or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Help Someone New To The Industry Out?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help Someone New To The Industry Out?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So, hey guys, first time posting and all,

 

I've read quite a few articles on here about various topics and I've come for a bit of advice. (Sorry if I've posted this in the wrong Section)

So here's my situation: I am 17 year old, 1st year apprentice chef/cook in a non-metropolitan city. So far I've been working in a kitchen that's part of an 'entertainment venue' (Bar, Bistro, Nightclub, Pokies and Function Rooms) for about 5 months. The place in which I work has a very Australian pub-style menu, you know, the basics, Chicken Parmigianas and all the rest. We serve food at Lunch and Dinner and don't do desserts. I've been working here since it first opened in July. The people that work here are all very nice, easy to get along with, sorts of people, with a few people here and there that drive you insane, but hey. In the kitchen there's 5 full time staff, Head Chef, Sous Chef, 1 3rd year Apprentice and 3 1st year Apprentices, of which I am one. Currently with the low numbers of meals that we do throughout service competition for hours has become rather fierce between all the first years, and not to mention that the 3rd year Apprentice is rather power hungry and not overly fond of me. The Head Chef is a hard one to describe, his teaching method is a lot the same as telling someone to put together a chair and table from Ikea without the instructions. The Sous Chef is a lovely Indian man who has worked in a lot of high class kitchens and isn't overly fond of this one, the guy is too lovely. When I make a mistake (or I haven't done something to the proper standard) he lets it slide with a 'Yeah that's ok' instead of telling me where I need to improve.

 

Now that's the situation, here's where I would like some advice or any thoughts you guys might have or some suggestions you would like to make.

 

I feel like I am not learning. Or at least a lot slower than what I could be. I am also rather stuck for hours, which means I am struggling financially. Don't get me wrong, I love the people I work with and the place I work, but I want something more. So essentially, would anyone recommend finding a new job? And on that note would you suggest moving to the closest metropolitan city, to find a job that's of a higher level/class in the kitchen?

 

Thanks very much, Stroke.

post #2 of 5

I'm not a professional chef so take this for what it is. My advice would be to find a new place to work, you have essentially nothing at all to keep you there but the familiarity. At your age you should be ready to pounce on opportunity and take the world by the horns. If you are struggling financially, you have nothing to lose if you find a new place with a better mentor and hopefully better food.

post #3 of 5

If you are stuggling financially and this place is a mess i guess the answer would be to leave. 

In your shoes i would stay working and on free days or a few hous of which i am not working i would start looking for a new place to work.

The moment i have a job offering i would bounce. 

 

You also have to remember you are only 17 so you have plenty to learn. But dont be a afraid to take a job offer that may be easier or have less action but has a decent pay. Especially since you are a teen and you honestly should study. 

 

If you start looking for a job hand out resumes in small , independent places or mom and pop restaurants. For someone your age its a good base, you can learn, as well as the use of local and season products depending on the place. 

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

Dr.Seuss

Reply

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

Dr.Seuss

Reply
post #4 of 5
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stroke View Post

 

I am also rather stuck for hours, which means I am struggling financially.

Other than for this part, I would recommend staying at your current job until you get to at least the one year mark. It will look much better to potential new employers when you do hit the job search market.

 

As to the learning aspects, your current position sounds like an excellent chance to grasp initiative and learn about being a self starter which is a valued characteristic in many kitchens. Many times instead of waiting for someone to teach us, we can learn much by dissecting our work habits/skills and looking for ways to improve them.

 

For example: Do I make empty handed trips? When I take dirty items to the dish station, do I come back with clean items? This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many ways that we can increase our efficency and improve our skills and many of them don't necessarily involve recipes and culinary techniques.

 

The direct result of improvement of our work habits is that by becoming more efficient we increase the amount of time we have, where we can indulge in learning new culinary techniques and recipes.

 

Quality is always built upon a solid foundation. Don't short change yourself at this stage of your career by rushing to learn. You are learning, just take the time to be sure that you are clear on what exactly the lessons are.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for the advice guys.

To those of you that suggested finding a new job, would you suggest moving to the metropolitan or staying where I am to find more work?

To Cheflayne,
Thanks for your words.
Originally I had planned on finding a new place to work at, at the one year mark, both because it looks good to new employers and that I thought it might be wise to tally my 3 years of my apprenticeship at 3 different places as I progressed in skill and knowledge. However because of the circumstances at work I feel as if things may only get worse, but there are some other circumstances at my home that are having me find a new place within the next 8 weeks, so I thought now might be a good time to make the move to a better restaurant in the metropolitan area. And then again I might just be jumping the gun here...

Also if anyone would have any tips, what makes a good mentor in the kitchen?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Help Someone New To The Industry Out?