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Hotel Path

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello ,
I am 20 and started off in the industry when I was 17. I started working at a Crowne Plaza Hotel as a pantry cook then moved up and around and ended up as a line cook for the one restaurant they had,and also did some banquets. I recently got a job at a Hilton Hotel as a line cook for 2 of there 4 restaurants I really like the hotel atmosphere. I also am finishing up my internship for school at one of the top 10 fine dining restaurants in my state. My question is do you think the best choice would be to stick to hotels or restaurants. MY goal in life is to learn everything I can possibly learn about food. I'm not in for the money I just like food. Also I will have my Associates Degree in culinary Management in December. Do you think I should go for a higher degree or is my experience more important. My ultimate goal is to be an executive chef which I obvious know comes with allot of hard work,but do most places look for management to have a bachelors degree? Do you think over all it is better to work for hotels or restraints? (Work/benefit wise)
post #2 of 9
From what i know, there aren't that many good hotel restaurants out there, there are decent ones, but no good ones. Speaking from my experience in both(currently at a hotel) a restaurant usually has more ambition, i feel the hotel is controlled alot more by the CEO and other managers who never step a foot in the kitchen and only pursue there own goals for a bonus. In a restaurant everyone is there for the restaurant, and food is the main focus, i think you could learn more in a restaurant, but you have a long career ahead abd i believe that deciding now is INSANE, you'll probably change jobs 20 times at least and this is how you learn new cuisine, methods and meet new people who will teach you so much.. That's my rant, hope it helps
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef-Josh View Post

From what i know, there aren't that many good hotel restaurants out there, there are decent ones, but no good ones. Speaking from my experience in both(currently at a hotel) a restaurant usually has more ambition, i feel the hotel is controlled alot more by the CEO and other managers who never step a foot in the kitchen and only pursue there own goals for a bonus. In a restaurant everyone is there for the restaurant, and food is the main focus, i think you could learn more in a restaurant, but you have a long career ahead abd i believe that deciding now is INSANE, you'll probably change jobs 20 times at least and this is how you learn new cuisine, methods and meet new people who will teach you so much.. That's my rant, hope it helps

Sounds like you haven't spent much time in hotel restaurants my friend.

Think about it........a restaurant cooks and serves food, irrespective of where it is....right?

So....a restaurant happens to be in a hotel, so what.

The restaurant isn't the hotel, it's a restaurant, with its' own reputation, its' crew and Chef not part of that which makes up the hotel.

It's the Chef and the crew and the food that make the restaurant, not the hotel name.

 

To the OP hotels allow for a variety of experiences, from line cooks, to banquets, to pastry and beyond. A restaurant has a staid menu that is repeated over and over again. Hotels offer a bit more creativity, especially if they have a creative sales department. Even Marriott, Hyatt, and Hiltons have their trained culinarians working back in the kitchen

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

Sounds like you haven't spent much time in hotel restaurants my friend.

Think about it........a restaurant cooks and serves food, irrespective of where it is....right?

So....a restaurant happens to be in a hotel, so what.

The restaurant isn't the hotel, it's a restaurant, with its' own reputation, its' crew and Chef not part of that which makes up the hotel.

It's the Chef and the crew and the food that make the restaurant, not the hotel name.

 

To the OP hotels allow for a variety of experiences, from line cooks, to banquets, to pastry and beyond. A restaurant has a staid menu that is repeated over and over again. Hotels offer a bit more creativity, especially if they have a creative sales department. Even Marriott, Hyatt, and Hiltons have their trained culinarians working back in the kitchen

Well the Restaurants are not leased. Both hotels I've worked fr the restaurants were apart of the hotel and all the kitchen staff worked for the hotel.   I do agree with you though My particular hotel has 4 different restaurants all with a different menu which you can lean allot from.

post #5 of 9

You need to find a hotel with different departments.  Banquets are where you get the living daylights kicked out of you.  Some of these hotels with 4000 seat banquet rooms on two levels are truly amazing back there.

 

But yeah, if you want to hone your skills and see what an Exec. chef in charge of different departments has to deal with then hotels are great.  I would get into one which has a few restaurants and a couple bars, a fine(er) dining restaurant, a cafe, room service, banquets, pastry department.  Something like Some Hyatts or Hiltons, or Ritz Carlton, Peninsula, Peabody, Four Seasons, Sofitel, Biltmore.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

yes, the Hilton I am at has a Cafe a Italian restaurant and  a steak house,and a lounge bar and a sports bar.  I am cooking for the Italian and steak house behind the line.  

post #7 of 9

So you ever get pulled for banquets when it comes time to plate?

post #8 of 9

There is a lot to learn and experience to gain where you are at, stick with it.

I got a break in the early 80's and got hired at a big union house when I was about your age, best experience I could have ever had.

Very busy restaurant, meat & fish butchered in house, most everything done in house with the exception of a few banquet items.

500 covers on weekends with a 4 man line, 1000 seat banquet room turned 2x's a day on the weekends during wedding season, four other smaller banquet rooms that could all be dishing at close to the same time.  1200 Sunday brunch average.

I also was promoted several times and moved around to their other properties.

That high volume experience was priceless, it got my foot in the door down the road for many years and also lead to some very good paying jobs.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

So you ever get pulled for banquets when it comes time to plate?

My old hotel was a smaller kitchen so the line guys always helped out with banquet,but the new Hilton is much bigger so I've volunteered to help when my restaurant wasn't busy,but they have allot of man power and rarely call other people beyond banquets to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post

There is a lot to learn and experience to gain where you are at, stick with it.

I got a break in the early 80's and got hired at a big union house when I was about your age, best experience I could have ever had.

Very busy restaurant, meat & fish butchered in house, most everything done in house with the exception of a few banquet items.

500 covers on weekends with a 4 man line, 1000 seat banquet room turned 2x's a day on the weekends during wedding season, four other smaller banquet rooms that could all be dishing at close to the same time.  1200 Sunday brunch average.

I also was promoted several times and moved around to their other properties.

That high volume experience was priceless, it got my foot in the door down the road for many years and also lead to some very good paying jobs.

Thats awesome.  I've heard unions are really good to work for in this industry.  

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