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Two jobs

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi there, I'm new here... I'm just wondering if I could get some info and advice people who are in the chef world. I originally came from a different world - music, and I studied it for two years at a conservatory. I did however love cooking... so I decided to take a year off and get a taste of the culinary world (no pun intended). So far I have spent six months working in a training restaurant, I do not do food though, I do beverage and front of house duties. I really do want to give the back of house world a try... Anyway, I know that being a chef is really hard work, I see it every week, but the intensity and high pressured environment really appeals to me. I know that you are on your feet a lot of the time, and I know that it is very physical, but that is what I love about the hospitality world... Is it possible to be a chef AND a professional musician? Does anybody work in this world on a part time basis? 

post #2 of 6

At different points in my career I was able to play open mic on Wednesdays or Thursdays...when I was in a band I needed to be available for practice, plus shows, plus apres-shows....if you're a serious musician, do that.  If you're a serious culinarian, do that.  The two don't mix well, unless you're on a solo project.  I'm sure there are exceptions, but both require the majority of the hours in a day to succeed.  I chose to stay in the kitchen, and if it's any consolation I've met a lot of awesome people, including Mike Dimin (I play guitar and bass) and a lot of other great musicians just through my job.  Most of them are enthused, like "Hey, I jammed out with the chef from that place."

post #3 of 6

To get good you must give it your all.



post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for the replies. I've thought about starting a music and catering company and I alternatively also thought about getting into management - managing an establishment with food and music. I've noticed that most musicians, at least in the classical world, seem to freelance - doing occasional gigs, teaching and practicing in between all of this. What I love about the music world is how versatile the job is but it seems that the chef world isn't like that :(    Either way, I suppose I'm young and I just have to try things, see what I prefer, see which world I would want to do full time. 

post #5 of 6

the bad news...congratulations, you have chosen the two careers that demand the most and pay the least! i agree with rbandu that the two don't mix well. both careers are intense and all consuming and takes every cell in your being to just maintain your sanity. if you are a serious musician what happens WHEN you slice off, burn, scrape, deep fry, and callous your fingers and hands? how do you play then? if you play the violin, string instrument or the piano, you would certainly have to rethink one of your choices. now, the good news...can it be done? of course, maybe...if you find your niche. i have a friend who is a violinist in a small orchestra and a chef...well, a breakfast chef, actually a fancy pants breakfast chef. she works til noon, then has the rest of the day for practice, teaching and concerts. works for her. another violinist freind makes wedding and specialty cakes and will soon open his own bakery. he has found his niche. so depending on where your passion lies, you could make it work(pastry chef, pantry, cold side). a high paced dinner service kitchen with lots of prep may not be the road for you. management makes the most sense for you if you like that type of role, and god knows that truly good managers are hard to come by. whatever path you take, as ari said, give it your all...i will add, give it your passion.


food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne


food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

It's really assuring to know that people out there have found their niches!


Durangogo, I am mainly a singer (although I do play the piano) although already do have callouses on my hands from making coffee and besides this, I've done this for many, many years... I seem to always have freezing cold hands in the winter, it inhibits my piano playing a great deal, so I heat up a hot water bottle (water is at boiling point) pour the water slowly into the bottle and put my hands on the bottle for minutes without flinching... I do have pretty rough hands! Anyway, I thought that good chefs don't injure themselves so regularly! My knife skills are getting better and I used to be prone to accidents with knives, but now, not so much. 


Hahahaha, I know what you mean by the most poorly paid careers. I've often wondered why on earth I am not compelled to take up medicine or law or business! 


I'm doing some events management right now, it can be frustrating but most of the time it's nice to be around people, market things and make things happen. 

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