I am a line cook for Chilis. By no means do i even know how to "cook". Chilis line is memorization, rapid movements based of muscle memory, speed and prioritizing. I dont know anything about cooking but i can sell food at a pace that is unhealthy. I dont honestly know if i actually like cooking but working the line at chilis is actually pretty fun to me. How should i go about exploring to see if I would like to be an actual chef and work this for a good bit of time. I am open to any responses and comments.
My job as a Line Cook
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At first I wasn't going to touch this one, but then.........
If you are truly interested in the food service industry, my advice would be first and foremost, to learn how the Chili's corporate Chefs want their food prepared.
Yes, this may sound elementary, but what I am getting at is those corporate Chef's designed the food sold at Chili's to be prepared a certain way.
Many line cooks at some of these franchise places will look at the recipes or plate designs or what have you and say to themselves, this is too easy, or too crappy, so they take it upon themselves to enhance, change, or fiddle with what the Chef's designed.
This screws up food cost, as well as creates an inconsistent product.
I am not saying this is you, but I am saying that in order for you to get a better idea of what restaurant work is all about, stay where you are at and learn. Then you may want to go out and try a different place that is perhaps an independent restaurant, so you can garner more knowledge and experience. Best of luck.
I may be too late for this response but............
The answer to your question is kind of a loaded one. I say this because it depends on a lot of factors. How old are you? What do you NEED to make monetarily? How much do you hope to make at the peak/ "Chefdom"? Where do you live/location? and many more other things. I am a professional chef and at 35ish I am finally embarking on the journey of opening my own restaurant. Not to be said lightly, it is hell but like I said I've been doing this a while so I knew what I was up against and then again had no idea! I started my "line dog" introduction at 13. No offense to where you are working but that is not cooking, or even remotely close to being a chef. I have worked everywhere from where you are to Ruths Chris, Sullivans, the Four Seasons, and Roy's. Those are to just name a few "corporate"/ "chain" places. I became a "chef" by working at the independently owned places like Mavro's, The Greenbriar Inn, The Elk Ridge, The Bistro at Century Center, to name a few. Being a line dog at any of these places was amazing!!!! Some of the best years outta my life went to being a part of the crew at these places. There is a whole other story about the life of a line dog but that's for a different time.
To where you are at now/or where when you asked the question, if you ever want to know what its like to be a line dog you need to go elsewhere!!!!!!!
I would like to stress one sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo important thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you find you don't love and I mean absolutely LOVE food, cooking, the hours, the mind blowing craziness of it all please don't peruse it! Cooks and especially chefs are a different breed of human. The whole of who I am, the fire in my core and the very thing that has made me connect with life itself has come from me becoming a cook! I strive even in my own mind to live up to the expectation of not only the Chef's who taught me but to the personification of what being a chef is.....I doubt I'll ever fulfill the goal of being able to call myself a true "Chef"!
I guess my point is, know you are embarking on a life long journey, not for the weak hearten! It will take everything you have and then a lot more but to express myself and love through food itself, there is nothing else in my years that has been more deeply rooted into my soul. This is all because I took a job as a "dish bitch" long ago!