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How do I get a job at a three star michelin restaurant?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So I've been working in the Scottsdale area for seven years in some of the best restaurants, and some of the best chefs around- but it's still just Phoenix. I just left a sous spot because my CDC is a corporate douche with no accountability nor technique. Anyways I feel my game is pretty tight and my wife's family was discussing moving to NY and I thought the opportunity to work in the American dining meccha was incredible. How do I get a stag at eleven Madison or per se?
post #2 of 17
I am also wondering the same but for working at some Michelin restaurants in Germany.

My advice. Email. Call. Write. Show up.
post #3 of 17
Where did you go to school or who have you worked for that can/will give you a recommendation good enough to get you in? If you know someone that carries that much weight, ask them for a little help. Have them call up for you stating that you would like a stage shot. Then follow up yourself. If you're good enough it will work out. If not, well, that is what it is too. Whoever recommended you will probably never again talk to you, but that's the way it is.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
That is absolutely wonderful common sense advice- I will definitely write them both letters, thanks
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was the sous for the only five star five diamond chef in az, as well as another chef voted the best in the valley for the last five years and the spot I'm going back to -one I helped opened has a solid 4.5 on yelp. No school but my technique and recipe knowledge are far more deeply cultivated than culinary grads. Im confident if I could only stage my passion and technique will speak for themselves
post #6 of 17

Write a good cover letter , explain why you want to be there ( wanting to be part of a great kitchen vs putting short term 3 * experience on your resume ) e-mail , call until they say yes or show up (proof up willingness , but most chefs don't have much time to interview or throw some unknown person to their kitchen) Most likely you will get a unpaid trial shift , study the menus before you even got there , so you have some kind of idea. Work hard , use common kitchen etiquette and try to not be nervous. Hopefuly you can land a job, good luck

post #7 of 17
I have a bit of michelin star experience, but not at the 3 star level, so take my words with a grain of salt.


I actually just talked to a friend about this that did stage and get a job offer from a 3 star place last month - I won't be any more specific about what place, or even where in the world, cause it's not my story to tell.

There are very few 3 michelin star places, which means very few actual jobs. These places are bombarded with people that want to get in the door. You need to figure out how to get their attention. A good cover letter and resume' is nice, but unless your resume' shows experience at places that the hiring chef personally knows and thinks highly of, it's not likely to get a lot of attention.

If you don't have any michelin stars on your resume' I doubt it's going to stand out from the piles of resume's that show up at a 3 star place.

I would strongly suggest digging deep into your network of friends, current and former coworkers, employees, teachers, etc. and figure out if any of them have any connections to any of the chefs, or even line cooks or front of house people at the places you are interested in. This is not so hard for me, working at good restaurants in the SF bay area - I have no idea how good your network is there.

Let me put it this way. At the place I am right now, which is a casual spot, we get piles of resumes. When we need to hire someone, it always starts with who do we (the chefs) know? Next - who do our most trusted cooks know? The resume' pile, at best , is the third place we look. And even then, there really is a separate pile for the people that dropped em off face to face and made a good impression. I guess that means that I would at least recommend dropping a resume' face to face if you can't find a contact.

I don't know anything special about the NY scene, but I have to think it is at least as competitive as the scene here. Worst case, though, there are a lot of fantastic kitchens there that aren't 3 star places. If you have the skills and motivation, you'll get in somewhere good.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadateit View Post

I have a bit of michelin star experience, but not at the 3 star level, so take my words with a grain of salt.


I actually just talked to a friend about this that did stage and get a job offer from a 3 star place last month - I won't be any more specific about what place, or even where in the world, cause it's not my story to tell.

There are very few 3 michelin star places, which means very few actual jobs. These places are bombarded with people that want to get in the door. You need to figure out how to get their attention. A good cover letter and resume' is nice, but unless your resume' shows experience at places that the hiring chef personally knows and thinks highly of, it's not likely to get a lot of attention.

If you don't have any michelin stars on your resume' I doubt it's going to stand out from the piles of resume's that show up at a 3 star place.

I would strongly suggest digging deep into your network of friends, current and former coworkers, employees, teachers, etc. and figure out if any of them have any connections to any of the chefs, or even line cooks or front of house people at the places you are interested in. This is not so hard for me, working at good restaurants in the SF bay area - I have no idea how good your network is there.

Let me put it this way. At the place I am right now, which is a casual spot, we get piles of resumes. When we need to hire someone, it always starts with who do we (the chefs) know? Next - who do our most trusted cooks know? The resume' pile, at best , is the third place we look. And even then, there really is a separate pile for the people that dropped em off face to face and made a good impression. I guess that means that I would at least recommend dropping a resume' face to face if you can't find a contact.

