I have cooked at home for years, and part-timed being a short-order cook during the summer. A job recently came up for a line cook at a local restaurant and I applied, thinking that it was a beginner position, since no school or anything was required. I have zero experience in a real kitchen (a concession stand doesn't count) and it turns they want a real line cook. Scarily enough, it seems I will get the job. Do you think it would be possible to wing it and learn on the job, or should I remind them I don't have line cook experience. Because the money's pretty good... :( Any replies would help a ton!
Should I Wing a Line Cook job?
If you told them your experience, then there is no reason to remind them. Line "short order" cooks will know with-in minutes, of your skill level. Learn, "Hell yeh",but be pro active. Asked questions, learn the menu, where is the products you'll need to do your job. Prep is a big part of the battle. Help, help and help some more, pay attention to the best cooks there. Don't complain about any task(s).Show up 15 minutes before you have to. Don't call-in, work when ever you are asked, days off, overtime. Good luck ! you'll do fine.
I can definitely relate and offer my experiences/advice
-Applied last summer to a little "restaurant" back home in Hawaii (plate lunch place, as they call it)
-3 man crew: salad person to take orders, carver/cashier, and grill cook (basic grilling and prep)
-Worked it for 2 1/2 months, so easy a caveman could have done it. I don't consider it a true high volume restaurant / line cook setting
Fast forward to last month
-Applied for line cook at a gastropub
-Got the job, was pretty upfront about ^, and omitted a short gig I did at the campus watering hole as a cook (which was way more relevant to this current gastropub gig)
-Currently rocking this current line cook gig, and I love it.
Conclusion: (in my opinion/words anyways)
Cooking isn't hard. Just go in with an open mind and be willing to learn and work hard since they gave you the opportunity. They're taking the risk/chance by offering you a job, make the most of it. IMO learning on the job is the best way to learn things.
I too will be winging a line cook job. Fortunately, they know that I am a rookie on the line and only have about 6 months experience at a chain restaurant in the back of the house.
I am also coming from 24 years of experience in the construction industry, but I am done running that rat race. Too many hard time resulting from layoffs. Too much time away from my family. So, needless to say, I am a 41 year old starting over in an industry that I have a passion for. I love to cook, mind you the only experience I have is from my own kitchen. I should have started this a long time ago.
Anyways, I have done my research and know the ups and down of not only the culinary arts profession as well as starting at the bottom as a short order chef. I understand the pay is minimal, long and late hours, and the conditions behind the line. But what I am most looking forward to is not only doing something that I have wanted to do for a long time, but the chain I will be working for wants to put me through a Kitchen Professional program and thinks we all can benefit from my years of management experience, albeit in the construction industry. Sounds great to me. My goal is to learn all facets of the kitchen, learn about food and food prep, and put in the hours and effort to be great at my new career.
With that said, I would appreciate any positive and motivating advice to help me transition into my new role and how to get good at it quick.
shift is very important most shifts overlap breakfast into lunch, lunch into dinner and dinner into perhaps a bar menu. you should find out what shift you would be working. Usually lunch or late night bar food would be good for someone with no line experience. the rushes are not as long people usually get in and out cause of it being a break not a leisurely dinner. Bar food is usually deep fried items and maybe burgers and steaks. these shifts will greatly familiarize you with not only the line but the kitchen it will also allow you to ask many questions to learn as much as you can. never turn down hours, always complete tasks and when there seems like theres nothing else to do clean clean clean. remember ther is never any downtime in a kitchen. with this always in mind you should be fine. one more thing a lot of restaurants would rather have someone hard working then with tons of experience that way they have no bad habits and they can train them their own way.
Yeah, it should be more like 5 or 6 twelves The days will get shorter when you retire