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Advice on my first job in industry?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have literally just finished culinary school (I graduated earlier this week) and a good recommendation was put in for me at a lodge in town. It's four star and pretty awesome. The position is only for a commis chef (Pastry is my forte) but I'm willing to start anywhere so it's alright. I got the job, but I'm now terrified that I won't be good enough for the job. My interviewer made it sound so scary! I don't know what it's going to be like on my first day. I keep expecting the worst to happen, like I won't do anything right and I'll be fired right away. I'm good at stuff once it's started but in the beginning, not knowing what to expect and what my actual duties will be is freaking me out a bit. Anyone know what I can realistically expect in my first few weeks? 

My interviewer made it sound like more than a mere commis position. Perhaps it's just their standard. Sigh.

post #2 of 5

You refer to the commis chef position as "only" and "mere". What makes you think that those adjectives should ever be used to describe a commis chef position. A commis chef is an invaluable member of the brigade and is a hard working position.

 

Does your working experience warrant a different position. In school you were presented with a lot of knowledge about cuisine and techniques, but what is your actual working experience background?

 

You should expect to receive and process a lot of information in a short amount of time and thus be able to work a position by yourself relatively quickly. The speed with which the information comes at you and the resulting responsibilities will probably be about tenfold what it was in school.

 

Listen, take notes, watch, ask well thought out questions, give 100%. Keep an eye on the entire operation in action and pay special attention to how people get the job done. What makes them efficient.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 5

A Commis Chef is basically a cook that works under the watchful eye of the Chef d Partie or station cook. You will help prepare Mis en Place for the station and learn how to work it during service. This is not to be taken lightly and you will learn a lot.

post #4 of 5

Agreed with all above! Commis are invaluable, I depend on mine every time I work. 

One suggestion is to bring a little notebook, so that way if your chef tells you to go get a giant list of things from the pantry or walk-in you can work on your memory (eventually you can ditch the pad) it's also good for writing down quick recipes if you have to make something complicated almost every day.

 

But as for what to expect, usually a commis just does prep and steps in on the line only when needed. Every place is different, so none of us can really tell you what to expect. I doubt you'll get fired in the first hour, they hired you based off your resume and interview which I'm assuming they noticed a passion and good work ethic from you. They'll train you up right and you'll do fine.

Take a deep breath and walk in confident, that's the best advice IMO.
:tux

:chef tux

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

    -MPW

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:chef tux

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

    -MPW

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post #5 of 5

I'd take the position.  I mean, you need to start somewhere, and that's not a bad place to begin.  My brother (who is now a sous chef) started as a dish washer (long story, lol), so there are worse places to start.  And as has been mentioned, it's a valued position in the kitchen.  I'm working on a cook 2 position, but I'd take a commis position too if they offered it to me.

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