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Ok, how do I build a career?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So I have finally come to a conclusion to my deliberation of going into the restaurant business. I want to get into the restaurant business. My goal is to learn as much as I can and become a respectable chef one day. As far as style goes, I'd like to focus on French cuisine.


Now my question is, can I apply to any nice restaurant by presenting myself to chefs, resume and cover letter in hand; while proclaiming unholy passion for food and a high tolerance, maybe even borderline fondness, for hard work? Or should I be building up experience at chain restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse? I already have two months experience at a high end chain restaurant. I can get very good recommendations from the chefs there.

post #2 of 4

Perhaps start with somewhere that you like to eat. It's a good way to check up if the place is nice to work for, the behaviors of the front of house staff will probably give away whether it is a good work environment or not.


I can definitely recommend applying in person from the point of view that if you dress cleanly and smartly (and have a clean spare uniform in your bag) you are more than likely to get to meet the chef and score a trial than someone who just applies over the internet. 98% of the available jobs out there are not advertised so (especially this time of year) you could walk into that "nice restaurant" and get the job in a matter of minutes. 


I would certainly ask those chefs you have worked with in the past for a written reference but if you are just using them as caller referees than I would make sure you let them know of the jobs you apply for so that they know what nice stuff to say about you.


Good Luck :D



post #3 of 4

     Two routes you can take.....enroll in a culinary school, or take the route I took, and work your way up from the bottom.  You won't become a chef overnight.  I've been cooking for over 13 years now, and I'm no where near where I want to be.  But when I look back on what I knew 13 years ago and what I know now, I've learned a ton.  With all of the young talent out there we see on reality cooking shows, I must admit, some learn faster than others.  How did they learn so fast?  I've worked under some chefs who are "teachers", and some that use the sink-or-swim method.  A desire to learn goes a long way in how fast you climb the ladder of success, IMO.......I spent half my career cooking at a less than stellar establishment before I realized that cooking, real cooking, was what I wanted to do as a career. 


     What am I trying to say?  Work hard, devote yourself, NEVER call out sick.  Dependability goes a long way, believe me.  Use the internet to learn.  There is Soooooo much to be found on the net.  When I'm not in the kitchen cooking, I'm at home researching recipes, plating techniques, etc.....Also, at this point in your young career, LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS!  At the expense of being a pain in your chef's arse, insist on learning your knife skills, safe food-handling, basic, BASIC cooking techniques, and once you've mastered those, then begin building from there..........You can't fake your way into sucess behind the line.  Those that try don't make it......


Best of luck!!



post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice guys! That was really helpful. I'm a very hard worker and my previous employers can attest to that. I'm going to apply to this French place this weekend and I'll utilize every tip. SUBMIT

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