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Calling all fabulous Executive Chefs!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
After 2 years as a pantry cook and one year of culinary school I'm preparing for my first stage at a 4 Michelin Star spot in the Napa Valley. Nervous would be painfully understating. Is the fact that im 34 and female going to be a drawback in the chefs eyes? what are your expectations of someone like me and how might someone exceed them? Is it cheesy of me to arrive with a bottle of wine as a parting gift on stage night? Any wisdom you are willing to impart would be HUGELY appreciated.
post #2 of 16

I wouldn't bring a gift to a stage, let alone alcohol.

 

age and gender have nothing to do with it, IMO, talent will rise to the top, always.

 

If you're going to bring anything, bring your A game.

post #3 of 16

Squirrel is right. Bring your A game, nothing else. 

post #4 of 16

BTW, no such animal as a 4 Michelin star restaurant, FYI.

 

But which 3 star place is it, The French Laundry or The Restaurant at Meadowood?

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Whoops on the typo... 3* not 4 smile.gif. I've heard of fellow students bringing things like baked goods, wines, top shelf tequila etc... To interviews and while creative, it feels too smoochie for me. I wanted to hear from you all though. I've been reading nonstop and brushing up on my fancy cuts... Any other prep you might suggest?
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelRJ View Post

 

 

But which 3 star place is it, The French Laundry or The Restaurant at Meadowood?

..

post #7 of 16

The Restaurant at Meadowood is closed until February 18.

 

As had been previously stated, a definitive no, on a parting gift. Leave a good impression and follow up with a handwritten thank you for the opportunity note the next day.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you Layne, and all, for taking the time.
post #9 of 16

Bring nothing except your willingness to be part of a team and to always be fair and honest in ALL your endeavors.

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #10 of 16

I'll add a couple words of advice. You don't say how long the stage is but....Don't ever forget while you are there that you are a guest in their kitchen. Show respect to Everyone on the staff. Do as you are told without comment or complaint. Observe everything you can. Be willing to help anywhere and everywhere. Ask questions if you don't understand something. If anyone shows or tells you something, listen and follow. You will be corrected on your work. Be gracious. Remember you are there to learn. 

Don't be nervous. They will not allow you to do anything that may impact negatively on their reputation so the work you do will most likely not be very challenging. As they begin to trust you, they will allow you to do more. 

When it is over, do not simply leave and forget to say Thank you in person to the people you worked with, especially your immediate supervisors.  Absolutely write a sincere thank you letter the next day or asap. 

To answer your age/gender question- the question of women in the kitchen has been settled for some years now. I have found the ones who don't get it are women who are new to the profession, anticipating a problem. They generally bring it with them. Work in a kitchen is hot, greasy, dangerous and exhausting. It is that way for everyone. Everyone has to peel the potatoes, sweep the floor and clean the grease trap. We all sweat, feel pressure, get nervous and are upset when the chef yells at us. It's a tough job. If you can listen, do as you are told and suffer like everyone else, you will be fine. 

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwriter View Post

I'll add a couple words of advice. You don't say how long the stage is but....Don't ever forget while you are there that you are a guest in their kitchen. Show respect to Everyone on the staff. Do as you are told without comment or complaint. Observe everything you can. Be willing to help anywhere and everywhere. Ask questions if you don't understand something. If anyone shows or tells you something, listen and follow. You will be corrected on your work. Be gracious. Remember you are there to learn. 
Don't be nervous. They will not allow you to do anything that may impact negatively on their reputation so the work you do will most likely not be very challenging. As they begin to trust you, they will allow you to do more. 
When it is over, do not simply leave and forget to say Thank you in person to the people you worked with, especially your immediate supervisors.  Absolutely write a sincere thank you letter the next day or asap. 
To answer your age/gender question- the question of women in the kitchen has been settled for some years now. I have found the ones who don't get it are women who are new to the profession, anticipating a problem. They generally bring it with them. Work in a kitchen is hot, greasy, dangerous and exhausting. It is that way for everyone. Everyone has to peel the potatoes, sweep the floor and clean the grease trap. We all sweat, feel pressure, get nervous and are upset when the chef yells at us. It's a tough job. If you can listen, do as you are told and suffer like everyone else, you will be fine. 


Read this post twice before you go ... And please just go with your positive attitude ...
And no alcohol ...
post #12 of 16

At end of stage, if timing is appropriate and won't interrupt work flow, shake hands and make eye contact with both your supervisors and coworkers alike. Don't forget the dish crew either, you can't perform well without them.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #13 of 16

When you're finished, let us know how it went , also which of those two restaurants it was, since those are the only 3 Michelin star restaurants in California.

 

Good luck.

post #14 of 16

Sine the OP didn't even know that there is no such thing as a 4 Michelin star restaurant, I think that she must have just meant a 4 star/upscale restaurant in Napa. Not necessarily TFL or Meadowood. 

 

A lot of people just say things like "4 star" or "5 star," not really basing it on anything, even official reviews in the paper of record, etc. Like, for example, my uncle in Kansas might call Outback Steakhouse "4 star," but what does that really mean?

 

Now, I'm not saying the OP is going to stage at an Outback, and since she refers to it as "stage night," I think we can safely assume that it isn't a 3 star michelin. They probably wouldn't accept a stage for just one night. 

 

I am curious to know what restaurant it is...there are lots of fine restaurants in Napa and the surrounding area. 

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Many thanks to all, it is always impressive to me how willingly people will take time from their busy lives to help someone in need. This is all sound advice and I appreciate you. I will report back once I'm hired wink.gif on the experience and specific location. Enjoy your Tuesday. -M.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post

I think we can safely assume that it isn't a 3 star michelin.

Just going off of what she posted, it said Michelin starred restaurant, so I assumed it as so.

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