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Which Job Would You Choose?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So, basically I am looking for advice on what job you think would be the most beneficial to take. I'm in culinary school, and while I know its recommended that you go work in a restaurant first.. I didn't. I should have, but it was a lot harder to leave the job that I had, so... I have no experience, that's the bottom line.


I've been looking for a job recently, and have had 2 interviews, and have another coming up. I figured it would be best to think through my options now, and look for advice in case I am offered the job. So if I was offered all three jobs, which would be the most beneficial for me?:


1. One of the best restaurants in the area as a banquet server. I think that it would benefit me to get a full scope of a restaurant and be well rounded; and learning front of house would be good to know. Also there is a chance that if I offer to stage or start at the bottom I may be able to get a foot in the door of this top notch restaurant.


2. This job is as a prep cook in a very fancy establishment that focuses on weddings; but is a seasonal job. The position is for prep cook, and they are willing to work with me even with me not having experience. It is a nice place, and I would benefit from learning to cook in a fine dining. On the other hand, I would like to in the long run work in top restaurants, and I think it may be better if I work in a restaurant, over catering.


3. This restaurant is a sister restaurant with the first one, but not quite on the same level (probably the least fancy food). This job is also for a prep position, which is obviously a plus. Eventually if I choose here, I think I would like to work my way up to eventually work in the first restaurant if possible. I would obviously have the plus side of working in a restaurant kitchen dealing with high volumes, and gaining good experience.


My dream would to be to work in some of the top restaurants in the country, if not the world, and eventually running one. I know that to achieve this I would need to work in top notch places. I mean I understand, that its a possibility none of them offer me the job, but if they were; which would be the best choice?

post #2 of 3

I was in your position 6 years ago. My first position in the kitchen was as a prep cook, working for free for a year at one of the top ten best new restaurants in Bon Appetit Magazine. I did this while going to culinary school. You want to be a chef right? If I were you, I'd pick any position that allows you to cook as much as possible, that allows you to soak up as much knowledge, that gives you the chance to steal as much technique as you can. Ask every question you think of. Be humble. It's all about experience, you have none, be a sponge.


If I were you, I wouldn't worry about the best restaurant per say, I'd focus on which you'd benefit from the most. Don't worry about money, it will come, but honestly if you are doing it for money you are in the wrong business.  This business has one job requirement and that is passion. 


Hope that helps. 

post #3 of 3

#1 would not be in your best interests as FOH is a job in itself, irrespective of what you are looking for....and that is to cook.

#2 although it is seasonal would get you some good real hands on experience.

#3 would also give you some invaluable experiences.


May I suggest you stop, or at least put on hold, your fine dining aspirations for now and concentrate on your skills in the kitchen.

Acquiring these skills and doing them well will allow you to be able to go where you want to go in the future.


Since you don't have a working experience behind you, be prepared to be a "grunt."

Yes the job title says prep cook, and you will be doing that, but be prepared to do more physical labor than has to do with cooking.


Your eyes will be open and you will see many new things. Ask questions and never assume if you are unsure.  Best of luck in your choice.

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