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Career Advice from Seasoned Individuals Dearly Needed

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm green.  Experience in Pastry but green.

I've worked in restaurants for the past decade but just recently started my descent into the culinary field on my way to one day become a great Chef.

 

So I've been interviewing at various restaurants and this is the dilemma I'm faced with.

 

2 Job offers.

 

Restaurant A & B - BOTH:

busy. well seasoned executive chefs.  great food.  high standards. similar pay.

 

Restaurant A:

The executive chef is somewhat of a "celebrity chef".  Open kitchen.  Brand new restaurant.  Brand new kitchen.  HUGE staff.  During my trail - I felt that it was almost showy but a good environment.  The staff was friendly.  Was offered a fulltime spot as both a pastry cook and the opportunity to learn savory.  (To clarify, my passion lies with learning and perfecting skills in the savory focus, not pastry)

 

Restaurant B:

The executive chef is seasoned but not nearly as well known as A's.  Old and well established restaurant.  Closed kitchen.  Chef de Cuisine holds EXTREMELY high standards and is someone to learn from.  Staff was "ok" - a bit cold though.  The potential to move up and around is SLIGHTLY greater here.

 

I think I'll learn great from both restaurants but gain a much stronger skill foundation from Restaurant B.  However, Restaurant A offers a name and reputation with it as well more of a tip of the hat towards modern gastronomy.

 

Fast forward 10 years to where I'm an amazing Exec. Chef at a top 50 restaurant... Would Restaurant A or Restaurant B have contributed most to this goal?

post #2 of 14

I can't really clarify why, but my gut says B. I'm sure the staff would warm up to you if you actually were there full time

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

I've been getting that feeling and have really been leaning towards B - I just don't want it to bite me in the a$$.  I feel like the name and reputation of the chef and restaurant along with the learning and being in a kitchen that gears more towards modern gastronomy might help in the long run but B is an opportunity for me to really set some solid foundations for the rest of my career.

post #4 of 14

It sounds like A will get you more money initially but perhaps B would be the place to go to school at and look for the long term. A has the publicity of the chef and you will never be known for your work there as it was all the chefs creations. B on the other hand might be better established and has found a way to make money doing this biz. Tough choice and really it does not matter much as you should take your decision as a win/win  cenario for you are in a very great spot for your desires.Good luck and have fun and enjoy it all! Doug.................

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #5 of 14

A will build a resume

B will build confidence & skills

 

Which do you feel you need most?

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
That's precisely my dilemma however Ive been feeling like a super strong foundation of skills at this point in my career would matter much more than a celebrity chefs name on my resume. But it's also been hard for me to not think that perhaps I'm wrong in this regard.
post #7 of 14

Go with which ever Chef will Teach you the most and move you to different stations...Look at it this way. It looks great to put on a Resume that you worked at Emeril's New Orleans for Two years but if you never or rarely got out of Pantry...It's worthless, you know nothing! The early years is the time to learn, time to build Your Reputation, then the big boys will seek You out. Bottom line it does not matter who you worked for if you can't put out a quality product, quickly and consistantly...Good Luck...JJ

post #8 of 14

If you want money, go make other works IMO. :) But surely if you want to learn and be very great chef, i think that b is better. High quality food, demanding chef. I think it would be better for you. If you want build your reputation, best way do to it is become better chef.

post #9 of 14

B. Being offered a new job at a brand new restaurant would be taking an even bigger risk. It may close its doors after a couple months, where as B has been open for years and they have a returning clientele. 

post #10 of 14

Depend on your age and your needs. Me I would go B.   New places all overhire and then weed out over about a month or two. The mortality rate for a new place is extremely high, I would say gathering fro what I see here that only about 10% of full service stay open over a year. Since you will learn something in each you can't weight that factor. A celebrity type chef does not make you better, he  or she is to busy giving interviews and being on TV or plugging the place. I would stick with the seasoned chef and tried and true place. In you resume for the future would you like to say I worked for A but it closed up?

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...

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post #11 of 14

Go with restaurant B, and good luck with the whole top 50 thing. That list gets more and more ridiculous every year.

post #12 of 14


Chef de Cuisine holds EXTREMELY high standards and is someone to learn from. 

 

That says it all to me.

post #13 of 14

Actually I think it depends on the actual Celebrity Status of Chef A.  I don't know what city you are in, but your goal is to make it to exec at top 50.  You gotta be in New York, Chicago or LA.  Work for someone who is connected that will be able to get you a job in a top 50 restaurant.  If you are truly that ambitious it will require dedication and choosing between two restaurants in a small market won't cut it.  You need to work for the best, and get some international experience.  I really don't know where these restaurants are you are choosing between, and what your 10 years of experience entails, but this is what most of the ones who make it to that level do.

post #14 of 14

go with B. if you have a celebrity chef on your resume people will always associate you with that person. i don't really know what this top 50 list is but if you have already been in kitchens for 10 years and call yourself green then you're probably not going to make that list.... sorry . you can become a good, successful chef, which in the past is what cooks aspired to become. i've recently looked at a top new chefs list and wondered how many people can fit into the noma kitchen. just try to develop your own style in the region/s you work in. the food network and chains have done so much to destroy this business so the best thing you can do is be yourself and not try to act like any of these clowns you see on TV. i would think that the reason the staff in restaurant B were a little colder was that they were doing their jobs and not posing for the camera crew. oh yeah, if you use a cake tester to check temperatures of meat throw it away and learn to cook with your senses. 

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