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career advice for a sous chef?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
First off let me apologize if I'm posting this question in the wrong thread. I'm new to the online forum world.

I've been cooking professionally for five years now(22 years old). I've been a sous chef for almost two years by December. Like almost everyone here I put in my work working 10-15 hour days since becoming a sous chef. since starting at my new spot I've lowered labor by 3% on average and dropped my food cost by 4% after two months in. My positive yelp reviews have increased since starting as well. From a management standpoint I'm hitting the ball out of the park.

However I'm not happy being a sous chef at my location. I'm not working at olive garden but it's not a michelin star restaurant either. Quite frankly I need to move to the next level of my career. Not as an executive chef, but rather further my creative ability and expand my knowledge on different cuisines. I want to just work underneath the best chefs in the world and learn as much as I can on flavor profiles, techniques, culture, and I'm interested in avant garde cuisine like what grant Auschwitz is doing just to throw a name out there.

I've been debating going to culinary school, partially because I'm interested on the butchering of animals, cooking techniques, being able to stage in either Spain or France or many other countries but mainly because of the networking I'll be able to capitalize on.

Let's be honest, a lot of what shapes our careers is who you know.

So my question to you is this: do you think with my experience, is going to a school like the cia for example a beneficial career move for someone like myself given my background, if I use the same work ethic to get me where am today, in school on learning and networking
As well as traveling to Europe to work afterwards?

Sorry if this question is dumb. I just love food and cooking and the thrill of a rush. A title doesn't matter to me. I just want to be putting out food on the same caliber as the best chefs in the game.-Troubled Chef
post #2 of 4
It sounds like you are doing well in a short period of time and have learned good managment skills.If you think you need more cooking experience in higher level places then you are at a good age to do that.In my opinion school would not be the best use of your time and money right now.Try to work at the best places that will hire you and try to stage for free at even better places.Travel as much as you can and learn all you can about food everywhere you go.Write or visit any chef you would like to stage for.Working is where you're going to make contacts.....not school.Just a bit of advice though,when you are contacting restaurants for stages...the chef of Alinea is Grant Achatz not Grant Auschwitz.......that was a Nazi extermination camp during World War Two.
post #3 of 4
Autocorrect fail?

School is always a good option. If you have money to blow. If you are considering large debt, maybe keep working. Travel while your young.
post #4 of 4

If you want a stage in a Michelin restaurant, expect them demand that you stay 3-6 months.

At lest here in Barcelona.

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