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Apprentice chef looking for advice

post #1 of 2
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Hi my name is Bruce and I got a job as an apprentice chef last September. I have no catering qualifications and went to university to study something unrelated and after leaving realised what I wanted to do was be a chef. I was lucky enough to be given this apprenticeship but now I'm starting to think about my position.
When I joined it was just me and the head chef so I was thrown in at the deep end. I am now in charge of the starters and pastry section including all the prep and cooking and plating during service. I'm on £13000 a year doing an average of 65 hours a week and not getting a formal qualification and I'm starting to worry that I'm just being used as cheap labour. I'm also concerned that I might struggle to get another job if I leave because although I have experience I only know how to cook the dishes on our menu. It also worries me that since its just me and the head chef I'm not getting the chance to be shown more stuff in the kitchen as head chef just doesn'thave the time.
I would also like to go into patisserie but am worried without a qualification I will struggle to get a job in this section.
Any advice or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Bruce
post #2 of 2

This is not meant as a put down, but yes you are being used as cheap labor because that is what your experience in the field warrants thus far.

 

You have only been doing it since September, and yes there is bound to be much more the chef can show you. So be as efficient as you can at your tasks in order to take some of the weight off of the chef, thus allowing you to pick up new tasks and learn more by doing them. Watch the chef as much as possible, without sacrificing your responsibilities. Be a shadow and a sponge soaking up as much as you can.

 

I don't know what country you are in and how important formal qualifications are, but in my experience, skills and experience trump paperwork. You are presently doing the pastry section so you are gaining experience and a stepping stone into the field of patisserie. Feed the fire and watch it grow!

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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