Hello to all, I enjoy the culinary feild right now. My attitude is possitive. I enjoy working in kitchens and often long hours. I would love to be told many hints or tips from anyone who don't mind telling to a young soon to be culinarian some helpfull adive.
hints and tips
I'm a young culinary student, too. But, if there is one huge piece of advice I have been told and have found out is this....
Make friends with as many "high up" people you can and use them to your advantage. Offer to working in their kitchens for free. Every great chef knows another great chef; do one good and he'll pay you forward. In just my first year of culinary school, I have made friends with some awesome chefs and I already have internships and job offers in some pretty swanky restaurants.
Just as an example here are a few of them that I have been offered:
-Internship offer with a Wolfgang Puck restaurant from befriending the sous chef and the maitre d'hotel
-Internship offer with an upscale restaurant in the Dominican Republic from being the friend of a friend of the Chef de Cuisine, who is a European master chef
-Job offer with an modern/organic Italian restaurant in Dallas from my uncle being a friend of the owner, a huge restaurateur of fine dining restaurants and bars in Texas
-Job offer with a Hilton restaurant from knowing one of the chef's cooks. (The chef also happens to be a friend of Ree Drummond, the author of The Pioneer Woman and star of the food network show by the same name.)
Keep your eyes open wide and try and learn as much as possible. Ask questions and watch the older cooks. Read trade magazines to keep up with trends. Watch what sells and what does not. Be humble, you will learn as much if not more in a month in a real food setting then you will learn in a year in school. Good Luck to you!
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...
I agree with both above. Be open a listen. Ask questions but don't be annoying. Just learn as much as you can when your in the kitchen.
Networking also definitely helps. I live in Rhode Island, being such a small state knowing the right people is everything here, for everything not just restaurants. For example I worked as a busboy then waiter at a nice italian restaurant near my hometown growing up throughout high school. The owner is close personal friends with the owner of one of the most prestigious restaurants in the state.I applied there with only months of line cook experience and was offered a job simply on recommendation alone even though my previous boss had no knowledge of my cooking ability. Knowing the right people will always help.
- Initiative, initiative, initiative!
- The glass is always half full
- Eyes open, mouth shut
- Find something you enjoy, everyday
- Never stop learning
- Value risk-taking
- Don't be wreckless
Eyes open and mouth shut, as Jim said. Don't share your opinions unless they're solicited, don't be afraid to ask questions, board clean, knives sharp, clean towel, station clean and organized, mise en place, mise en place, mise en place, butter, hair under control, preheat your pans, take notes, stay polite, keep your mind on what you're doing -- don't dwell on past mistakes, stay civil, do it the way your teacher wants until you pass the class, always touch temp your meats, use a thermometer when you can, butter, remember that things don't cook any quicker because you're in a hurry, wipe your board again, no drinking until after work, season everything, taste everything, adjust your seasoning before you serve, your station can't be too tidy -- clean it again, mise en place, butter, butter and more butter.
PS. Word to the wise: No "All-Caps" when posting, it's the online equivalent of shouting. Increase the font size enough, add bolding, and it's the equivalent of drunken shouting while whizzing in an alley.
Edited by boar_d_laze - 11/10/11 at 11:41am
actually study. show up prepared. practice away from school (work/home/etc). don't worry about other people and what they are doing, worry about what you are doing.
3 kinds of people:
1. those who know.
2. those who know they don't know.
3. those who don't know they don't know.
don't be #3.
and btw the only real value in any school (even outside of culinary) is the people you meet and what you do with that over time (see" NETWORKING" - an appropriate time to emphasize a critical point with caps imho). everything else at school you can learn out of a book (in some cases much better than school, in others not so much).
learn what a quadratic equation is: just put your head down and do it, get algebra 101 out of the way, it seems hard but it only is if you don't pay attention and practice because you're too busy gossiping in math class and talking about how much you suck at math (hint: we all do, get over it and crack the book).
honestly i think the whole "working clean" thing is becoming a lost concern. having stewarded a few recent CEC awards lately I'm shocked at how the ACF will ding people for cleanliness on idiotic points (eg wearing gloves for virtually everything, not limited to RTE foods, which btw also means you're putting silicone powder all over a guests' food in that universe), but then turn around and award a CEC when someone does some of the most unsanitary practices I've ever seen (like slapping a wet brush around a dirty student's table and chuck it back in their bag, cross-contaminating the entire thing =p