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How to get a catering job with film and television

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am a caterer in Los Angeles - I see all the catering trucks on sets and I want to try my hand at it...I've been catering for over 12 years ...was successful, but the financial downturn took my steadiest customer out. any suggestions?

post #2 of 6

Are you ready to start at 3am and get home at 7pm?

I did the grind for about 6 years, not for everyone. I saw many people with great "paper" fail miserably.

There are a couple of threads on here about film catering.

 

My advice, go get a job with a mopic caterer first to see if you can handle it.

 

Any idea on what a movie truck costs these days?  A new one can set you back $200,000+

Hollywood likes shiny and new.

 

The succesful guys have been in the business for a long time, have all the regular clients, know what they want, will take the caterer on every job, anywhere they go...think lots of travel at times......

Want to drive a rolling kitchen across country in the middle of summer?  Been there, done that. Want to work in Death Valley in August?...People dropping like flies, you still have to cook lunch in that hot truck.

Work in down town... Location manager sets you up in a shit infested alley...tuff...deal with it....

 

Set for breakfast,  suprise!......were going to the next location....2 hrs away, and by the way, we will need lunch 2 hrs early....so now you have 2 hrs to get something cooked, what you had planned requires 5 hrs of cook time.....Tuff, deal with it and don't be late.

 

Like I said, go work for one to see just waht you will be getting yourself into. It all looks pretty cool from the outside.

post #3 of 6

ChefBuba is 110% right. Plus on top of everything else you have to deal with "hey I am a star or somebody attitudes" and wacked out request. Give me normal people any day. Those guys are earning blood money, and they deserve every cent they can get.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #4 of 6

I agree with ChefEdB. 

 

I have a fun story. 

 

I worked at a resort just North of Yellowstone. A notorious actor lived in the area and was, to be very polite, DEMANDING.  

 

However, he didn't anticipate a woman named Helen. She ran a small fast food burger joint with the BEST BURGERS EVER in Gardiner. Apparently this actor didn't want to wait like the other peons in line (a rather LONG line at that) and cut in. OK here we go. It was a typical fast food smallish window like maybe 1 1/2' x 1 1/2'. Helen was older than God, had a beer by the register and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.

 

She wasn't pleased. 

 

In a very controlled voice she said (well, controlled for her) Sonny, you have to get back in line".

 

He was determined. "Do you know who I am?"

 

Helen proceeds to reach through the window, grab the guy by the collar and drag him halfway in .... and in a very LOUD cold determined voice "informed" him:

"I don't give a F*** who you are, get the HELL back in line like everyone else or you won't get served!!!!"

 

It was epic.

 

Yeah, actors....

 

In the theater world you have to expect all kinds of really weird-assed goofy requests. I had one for a "carrot cake" made with NO sugar, NO  butter, NO fat or oil, NO salt, NO nuts, NO citrus fruit, NO gluten...I made a joke that maybe I should just mix up a cup of rice flour with some shredded carrots and stick it in a muffin cup.

 

My sister worked for Yul Brynner. Yes, the King. After he was diagnosed with lung cancer he went totally hardover with the holistic stuff. Not only would HE insist on only steamed fish, brown rice and a handful of strange asian veggies, but all of his staff had to eat that way as well. But heck, pay me and I can steam fish and veggies all day. <lol>

 

While I find it kind of entertaining thinking of just what a caterer would have to put up with (and equally fun trying to do it) I can just imagine the nightmares that you'd have to endure. If I were going to do such a thing I would make it a point of grilling their (the actor's) handlers (as in picking their brains, not cooking them) as to what to expect culinary speaking so I had at least a head's up and some idea as to menu tweaking for those freaky strange people who can only eat a yeast patty fried in yaba yaba oil on Tuesdays. 

 

I would love to find a job in a catering venue. Food trucks, .... yeah. I'm a cook but pastry chef/food artist/baker at heart. As in would love to have a mobile wedding cake  thing....<just kidding....sort of> 

 

Anyway, I agree that you might wanna test the water with your toe first. See what's involved and all and grow with it. 

 

 

 

 

post #5 of 6

I agree with ChefEdB. 

 

I have a fun story. 

 

I worked at a resort just North of Yellowstone. A notorious actor lived in the area and was, to be very polite, DEMANDING.  

 

However, he didn't anticipate a woman named Helen. She ran a small fast food burger joint with the BEST BURGERS EVER in Gardiner. Apparently this actor didn't want to wait like the other peons in line (a rather LONG line at that) and cut in. OK here we go. It was a typical fast food smallish window like maybe 1 1/2' x 1 1/2'. Helen was older than God, had a beer by the register and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth.

 

She wasn't pleased. 

 

In a very controlled voice she said (well, controlled for her) Sonny, you have to get back in line".

 

He was determined. "Do you know who I am?"

 

Helen proceeds to reach through the window, grab the guy by the collar and drag him halfway in .... and in a very LOUD cold determined voice "informed" him:

"I don't give a F*** who you are, get the HELL back in line like everyone else or you won't get served!!!!"

 

It was epic.

 

Yeah, actors....

 

In the theater world you have to expect all kinds of really weird-assed goofy requests. I had one for a "carrot cake" made with NO sugar, NO  butter, NO fat or oil, NO salt, NO nuts, NO citrus fruit, NO gluten...I made a joke that maybe I should just mix up a cup of rice flour with some shredded carrots and stick it in a muffin cup.

 

My sister worked for Yul Brynner. Yes, the King. After he was diagnosed with lung cancer he went totally hardover with the holistic stuff. Not only would HE insist on only steamed fish, brown rice and a handful of strange asian veggies, but all of his staff had to eat that way as well. But heck, pay me and I can steam fish and veggies all day. <lol>

 

While I find it kind of entertaining thinking of just what a caterer would have to put up with (and equally fun trying to do it) I can just imagine the nightmares that you'd have to endure. If I were going to do such a thing I would make it a point of grilling their (the actor's) handlers (as in picking their brains, not cooking them) as to what to expect culinary speaking so I had at least a head's up and some idea as to menu tweaking for those freaky strange people who can only eat a yeast patty fried in yaba yaba oil on Tuesdays. 

 

I would love to find a job in a catering venue. Food trucks, .... yeah. I'm a cook but pastry chef/food artist/baker at heart. As in would love to have a mobile wedding cake  thing....<just kidding....sort of> 

 

Anyway, I agree that you might wanna test the water with your toe first. See what's involved and all and grow with it. 

 

 

 

 

post #6 of 6

Hey Chef

 

          My name is Teddy Smith and i worked in the movie catering biss for quite some time.  I currently live in Buffalo Ny but would love to find a show that is doing a traveling show.  If you know any one planing such a project please let me know. seneca72001@yahoo or 716 650 1005

 

thank you for your help

 

Teddy Smith

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