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First time in a kitchen-- what to expect?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm starting a new job in a few days that has me very nervous and I'm hoping I can get some advise on how to be prepared.

 

This won't actually be my first time in a kitchen, I went to culinary school for pastry, did an internship, and worked another job for a few weeks where I got fired because of a background check (I didn't lie to them, they never asked and I didn't know it would be an issue).  Thing is, I've been hired as a pastry chef at high-end casual restaurant when all my experience has been in bakeries, which is a very different pace.  I'm confident I have the skill to do everything, but I'm nervous for a few reasons:

1. I'll be the only person with a pastry background there, where before I've always had someone around who could kind of mentor me.

2. I've never been in a restaurant kitchen during service, or before for that matter, so I'm not familiar with what goes on, when specific things need to get done, and what will be expected on the pastry side.  

3. I got the job because I personally know the chef, which adds some pressure.  I don't feel to bad about getting a job this way, since I know he was looking for a pastry person anyway and wanted to hire me while I was in school, but the prospect of proving myself in front of someone who I know and who has high expectations is honestly scary.  

 

I'm so happy to have this job, but starting any new job is nerve racking and I'm kind of being thrown into the water here.  Any advice on how to swim/ what to expect would be very helpful!

post #2 of 7

You say you don't have a mentor, but you know the chef? why wouldn't this chef/friend help mentor you?

 

over prepare, prepare for the worst, and go with the flow, make sure you're OCD about your prep, and you should be okay when service begins, you aren't going to jump into service the first day, or weeks for that matter, and have it down pat, but you'll get into a routine that works for you, atleast that's the plan for most people.

 

Ask questions if you don't know, you weren't hired to know it all, you have to ask questions to succeed and see how their kitchen runs.

 

Good luck.

post #3 of 7

My question to you is why in the world would you apply for a job that you clearly are not qualified for by your own admission?

Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Reply
post #4 of 7

I would ask to do a stage day just to see how it all operates and what is expected of you. To see if you can keep up with the pace.

post #5 of 7

When I started working in a restaurant I followed some simple advice from a friend that had been in the industry for years before getting out. He told me " Keep your head down, eyes open, mouth shut. When someone says to get something done, do it quickly, do it clean. If you don't know something, for God's sake ask. If you have nothing to do, find something or ask Chef for something to do. After work always always always have a drink with your coworkers."

 

Keep calm, and enjoy the high. I'm still enjoying mine.

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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post #6 of 7

I don't see the problem if you personally know the Chef that hired you. So you would think that he knows your background and your experience in the industry?

 

Its OK to be nervous on your first day, just try not to show it. All the advice I can give you is if the Chef says jump, you ask how high, and always keep your mouth shut. Even if you think you know better, because you went to cooking school. No one likes a smart ass in the kitchen. It gives them a reason to make your life hell.

 

 

On your first day, get there early, ask your Chef or your CDP what prep you need to do, how things are plated, and get a tour of the place so you know where everything is.

post #7 of 7

It's the head chefs kitchen. He knows the routine and what needs to be done. ASK QUESTIONS. Ask the chef why things are done the way they are, different variations for cooking something, what different days are like when it comes to business, etc. As someone else said, keep your mouth shut otherwise. Be very quick with everything you do, but at the same time, do not make a mess. 

 

One thing I take offense to in my kitchen is people who say they have nothing to do when I ask them what they're doing. If your chef ever asks this, and you don't have anything to do because you don't know what you are supposed to do, just say you are ready to help him with whatever he needs. 

 

Me and the others here can give you all the advice you want to hear and don't want to hear. In the end, it all comes down to how you actually do the job. Good luck. 

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