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question from a culinary student

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey guys my name is Luis, im 18 years of age and im a currently a culinary arts student and plans to work in this industry in the future.

 

I just have always thought about this and i really wanted to find out an answer from a person currently working in this industry. how often do chefs get time off? i am aware that chef working hours can be very long but how often do they have time for leisure activities and free time? eg: spend time with family/friends, go to the gym, play sports etc..

 

Thank you very much! :)

post #2 of 7
That depends on a lot of factors. Your location, the season, style of service, your co workers, bosses, health of the business. I can tell you that after 37 years and the fact that I employee myself as well as 43 other people that my time off still depends on many things like I mentioned above. Of course I can take off when I feel like it but if its not planned, covered twice and detailed to the last paper clip you wont get me away with a whip and a gun to my head. However I am a planner. I take about 8 weeks of vacation a year. When I was young, I worked 6 12 hour plus days a week. For many years. An example of my schedule, my 13 year old was born on a monday at 1145 pm, i was at the country club prepping for a ladies cooking class on tuesday at 1 pm. We are a devoted bunch to our craft, we have to be or else find another way to earn a living.
post #3 of 7

I agree with Chef Lagom 100%

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #4 of 7

Hi Luis,

 

I really think that culinary schools should not accept students without any previous working experience.  Your question explains my feelings to the "T".

 

I don't know what you mean by "Chefs", as this is N. America and everyone has a different interpretation of what a "Chef" is.   In Lagom's case he is supervising 40+ staff, which is what I consider a "Chef"  to be--a manager.

 

After culinary school you will discover that employers be looking for working experience firstly, most--if not all are non-plussed by the culinary school paperwork.  Many graduated students will work two or three jobs in the first few years, as employers are reluctant or unable to provide 40 hrs a week.

 

Once you get experience under your belt and prove yourself, things change.  Employers are reluctant to pay overtime, so once you start pulling those 40 hr weeks and getting some overtime, you will be asked to become "Management" where you will paid a monthly salary and expected to work at least 60 hrs a week, with 70 more like it.  80 hrs a week is usually only around Christmas time or peak periods for that business--or if key employees leave and you have to jump in. 

 

I encourage you to start looking for work now-- washing dishes, cleaning lettuce, what ever. Do it while you go to school.  You need to find out for yourself what working in the kitchen is like, don't take my word for it, or Langom's, or Ed's .

 

Hope this helps   

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

thank you foodpump, my culinary arts course also includes an internship so i will be working with grand hyatt in a few weeks!

post #6 of 7
@Luis I've been looking for good culinary schools. What school are you in? Do you like it?
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

hello there, im studying in berjaya university college of hospitality in kuala lumpur studying a diploma in culinary arts and yes i quite like it its fun but can get quite tough at times. i plan to take my bachelor degree in le cordon bleu sydney once im done

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