioning. Yes, cooking steaks to the guest's preference of rare to well under volume is a solid fundamental skill, but it's required by this employer to use a thermometer constantly, and I worry that's a technique I'm getting too comfortable with and will be frowned upon anywhere else I go. Above all, there is no real chef in charge.
Do I have the wrong attitude about this? If nothing else, I think i'm proving to myself that I can handle the pressure. I had a few interviews when starting out where some chefs told me that they didn't believe I had any idea what I was getting into, but I got my hands dirty and haven't lost my determination. So I'm really asking for advice on the next step. I feel like I've hit a dead end there, and looking to move on. In fact it's my new years resolution.