I don't know anything special about the NY scene, but I have to think it is at least as competitive as the scene here. Worst case, though, there are a lot of fantastic kitchens there that aren't 3 star places. If you have the skills and motivation, you'll get in somewhere good.

 

Good point about having inside contact , my recommendation was more like getting a stage for couple days and then shooting for position

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
All supreme advice that I will certainly take to heart. I think I'm going to pursue all of these avenues. I have a small network building -we're no SF, but my chef worked at the French laundry and one of my coworkers is pretty tight with someone at per se (allegedly). For the caliber of restaurants I've been working at it a similar situation of difficulty to get in, but I've always managed to get a stage b showing up daily till I could speak with a chef, and then from there my ability and energy have always pulled me a position. So I will definitely be trying to establish a relationship with anybody in a three star spot, but your point about desirability is what really worries me. Passard wrights about how it was easier to get into an Ivy League school than into on of America's top kitchens back in the eighties, so I feel that must be exponentially true thirty years later with another billion people. Thanks for all the advice so far from everybody, and please keep it coming! I really want to break into one of these places!!!
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaminute View Post

All supreme advice that I will certainly take to heart. I think I'm going to pursue all of these avenues. I have a small network building -we're no SF, but my chef worked at the French laundry and one of my coworkers is pretty tight with someone at per se (allegedly). For the caliber of restaurants I've been working at it a similar situation of difficulty to get in, but I've always managed to get a stage b showing up daily till I could speak with a chef, and then from there my ability and energy have always pulled me a position. So I will definitely be trying to establish a relationship with anybody in a three star spot, but your point about desirability is what really worries me. Passard wrights about how it was easier to get into an Ivy League school than into on of America's top kitchens back in the eighties, so I feel that must be exponentially true thirty years later with another billion people. Thanks for all the advice so far from everybody, and please keep it coming! I really want to break into one of these places!!!

 

All of the stuff I wrote is just about getting in the door to get that stage. Once you get to that point, your work on the spot will speak for itself. Just getting in the door at some of these places is the hard part. Sounds like you do have some contacts you can work with. Good luck!!!

post #11 of 17

If you want to stay local, you should check out Virtu. Chef Gio is talented and they do cool stuff there. Also, have you worked at T. Cook's at the Royal Palms? There's also Citizen Public House...

post #12 of 17

You might shoot for some sort of "stepping stone" job too. Maybe getting a job in a great 1 or 2 star place and using that to get your foot in the door. A lot of 2 star places have food just as good as the 3 star, and a lot of 2 star chefs are willing to take more risks reaching for the 3rd star. But get in good with a 2 star chef might open up your network to connecting with a 3 star place. 

post #13 of 17

How  are your pastry skills? The French Laundry is currently looking for a Pastry Chef de Partie. Granted it is not New York but what the hey. A couple of weeks ago they were looking for line cooks for Ad Hoc. Three weeks ago Per Se was looking for professionals (didn't say what positions) to join their team. A month ago they were looking for a Pastry Chef de Partie. There we go with the pastry bit again. Probably at least once a month, I see Thomas Keller advertising positions of some sort for his restaurants and this is on craigslist.

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 #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
No mother loving way!!! Does T.K. really post on Craigslist??!! That's too unbelievable. All my email responses are like 'we're all full up' after I just ask for advice. T.cooks is good but I think Christopher's, zinc bistro and petite Maison are a little better if I was going looking for a local classic French style. And citizen house is lovely but the menu isn't as developed as where I'd like to be. If I was looking to move I might try binkleys or barrio queen but I doubt that'll happen. Food reviews in the as area are pretty bleak and depressing though. One five star five diamond spot and no michelin stars. La verge in Sedona is probably the best our entire state has to offer and so my interests are really swaying towards this New York move. That tip about going fora one star/two star place is really good, how great would it feel if you were part of a team that pushed and hit another star!!
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaminute View Post

No mother loving way!!! Does T.K. really post on Craigslist??!! That's too unbelievable.

So does Eleven Madison Park, they are looking for a pastry sous chef, a host, and a reservationist.

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 #16 of 17

NYC is apparently aching for line cooks, even some of the best establishments in the city. Not many people are willing to work the poopy job, with the poopy pay, in one of the most expensive cities in America. I'd say there is slim to none chance of getting in a three star without any starred experience (from what I gathered, this is what they look for), I'd just try to find a really good place in NYC just to get on the resume, then shoot for the 3 star. Who knows, you may get lucky. 

 

edited for language hah

post #17 of 17
I agree with all the rest of the post here but no one mentioned going on there website and starting there also just show up everyday out back where every chef walks in at and wait for the exec or someone of some importance and tell them what u r trying to do and show up at the same time everyday and eventually they will either call the police or they will give u a shot
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