Originally Posted by linecook854
Yes, there are really "chefs" who want to start at the top. These are usually culinary graduates, not chefs, who think their knowledge and skills are superior to everyone's because they earned a dime a dozen diploma from LCB. These are usually the ones who: A) I Fire after a few months because they are terrible B) Constantly critique the line cooks around them about technique when in fact they can't even cook a burger to temp C) Get so flustered and frazzled by tickets they never advance past garde manger and finally D) Have such a sense of entitlement because they have a "culinary degree" they think they are just too good for the restaurant around them despite being the least-skilled and worst employee in the kitchen.
I hate to rant on culinary grads because not all of them are bad but I've seen so many terrible ones (mostly from LCB) that I almost will not hire any more fresh out of school kids without previous experience in a kitchen. I used to be very critical of myself because I was not classically trained but after years in the kitchen and being around cooks from numerous prestigious schools (French Culinary Institute, CIA etc.) I can tell you my grasp and understanding of cooking is better than theirs. Not to mention skills wise they are no better than those around them with similar years experience in the kitchen. It's experience that matters!
Yes, I've read much about the bad reputation of LCB schools in the United States.
I was so discouraged by the reputation LCB schools had that I narrowed my schools down to European schools (not just LCB). I wanted to travel anyway. I'm currently attending Le Cordon Bleu in London.
I've read similar to what you expressed on this forum and all over the net. Aside from the "I'm a masterchef" attitude new grads might have that you mentioned, would an operator rather hire (for a true, no experience, entry-level position) someone without any experience and no school than a culinary grad student with no experience?
If someone without a diploma and no experience starts at position A, why wouldn't it be possible for the culinary school grad with no experience to also start at position A? From what I've read, it seems easier for a person without a diploma and no experience to get an entry-level position than a diploma holder with no experience. Wouldn't the non-diploma holder without experience get flustered with tickets their first days/weeks/months on the job as the diploma-holder would? It seems obvious when comparing a student fresh out of school to someone with two years experience. Of course anyone in any industry who has two years of experience compared to the guy who has none, is going to be more comfortable at their job.
It almost seems new culinary grads would be better off pretending they didn't go to culinary school, and starting off in the absolutely no experience position A. Then, the rest of the kitchen would look at the new guy as the humble, self-starter who happens to be familiar with elementary knowledge, technique and theory.
I can't imagine 90% of the students currently at my school having that kind of attitude of knowing it all. It seems we're all aware that we're entering a new field and know that our place is at the bottom of the brigade.
A little background: I've been in the bar business for 10 years, and my family has been in the bar business for 30 years, though all our bars have been wet bars (no food). I've also owned businesses in publishing, advertising, design, etc. I have a new project coming up in a northeast Asian city. I was originally planning to hire the entire kitchen out (I probably still will), but found that the more I did research and preplanning for the food aspect of the project, the more interest I had in food. Long story short, I decided to go to culinary school to gain a basic understanding of food preparation techniques, food safety, equipment, ingredients, theory, etc. I've since decided (just this week), that I'm going to hold off on my project for a bit to get some kitchen experience to have a better understanding of how a kitchen operates.
I've done a little research on some countries whose governments have officially announced a chef shortage (New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Sweden, etc.). I plan on moving to one of those countries this summer to find work. I did a little sample job searches online and it seems almost all entry-level positions require two years of experience. There seems to be very little sign of a starting point. Since I'm not really doing it for the money, I'm now considering a low-paying internship or possibly an apprenticeship.
To anyone that has responded to this thread, what advice would you have for me?