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How long do you typically stage for?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey, this is my first post here but I've always enjoyed reading the forums!

I'm currently working saute station 2-3 days and broiler station the other 2-3 days at a pretty low volume (100 on a busy night) upscale restaurant. Now, I'm preparing to move to the city and I am putting in my application at the best restaurants in town. I've been a line cook for the past 4 years now and I've been working in the restaurant business for 7 years.

 

Anyway, when I spoke with the chef at one of the best restaurants in Sacramento, he had mentioned that I could possibly stage there. I know I'm good enough to work there, and it would be a dream come true for me to work along side cooks that will blow me out of the water. I'm in it to learn and to progress in my career. I'm totally okay with working for free but the thing that has me worried is how long will I have to do that?

 

As I line cook, I obviously am broke as hell and barely scraping by as is. How can I possibly support myself if I'm working for free? Do stages normally only last a day or two? Or should I focus on finding a job that will support me financially and try to stage in my free time?

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

 

- James

post #2 of 8
In America a stage usually lasts anywhere from 2-13 hours, Its like a trial/ interview process so the chef can gauge what you know and how you work.
I'm sure you'll do great, you sound very confident. Welcome to CT
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Alaminute!

I talked to my exec. chef and the exec. sous chef more about it yesterday and they clarified a lot of it for me.

post #4 of 8
My last was six months, wich was the minimum requirement.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Six months doesn't sound so bad. How many hours a week did you work for free? You were also working full time somewhere else, right? If not, how did you survive and pay rent while not making money?

post #6 of 8

Note that ljokjel is in Norway.  Things are a little different there than in the US.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesAllenQuinn View Post
 

Six months doesn't sound so bad. How many hours a week did you work for free? You were also working full time somewhere else, right? If not, how did you survive and pay rent while not making money?

This was in Barcelona, Spain in a ** Michelin restaurant.

I had free accommodation prepared trough network, but the other stagiers were staying for free in the stagiers flat wich was located close to the restaurant.

We did the same amount of hours as everybody else. 10/11-16/17 and 19-24. The hours were different depending on the amount of work, open tuesday - saturday. Serving lunch and dinner with a siesta in between the services.

At the minimum we were 4 stagiers, and at the most 10.

 

Survived on savings, and we were not included in the tipping pool. I let go of my apt. and expenses back home in Norway before I left. It was a bit easier for me than others. In Norway our salary was 2-3 times better than in Spain, so my money lasted longer down there.

 

Last weeks of my stage i got the responsibility for my partie, supervised by the head chef while the CdP was on holidays. Landed a job within the same company after, but at the Bib Gourmand restaurant. Was actually more to learn at the second place.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Wow that's so cool! That sounds like such a great experience! The city that I'm moving to doesn't have any Michelin star restaurants. Maybe one day I'll move somewhere where that is an option. Thanks for sharing!
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