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Hard decision between jobs that will make a difference in the long run.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

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.

 

HELP!!!!!!!!!!

post #2 of 9

You seem to be on the right track, that's for sure.

 

Although, your view on your current job seems a litle skewed, you're on the cold side but you're responsible for the grill cook?, a little confusing to have a cold line worker be in charge of the hot side, either way. 

 

At JWU you're gonna have to do the internship anyways, so i'd get it out of the way, even if you are to return to your peruvian restaurant. I'm a huge Peruvian food fan, we dabble in some dishes at work, as my chef is Peruvian, so given the circumstances, i'd look to stay there in the long run, especially since you'll have the chance(s) to move up, if you do end up staying there.

 

My immediate goal would to be on a hot line somewhere, it's where you're going to get the most experience of cooking, IMO.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well ive been there as long as the sous chef has, so i am given extra tasks such as delegating to both my line cook on the cold and the grill cook. the restaurant we work at, the grill cook works the fryer but so does the cold side so its some mumbo jumbo.

 

Im thinking of just leaving and experiencing somewhere new, and then come back. But not sure if i want to come back, because i have no experience coooking any other type of food at all. Peruvian food for the next 2 years is okay with me but i dunno, working as a starting linecook elsewhere sounds new and interesting. The only reason i would come back, is to eventually soon get a position as a sous.

post #4 of 9

Sometimes u have to be patient n see what happends, but if ur unhappy dude, ur not gona give ur all ya kno...think about why u wana leave, is it to get more experience or because ur unhappy? or both, if both just leave
 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

its because i have to do an internship lol.... for school. Either i work doubles, or one or the other sites. and a chance of coming back. But im not unhappy, you must have misread.

post #6 of 9

oops, well at least u have the option to come back which is always a good thing...anyways, good luck
 

post #7 of 9

You're not doing this for the "it's a job" aspect.  You're doing it as a career.  With that said, it's in your best interests to put as many different experiences in your pocket so that you'll be able to draw from them later on down the road.  It seems possible that no matter where you go, you'll quickly be recognized as someone to whom more responsibilities can be given to.

I'm recommending the resort, as it has multiple restaurants.  If you're interning at one, there's no reason why you can't "work for free" in another.  Double the experience connections, letters of reference, etc.

There's also a danger of staying at the Peruvian place for too long, becoming too comfortable there and getting "stuck".  You've given alot, and you've received alot, but it's time to do what's best for your career in the long-term.

 

Good luck!

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefDave11 View Post

You're not doing this for the "it's a job" aspect.  You're doing it as a career.  With that said, it's in your best interests to put as many different experiences in your pocket so that you'll be able to draw from them later on down the road.  It seems possible that no matter where you go, you'll quickly be recognized as someone to whom more responsibilities can be given to.

I'm recommending the resort, as it has multiple restaurants.  If you're interning at one, there's no reason why you can't "work for free" in another.  Double the experience connections, letters of reference, etc.

There's also a danger of staying at the Peruvian place for too long, becoming too comfortable there and getting "stuck".  You've given alot, and you've received alot, but it's time to do what's best for your career in the long-term.

 

Good luck!

 I really agree with what you just said. My fear is just getting stuck, because i feel comfortable as it is, and its the only place ive ever worked at. At the resort, i willl be doing restaurants as well as banquets, so i get a double-whammy. The other restaurant i can intern at is a small menu in a remote island on the keys. You basically drove the nail in my head lol

post #9 of 9

Your young, Go somwhere else for you intership, Most resorts wont stick you in 1 restaurant for your entire intership, I was rotated throught the 3 restauratns on the resort i went to and stayed at the last one for about 2 months.  Plus if the resort is well know you have the on your resume,  Once your out of school probally no one will have heard of the restaurant  your at know. 

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