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How do you become a chef??

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I just graduated culinary school and I I receive my ACF in a couple weeks I'm currently at red lobster right now for about 4 months I completed my extern hours with them.. I got a opprotunity as a line cook at a downtown waterfront venue.. Red lobster wants me to stay but I'm not trying to build into a manager I want to be a chef! Do u think I just leave RL and move on or what? Need sum advice and steps on reaching my goal as a chef
post #2 of 3

Leave red lobster yesterday. If you want to be a chef working for Darden or any of the other big  corporate scoop and dump places will not help you. Personally I would have no problem hiring a cook 2 who worked at Darden or Denny's but I world never consider them for a line lead or chef position. You need to get experience in an establishment that does real cooking on a daily basis. That can be fine dining, or casual or even a really good hole in the wall dinner or pizza place that makes their own product it doesn't matter. Follow the type of cooking you love and develop your own style. Kick ass from scratch burgers are just as respectable as the modern movement. Don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. If you want to be a corporate Chef than try for a Hilton or Marriott. position they can do some great food but try and stay away from the chain locations you wont learn anything  you can't learn in a better establishment. Take the job at the seafood house and work you ass off 60 70 80 hour weeks put in the time and the effort, as long as you have the ethic, talent and people skills you'll do fine.


Go kill them all chef 

post #3 of 3

I've worked in every kind of kitchen and always learn something. Sometimes the lesson is station set up, ticket timing, orchestrating with the other stations, working clean, communicating... Even if the cuisine is not as highly respected, your skill set is improving. Make it what you want for it to be IF you're still learning, and MOVE ON. Red Lobster might be a fine place to finish your externship, but yeah, it's a bit of a rabbit hole in the industry if you want to learn about food and if you desire creativity.


It's expected that we move around, give at least a year to most places to build your resume, unless there's something terribly wrong with the place  (bounced checks or physical violence or whatever). Sometimes our lesson is persevering at jobs we hate, unfortunately. But what I've found is true in life and in kitchens is, we rarely learn when everything is comfortable for us. When the pressure's on and shit sucks, you're probably taking in some valuable information at hyperspace speed. My most hated Sous Chef was my best teacher. 


Yes, put in the crazy hours, give everything, listen to anyone who is taking the time to teach you something, never say "I KNOW" when someone is teaching you. The correct response is "Thank you". Even if it's the dishwasher showing you a better way to peel a potato. Even if you already know, just say thank you. Good luck! 

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