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Culinary Career Crossroads, need advise please

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am at a crossroads in my career:
I am 29 years old and have been self taught for the most part. A few Sous Chef I have worked for have taken a liking to me bc of my passion of the art and taught me too.
I am currently in New Orleans and have been extended a job offer at arguably the best restaraunt in town, the same place Emeril Lagasse gained him fame as an executive chef.
So, to cut the fat and get to it; does job experience at a nationally recognize restaraunt hold the same value as a culinary degree bc in the past a degree has been the only thing holding me back from advancing.
post #2 of 4

Depends on what you want to do. No one ever asked to see my "papers" My resume always spoke for it's self.

EXPERIENCE in a well known establishment does wonders for advancement, just make sure that you can back it up in your performance.

I hired a guy one time that had worked for Wolfgang Puck at Spago, he walked out half way through the day.


If you can get your foot in the door at CP ? there should be plenty of room to grow, that could be your jump off point in a couple of years for something bigger & better.

post #3 of 4

I agree with Chef Bubba.  Even though I have a degree, you still need to back up your degree with the ability to cook.  I've hired both degreed chefs and non-degreed and some work out and some don't in both categories.  And also, some of my best mentors never set foot in a cooking school.  It sounds like you are doing the right thing by working alongside some good professionals that will teach you and share methods.  Sounds like a fantastic opportunity for you at this new place.

post #4 of 4

Sir, your passion will be a very valuable tool. One thing that might help you even more is to take every bit of information all your mentors, chefs, and experienced cooks will give you. Don't be afraid to really squeeze knowledge from the people you work with. Treat your job as such, but exceed it in all ways you can. Do your job like the position you desire. One way to prevent being stagnant in growth is to treat everyday at work like a day at culinary school and over the years you will gain so many hardknock degrees. Take notes, listen, use that passion to fuel your desire to advance with experience and practical knowledge. Pick up a couple of GOOD business management books or maybe a community college certification class, they should pay for themselves over time. Shoot for the stars and embrace failures and mistakes with respect.

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