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Alinea. Its a good read promise. comment advice.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Okay so im not a professional chef i will admit. Im a 17 year old with a dream and passion , and i need some help. You see i have been in the industry since the day i turned 16. starting as a bus boy and working my way up, and for my age Ive made it pretty far. farther than anyone else i know. I started as a bus boy just hoping to make a little extra money like any other teenage boy. Then before you knew it i fell in love with the industry, and ive become kind of a food geek lately. You see i recently acquired the modernist cuisine book set in full from a chef instructor at J&W when i attended their boot camp this past summer. Now im not saying i don't still practicing my basics because that's something that must be mastered. Ive been practicing knife skills every day of my life and i might be able to impress a few chefs. I mean not to brag but i can take apart a chicken with my bare hands, and im pretty proud of it lol.Any ways again Ive fallen in love with the modernist cuisine and molecular gastronomy. So I'm sure every professional chef out there is familiar with Alinea in Chicago? Yea you know Grant Achatz my role model, super hero blah blah blah. He is the chef of the highest Michelin star rated restaurant in America, he was Tomas Kellers sous chef at the french laundry, his first word was "hot" ( just like mine). I mean i could disturb you with knowledge about this man, but i guess i might spare you this time lol. So any ways a few days ago i bought a durian ( a fruit from Thailand) and for those of you who are unfamiliar with the fruit it looks like a coconut from hell and was named the worlds smelliest fruit.  I mean its illegal to bring the fruit on any public transit in Thailand that's how bad it is. It smells kind of like a dead cat and a mound of diarrhea, but taste like a combination of vanilla custard and caramelized onion.Of course being a teenage boy i hear of the shitty fruit and it blows my mind i search for a few months to find one, and they are not very cheep. A work friend of mine is really close with an Asian market where they have like 3 to 5 shipped in every few months, so i finally got one. he brought it to work for me and im walking down the street past another restaurant waiting for my mom to pick me up. Then i stop at this restaurant to get a drink and people are asking me about my spiky coconut and I'm letting them taste it. ( telling them to plug their nose) lol and a man over in the corner knows what it is, so we start talking and talking. His knowledge was great so i was like a kid in a candy shop then i asked him where he gained his experience from. and one of the restaurants he named very casually " alinea in chicago its a Michelin star restaurant" and i immediately jumped to my toes hearing the name and we talked for about 30 minutes about it. He told me everything then gave me the name of their culinary liasion name and email address and said he would give me a recommendation. I am still completely blown away. He told me to send my resume every day until i receive a response , and now Im questioning am i ready for that? I'm so hungry for knowledge , but am i ready to take that step?


Edited by commis - 9/2/14 at 7:00pm
post #2 of 8

Not trying to be a wise guy, but the decision on whether you are ready for Alinea or not, is not your decision to make, that decision will be made by someone at Alinea.

 

The decision that is yours to make, is whether or not to apply. As to that, what do have to lose by applying. Look at the application process as being a part of your education, along with the added bonus being that you will be getting exposure to a world class restaurant through the process. Alinea is a well run operation. They know what they doing. Trust them to make a good decision as to whether you are ready or not.

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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post #3 of 8

Uhm....

 

I don´t think they care wether or not this restaurant is your dream job, or if Grant Achatz is your role model. 

Hell im sure most of the interns there and the employees have the same opinion. 

You can send an email with your resume everyday, but that doesnt mean you will get a chance, nor does it mean that they will read it at all. 

Im sure Alinea gets about 100+ resumes a week, if not more. Why would yours stand out to them??

 

Regardless if you want to send a resume, well do it, no one can stop you. 

As long as you don´t send it in, the answer and your chances are null. 

 

Lets remember your only 17...

If you get the chance to wash some dishes you would be lucky. 

Grant isn´t going to take you aside, give you a sautee pan and send you into the line, the most you will do is some mise en place, if you do that. 

Regardless send in the resume, but don´t get excited. 

Your only 17, and still have a long way to go....

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply
post #4 of 8
If you don't ask the answer is always no. Getting in at a place like alinea at 17 could be great for your career, assuming you have the skill you seem to think you do.
post #5 of 8

Not to be the bearer of bad news but there is at least a couple hundred others JUST LIKE YOU with resumes on his desk... a couple hundred others JUST LIKE YOU blowing up his email address.

 

I stopped caring about those celebrity guys a long time ago and focused on becoming my own person not a "I used to work for___" kind of guy. Of course read theirs books, take their advice and knowledge but don't idolize them to the point of stalking them. And besides, there are some LOADED parents out there with 12 year old proteges in the kitchen who waltz right into these guys' kitchens ahead of every resume in the stack. (Today's feel good story, local boy works at the French Laundry, and even LEADS THE TEAM! More at 5)

 

Work your way through the ranks, hone your skills, find a good exec/mentor, and mop the floor with your local competition. When people call you up to open their restaurant... Thomas who? Grant wha? BE THE NEW GRANT ACHATZ

 

The exact quote and author escapes me but it goes something like this "...because one day your loyal fans may become your competitors..." You get the idea.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the advice I know its a long shot, and yes i have worked and staged almost every up scale restaurant in the area.Not as a dish washer.... Boshamps Chef Andi Bell ( "rising star american cuisine" James Beard foundation) I started here and worked my way from bus boy to dish bot to oyster shucker to fry cook to prep cook. Then La Famiglia under Chef Laurence ( CIA grad) i was the lead and only linee cook at 1 location for 6 months. Then Marina Cafe the most prestigious fine dinning restaurant in our area. under Chef Al he was Emeril's Executive sous Chef for 10 years and a J&W graduate. I worked their 6 months making their deserts before servise and running the salad desert and fry cook station and was laid off for the winter time for remodeling. Now Im at the highlands house with Chef keven ( CIA grad) and a great mentor. I'm just a line cook.

post #7 of 8

Don't get hung up on Alinea.  Any of the Trotter alumni restaurants are super amazing as well.  You know who is doing groundbreaking stuff, like taking what the cow eats and turning it into hamburger without going through a cow?  Homaru Cantu. 

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
whoaaaaaa thats awesomeeeeeee!!
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