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what do you wish you did at my age?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm a 21 year old line cook I've worked my way around this small town and am now in what I think is far and away the best place in town. I'm doing alright I guess. I can run any station there, I can handle all the prep, and my food all comes out identical to chef's. I eventually want to move up to one of the big culinary scenes (new york, san fran, chicago) so for those of you that are already there, what should I be doing to get ready for that? What do you guys wish you had done as young people to make you better chefs and sous?

post #2 of 16

instead of moving around in your small town, move around the planet while you're still young enough to easily get visas; that's what i wish i had done when i was 21. it's amazing how much more cred someone who has worked in places like london,hong kong, or melbourne gets after they return to north america. 

post #3 of 16

Pack a kniferoll, get a passport, and spend a couple of years travelling the world working in various kitchens.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

how am I supposed to get working visas? I was under the impression they didn't give them out for kitchen work?
 

post #5 of 16

you can get visas  fairly easy if you are under 28-32 depending on where you go. i'm pretty sure americans can get a six month visa for the UK which are called working holiday visas or something like that. you should be able to get at least a year from australia and new zealand. there are also sites like h careers that will help you with placements. a couple of hours on the internet should give you all the information you need. once you have a little international experience it should get easier every time you want to go somewhere else. 

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrad View Post

you can get visas  fairly easy if you are under 28-32 depending on where you go. i'm pretty sure americans can get a six month visa for the UK which are called working holiday visas or something like that. you should be able to get at least a year from australia and new zealand. there are also sites like h careers that will help you with placements. a couple of hours on the internet should give you all the information you need. once you have a little international experience it should get easier every time you want to go somewhere else. 

 

I am interested in this as well. Do you have more information on how to go about it? 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

I looked up all the info I could find on it. The US doesn't participate so we're generally excluded the exceptions being Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Korea, and Singapore.

 

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfarvito View Post

I looked up all the info I could find on it. The US doesn't participate so we're generally excluded the exceptions being Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Korea, and Singapore.

 

 

Australia and Singapore would be good places to learn. 

post #9 of 16

ireland has a very good food culture, especially in the cork area and it would be a nice place to spend a year learning. as i said before melbourne has a great restaurant scene as does sydney. australia really seems to be looking for people right now and if you did spend some time there , new zealand would be the next logical choice. singapore would be interesting too, you would experience a different culture but it's pretty westernized so you wouldn't struggle too much with language , etc. maybe the UK has changed their rules but i was sitting in a pub in edinburgh about five years ago and some american kid came in and said he had just finished cooking school and had four months left on his six month visa. they pretty much hired him on the spot. it might of had something to do with him having a student visa though. if you have a british consulate in your area i'd go see them or if not call the nearest one. i alway thought it was ridiculous that the US and canada don't have swap visas. i'd also try with the placement agencies, if someone is interested in you they will sponsor you and help with, and maybe pay for your paper work.

post #10 of 16

The requirements for visas for work in the UK constantly change.  Here's a site for the UK embassy in the USA

http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/faqs/living-working/work

post #11 of 16

hey kingfarvito and cookers, just wondering if either one of you followed this up?

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

I have not yet, I need more money saved to even be able to apply. One day though.
 

post #13 of 16

saving money is easier when you have a goal and you still have lots of time.

post #14 of 16

Listened and paid more attention to things.

Chef EdB
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...

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Chef EdB
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...

Reply
post #15 of 16

Skipped the whole barefoot and pregnant thing, lol!

Seriously, would hate to think that I would have missed out on my beautiful and intelligent daughter (and her two idiot husbands, can't forget them) as well as the three healthy munchkins they produced.

I look back now and wonder why I did not pursue my love of language and culture (and the food!).

Instead went into nursing to help to provide all the nice things (house with pool, country club memberships, kids private schools..you get the picture).

Listen to the guys.

Pack a few changes of clothes, your knives (can you fly with those?) get a visa and start cooking and eating your way around the world!

So different than buying the "package" vacas that are kid friendly!

I must be melancholy baby today, lol......

post #16 of 16

AIPT is a company that helps to place workers abroad. You should check them out. You can also check out stuff trough sister cities.  Find out what the sister cities for your town are.  

 

If you wanna prepare to work in the city, do a lot of research on the trends. Read blogs, look at menus, find out what kind of equipment and tools the best chefs are using. Push yourself to be cleaner, more precise, organized, and faster.  You won't find the same sense of urgency and attention to detail in many places outside of the major areas.  At the relevant restaurants in larger cities it is a totally different ball game.  The food they cook in most small town restaurants a decade or more behind the trends going on in cities.  The workers are more cutthroat. Every kitchen has a good amount of over achievers with bad attitudes who are going to talk down and belittle you to your face, and bad mouth you to your bosses.  You have to wear thick skin.  If you work smart, clean, and fast you have to stand up for yourself.  If you let the other guys get away with putting you down, then you have zero chance of moving up.

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