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Graduating with a Bachelor's

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So here I am, 4 year degree in Culinary Arts & Food Service Management. I've worked in the industry (the real one not the chain restaurant version) for almost 5 years now. I have literally just come from my school's Career Fair where there are companies ranging from Darden to Hyatt Hotels to assorted resorts and cruise lines.

 

Does anyone have suggestions for a good next step? I spent ten minutes talking to a company and at the end of it they said that I was a good candidate for a line cook position. They spoke of the fact that they hire from within, which I both understand and respect, but making $10 an hour after graduating just doesn't sound like the right path for me.

 

At the same time the idea of working for a company like Darden where I'd be managing a Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or one of their other properties just goes against everything I've come to love about cooking.

 

Is there a happy medium, some sort of job where I can have a decent career but still be extremely involved with cooking. More than willing to listen to the advice of seasoned vets or anyone who is in the same situation as myself.

 

Thanks,
:tux

p.s. I'm currently a Sous Chef for my catering company, I've paid my dues as a grunt at various restaurants and while I know sometimes you just need a job, I'd like to move forward not backwards.

:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"

    -MPW

Reply

:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"

    -MPW

Reply
post #2 of 5

Oh how do I put this Cheftux....

career companies are willing to interview you and one has even told you that you would qualify for a line cooks position,  but $10.00 an hour is not your style?

Wake up and smell the oregano dude.

Welcome to the real world.

You say you have some experience, but you do not say how that pay was.

Surely you understand that graduating from a culinary degree program does not automatically guarantee you a high paying position.

You are still going to have to work your way up.

Yup....all over again.

Each and every one of us had to go through the same thing. You are no different.

 

Now that being said you have the ability to raise the bar on yourself by looking for places that might suit your abilities.

You had mentioned the career fair that you attended. Have you ever considered cruise ship work? The work is timely, you will learn a lot of different food preparation technique. The pay may be less than stellar, but since you are on a boat, you have no way to spend it. You can save a lot that way.

 

Have you considered non commercial venues such as hospital or institutional feeding? They may offer better pay and the hours are better than working in a restaurant atmosphere.

 

I realize that you want instant grats but you are going to have to put in your time.

 

Best of luck and I hope you find "the one."

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

my current position pays $14.00/hr, my last job was $12/hour, and the last time I made $10 an hour was as a line cook. 

I realise, completely, the need to work your way up. I wasn't saying I was so completely amazing that I am "too good" for a line cook job. I was merely inquiring if there was a way to move on with my career while not taking a low paying starting position.

 

If that was your way of saying that that is how "the real world" works then thank you. I, however, find it hard to believe that there isn't another option. I might be a college graduate, and I know, unfortunately, we all get a bad rap for thinking that as soon as we graduate we'll be handed a high end job. I'm not expecting that at all, but I could walk down into the city and find a job as a line cook with out having gone to school for 4 years.

Thanks for your opinion, I honestly and greatly appreciate the advice of any seasoned chefs.

 

:tux

 

p.s. thanks especially for your advice on "institutional feeding" landed an interview with Aramark.

:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"

    -MPW

Reply

:chef tux

"Mother Nature is the true artist, the Chef is merely the technician"

    -MPW

Reply
post #4 of 5
Why don't you get into management? I know you said that a place like olive garden is against what you love about food but it will pay decent, and you just need to tough it out for a year or so, boost the resume, and move on to higher end restaurants once you have some management experience. I have friends that graduated from Cornell, an ivy league school, from the hospitality management program and they did similar things. The only reason why I pointed out Cornell is because they probably have the best hospitality program in the country and their grads aren't even getting prestigious jobs right away.

Or if you want to cook, maybe catering?


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post #5 of 5

Unfortunatly in this economic enviorment we are in an employers ball game. There are more people then jobs.therefore he has a lot to chose from. I had a BS. degree when I graduated, but that did not teach me cooking or how to assume responsibilities of becoming a Chef. I went to Europe, worked for room and board. Apprenticed in almost every NY Hotel in the late 50s  early 60s. a Spent at least 3 monthes in every station ,(  learned everything from scratch , there was no premaid foods then. Frozen french fries were just about in late experimental stages.)). > All together about 4 years. It beat any school.

Any position I ever obtained was NEVER because of a degree, it was based on experience and moving upward or promotion. If you remain in this business you probably wont ever need a degree.  Try this for math.. Culinary school from 5000. to 18000 per year depening whick one. When you graduate job  14,00 hour if lucky.  18000%14==1285.7 hours needed to work just to repay loan ,unless mom and dad pay for you. Or approx 32  40 hour weeks to repay. Even with student loan it will take you years to repay.

 

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

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
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