I just finished my first year at a four year culinary/business university. I am pleased to say I just got my first real culinary job! It's a relatively small restaurant focusing on farm to table vegetarian food. They use locally produced produce and do all the prep in house. They have quite a creative menu.
The ambiance is nice but casual. I suppose kind of bistro style (though I think that is a very overused term), using reclaimed wood for the furnishings. It's really a great environment and the employees seem nice (and importantly happy.)
I'll be starting by shadowing for a couple days, and them moving into prep. The chef does seem to be interested in developing the employees and spoke of moving me to my own station once he was confident in my skills. He is aware this is my first real kitchen job so I have that going for me.
So my question is how do I make a good impression during the first two to four weeks when I'll be learning the most (and needing the most over-site)?
I know of all the obvious things, showing up early and ready to work for shift, having a clean uniform, being well groomed, keeping hydrated for the inferno of the kitchen, not horsing around, and being professional.
I also know my major weakness is going to be my inexperience. My knife skills will need work, I'll be getting used to a hot humid kitchen (apparently getting to about 115 degrees), and doing the 'dance' to stay out of peoples ways.
What do you think the chef's expectations of me will be during the initial trial period and what do I need to do to meet these expectations?