Hey, im a 19 year old line-cook thats currently going to JWU, 2nd year now.
I work at a Peruvian Upscale restaurant, average entree averaging at about $38. Its not quite fine dining but its upscale to say the least. I came in about a year ago with no experience whatsoever, no schooling either. I started as prep, and a week later the Head chef on the garde manger station just left, so i was to learn how to manage, schedule prep, learn the entire cold menu, and be responsible for all waste and everything ASAP. and i knew absoultely nothing about cooking
Here i am 1 year later, i am the Lead Cook on the Garde Manger station (which is big, Peruvian food is all about ceviche and other cold appetizers.) The kitchen on busy days is usually 5 people, 3 hot side 2 cold side. But i do have a feel for what it takes to be a leader, as i am in charge of the other cold guy and the grill cook.
I am in complete control of the cold side, i manage all prep myself, i work the line 40 hours a week and by myself sometimes on the weekend doing 200-300 covers. Ive learned alot under my great chef.
Now here is the problem i am faced with:
-I have to do an internship for school, which requires me to work full-time somewhere for a term which is 3 months. I have an option of either doing it at a nice fine-dining restaurant which is offering me a room to stay in for free, and pay. It is about 4 hours away. My other option is a resort 30 minutes away that has many different restaurants and is a luxury resort. Also offering pay for the 3 months, no rooming.
I love my current job, ive mastered garde-manger but i really want to learn to cook. Hot food. Ive shown an insane amount of work for the time ive been there. I can tell the chef to leave for a month, and he can trust that i can run my station and prep and everything with no help whatsoever. Ive shown him that i really want to learn more. But he just doesnt have the position available until i find someone to replace me.
Regardless, i need to do my internship somewhere. Problem is that i dont know what to do, because this will defenitely impact my future in this career. My options:
1. Work at the fine dining island restaurant and live there for the term. I get paid, i live there, and i experience new fine-dining cooking and food. Dont know what position id work, probably low.
2. Work at the nearby resort. get paid, dont know which restaurant or which position within the resort i would have. It would be new food obviously, and experience high-scale and high-volume foods at the hotel.
3. Work doubles, my current job and option number 2. I love my job, and i can probably jump to the hot side within 2 months, and learn to cook for sure. I also get some more experience as a leader, with more duties than i would in a 50 cook kitchen. Problem is i would not be getting the night-time experience of line cooking at the internship site, because i would be doing mornings there. Therefore the internship site would just be morning prep for 3 months i think.
Or should i just work at a different place for the time, then come back? I have a good chance of becoming the sous at my place, in a kitchen of 5 its not a big deal but its just so much gauranteed experience. But then again im young and there are more years ahead of me.