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Culmination to Cook

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone. I am joining this message board to gain knowledge and advice on what now seems to be my most viable career path, COOKING. I am 23 years old, graduated with a crime, law and justice degree and have decided that any job in that profession wouldn't be suitable to me. I currently work at Whole Foods and I am a baker. But, barely anything is scratch made, so I'm not really learning anything useful.  My passion for food has grown over the past few years, but when it comes to pursuing working in a kitchen, I have been scared away. I have staged at Fork in Old City Phila, and it was intimidating, tiresome, and grueling work, even though I was only there for 2 days. The difference now, is I think I'm ready for the sacrifice, and get the jitters out of me. 

I ask you fine chefs/cooks to advise me from your upbringing. Explain your start. And try to push me to be open with you, so we can discuss my deathly inner consuming fire to cook and succeed. I have had a philosophical outlook on my life in the past year, and its only leading me to my destined path.

Within the next month I will be moving to NYC. Most likely living in Astoria, Queens. Or somewhere in Brooklyn. There is so much more to be said about me as a person, and as an amateur cook at the moment. But I need people to help advise me with where to start, what knife set to buy, how to approach executive chefs, and so forth. 

I thank everyone in advance for listening and taking their time out of their busy day to help me. It will mean a lot to me.


post #2 of 2

It is gruesome work , you work alot , you sweat , get tired , and possibly lose a social life, you hardly ever eat the food you make ( if you get a chance to eat while in a rush) , the kitchen is a hot enviroment and their is honestly no glamour about the job. 

To me what makes working in a kitchen so worth it , is that i do what i love every day , put out good food , its a fast paced enviroment with alot of action, as well as if you are lucky you get to hear some compliments or see the smile on a guests face.If you love what you do you wont regret it. 

Problems can occur in a kitchen daily , as well as have people contribute or cause problems.

You are obligated to work with others , some with much more experience then you or some with 0% that you wouldnt even trust with a butter knife. 

People in the industry can try to put you down, or help you get up. 

This industry isnt for the weak , it isnt for the extremely timid , and it is definelty not the industry for those who seek fame. 


I started working in hospitality industry 3 years ago. 

I have worked as a kitchen help , worked in the cold line , and now work as a line cook.


I think you moving to NYC could be a great start , it is a great culinary meca in the U.S.

Now if you want to work in the industry you might just have to work yourself up , especially since you will be in a big city where the competition is large. 

You may have to work as a dishwasher or kitchen help and work you way up , but many cooks have gone through this. 

You can also stage for free just to gain the experience and who knows maybe you will get lucky and find a great chef that you may learn from or work in a great restaurant where you learn a few tricks watching others etc... 


I think a great way to learn aside from working or going to school is pick up some cooks books , culinary text books , watch videos and always ask questions be in on a forum or other people who you know also work in the field. 

Always cook at home when possible and experiment when you can , usually in a restaurant you wont have the liberty to create what you want when you want to unless of course you are the owner or chef.  


Also once looking for a job make some resumes , and hit the streets handing them out. Do this on slow days or befor lunch or dinner service. If the chef has no time be persistent and dont give up. 

Start eating at different places as well when possible. Never limit yourself or think you have learned enough ,no one in this industry knows everything and is perfect all the time 365 days a year. 


Be prepared to work holidays , prepared to possible sleep less , and prepared to get a few cuts and burns. 



I remember a great quote once posted by a cheftalk member that i loved...

it went like this. 


Kitchens are not classrooms- they are high functioning sociopaths that produce beautiful moments at dinner tables you never see, for people you never meet.




P.S. I miss you mayhem :( 

P.S.S.  Their are various jobs pertaining to different positions and areas in the culinary field , in some of these jobs you may work less , get paid a bit more , or less stressful as well as more relaxed. Their are always exeptions , but usually depends on a few factors and previous work experience. Most have had (and still do) to deal with a high stress, and demanding enviroment. 


HOPE I HELPED.... :D  and i wish you luck and who knows maybe you will love the culinary field like the cooks here on Cheftalk.

Edited by KaiqueKuisine - 12/28/13 at 10:35am

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.



Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.


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