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Hi I'm a young aspiring chef in need of some advice!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am 16 years old and my culinary experience has just broke 10 months. So I am just making my entrance to the food and beverage industry. I have 2437 hours of continuing experience at a fine dinning meets southern cuisine restaurant in the last year, and while I am now practicing the basics of the French cuisine. Such as knife skills, the mother sauces cooking methods and everything that CIA's professional text book has confined within the cover, but Im in need of advice on schools, cooking methods, and any advice a professional chef could spare me.
Edited by commis - 12/9/13 at 1:27pm
post #2 of 10

Welcome to ChefTalk.

 

I'm sure you have had time to check out this site as part of your wish to better yourself in the industry.

 

You seem to have a clear vision of what you want and you have described your location so well, that it seem that you are

motivated and want to succeed.

 

Take a small step back for just a moment.

You are 16 years old.

You are working in a kitchen with sharp knives, slippery floors, possible surly language, and all that this entails.

At 16 years old, many states and cities have labor laws that prevent young people such as yourself from handling dangerous equipment.

However much YOU may believe that you are capable and able to work in a kitchen, it is the Chef's job to keep you safe and from harm.

In some states.....did you know that even an oyster knife is illegal for you to use....if you really want to get to the nitty gritty?

 

I believe, from what you say, that the Chef has some great things in store for you, but you need MORE experiences.

He was angry with you, of course, because he is investing time and energy into your commitment, but you are not seeing the big picture.

Stay where you are. Learn from Chef, Give it another year, and see where he (Chef) takes you.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you! If you ever have any more advice for me I would love to hear it!
post #4 of 10

practice your techniques, watch well known chefs on youtube or the food network and grasp the techniques they do, how to dice an onion properly, etc. you shouldnt copy every recipe they do, but its important to get into good habits early and then develop your own style of cooking. the cia book is a great reference though and it looks like you are doing what i said. also, develop a thick skin, do not take things personally in the kitchen, always respect and listen to your chefs above you, and ask questions too, but not much during service.

post #5 of 10

Don't let mistakes get you down because everyone makes them, instead use them to your advantage by learning from them. Many times doing something incorrectly can teach us more because it can make you look more closer as to how and why that things work and why they don't. Many times, if we do something correctly we don't think about it as much. In my case, I am too busy patting myself on the back to think about it.;) 

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for the advice! I will definitely use all of it!
post #7 of 10

My posts are different , I speak in cm , Celsius , kilo's and call stuff weird names like Glad Wrap , Bicarb , Capsicum & Gravox . Might take you a little while to get my lingo but we're basically speaking the same language 

 

http://sneakykitchen.com/Glossary/translations.htm

 

Good onya...

Reply

My posts are different , I speak in cm , Celsius , kilo's and call stuff weird names like Glad Wrap , Bicarb , Capsicum & Gravox . Might take you a little while to get my lingo but we're basically speaking the same language 

 

http://sneakykitchen.com/Glossary/translations.htm

 

Good onya...

Reply
post #8 of 10

I've been in the industry for 17 years now and not classically trained.  I still consider myself a student and will always find something new to learn about cooking or kitchen management.  The best advise I have for you is stop researching schools and start researching chefs you want to work under (considering your age).  The most annoying thing I see these days is the guy who just got his culinary degree and thinks he's a chef.  There is a lot of walking you have to do before you can start talking!  Pay your dues and you'll be rewarded in the long run.  Don't let the "celebrity" chef crap skew your view on this industry. Most important: Travel Travel Travel and soak up all you can from others.  Both positive and negative work experiences will help you grow as a cook.  A lot of it will not mean much at the time, but as you grow, you will recall situations that will help during the challenging times.  I don't advise going to a culinary school.  All you need to know is already out there in the kitchens of the world.  I eventually got a BB in Hotel and Catering MGT and married my practical experience with the business side of the industry.  We don't do this job for the money, and if you get stuck with a high dollar student loan, you will struggle for a long time.  Be willing to put yourself in every type of kitchen venue you can find (café, banquet, a la carte, hotel, catering, etc..) and spend a couple years in each.  You'll find your place as long as you stay in the kitchen.  Best of luck.  You haven't even scratched the surface!

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

 

Take a small step back for just a moment.

You are 16 years old.

You are working in a kitchen with sharp knives, slippery floors, possible surly language, and all that this entails.

At 16 years old, many states and cities have labor laws that prevent young people such as yourself from handling dangerous equipment.

However much YOU may believe that you are capable and able to work in a kitchen, it is the Chef's job to keep you safe and from harm.

In some states.....did you know that even an oyster knife is illegal for you to use....if you really want to get to the nitty gritty?

 

 

I think the kid is looking for career advice, not legal advice... 

post #10 of 10
Practice. Get the proper ingredients and make dishes out of a good cookbook. If you are using the CIA book dont just read it, make the recipes, overabd iver until you have a repetoire there, and your work items. Try to relate the two. If you try skmething a few times and are failibg ask simeone to help you. Dont actually pay a school to read the book to you. Get work ti pay you for your schooling. If you can apprentice thats the way to go. But wait another few years for that. Im dreading the day i start seeing 20 yr old red seals applying here.....
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