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Ready or not here it comes

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am in my second semester of culinary arts for a two year degree. So basically...I am starting my advanced classes and I can see the end. As I see the end in sight, restaurant openings are starting to appear and here I stand with no job and no restaurant experience, just culinary arts training. I love food, I love cooking, I love everything about it. I read about real kitchen life, long hours, the night life, the fast pace movement. But yet, I am some what terrified to start in. Maybe I am scared of getting chewed out by the chef, or getting my dish sent back (I do know those happen all the time). I am not ready to stop cooking, cooking is apart of me. So let me ask you this, Were you scared when you started? How did you overcome this? Any advice would be great, Thanks. 

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”- Julia Child 
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“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”- Julia Child 
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post #2 of 9

Everybody is always a little scared to start a new job. As humans, uncertainty makes us uncomfortable. But the best thing about uncertainty is that it can be overcome. You must face you fear and head straight for the path you desire.

 

In a real kitchen, people will usually welcome new cooks as now there is one more hand in the kitchen to help everybody out. When you step into that kitchen you will see the team that will adopt you and train you as if you were family. It may take time to learn the kitchen, staff, and procedures of operation, however once you do this knowledge will allow you to do your job efficiently within standards. That way your Chef or Sous Chef will not have to correct you. Listen to you superiors and ask questions, this is huge for earning respect as it indicates you are hearing what they are saying and thinking about the subject at hand.

 

One recommendation I can offer is to absorb as much information as you can within your first two weeks, this will allow your team to start to rely on you and builds your confidence within the kitchen.

 

Good luck to you and enjoy your journey!

"Are you 5 o'clock ready?!" - My Chef
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"Are you 5 o'clock ready?!" - My Chef
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post #3 of 9
To add something important, never say "That's not the way we were taught in culinary school"
You are being paid to do things the way your employer wants them done, right or wrong.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post

To add something important, never say "That's not the way we were taught in culinary school"
You are being paid to do things the way your employer wants them done, right or wrong.

 

Good advice. Leave your ego at the door. 

 

You should be working while you're in school, or at least volunteering one day a week somewhere....something. You need to be in a proper working kitchen. 

post #5 of 9

@theculinarykid,

It's always scary. One mistake I see a lot of newbies in the kitchen make is to spread themselves too thin. You will have some menial jobs asked of you. I personally feel it's best to focus and finish the task at hand and move on to the next. I have a lot more respect for someone who tells me they are working on a task and as soon as they finish they will get on mine. You come off as being unorganized if you have multiple things started and none finished. Just me. You'll do great! The best of luck to you in this crazy field.:D

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
 

@theculinarykid,

It's always scary. One mistake I see a lot of newbies in the kitchen make is to spread themselves too thin. You will have some menial jobs asked of you. I personally feel it's best to focus and finish the task at hand and move on to the next. I have a lot more respect for someone who tells me they are working on a task and as soon as they finish they will get on mine. You come off as being unorganized if you have multiple things started and none finished. Just me. You'll do great! The best of luck to you in this crazy field.:D

I am only unorganized when it comes to what order things need to be done in, however they all get finished.  

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”- Julia Child 
Reply
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”- Julia Child 
Reply
post #7 of 9
I think the longer you wait before diving in the more you will "psyche yourself out" (I dont know if I am using this phrase correctly). What I mean to say is the longer you wait to get a job the more you will think about how it could be, instead of finding out it's really not so bad. Just keep your head down and don't rock the boat as other have said. All will be well, you have a good foundation of theoretical and practical experience from schooling that alot of people lack, so you should feel sound in that knowledge alone.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by theculinarykid View Post
 

 So let me ask you this, Were you scared when you started? How did you overcome this? Any advice would be great, Thanks. 

 

 

Nope.  Like countless others, I started off by washing dishes, then doing prep--all while still going to high school.  THEN  I went to culinary school while I had a p/t prep job on the weekends.

 

No time to be scared, or to even contemplate about things, I was constantly IN the kitchen......

...."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 #9 of 9

And please do understand that you will be starting at the bottom. You're gonna have to grind your way s-l-o-w-l-y up.

 

What you learned in culinary school was valuable, remember it. Just be prepared to have to do things completely differently.

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