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Moving up too fast???

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello all! I'm new to the site and just want to thank everyone in advance for reading this!
Here's my situation/question:

I've been in the restaurant industry for 6 months now, and a line cook for 4.
I am very enthusiastic about working in the kitchen and am always doing everything I can to learn the trade while making a solid effort to go above and beyond anything that is asked or required of me.
I will be straight with this. I want to run a kitchen.
I've been at this particular restaurant for 1 month now. All new hires/cooks have years of experience, but not me.
Knowing this, I offered to stage for free.
After my stage, I was hired by the exec.
On day 1, I told the exec that I want to one day run a kitchen and he seemed to take me under his wing.
When he has time, I find him teaching me things having to do with production, prep, scheduling staff, and even fixing/maintaining the equipment on the line. I do everything I can to show him that I am gratful for this.
He now needs a new KM/chef de cuisine.
I want this job.
I want to be responsible for the day to day success and effiency of this kitchen. And the experience of being a KM could really benefit my long term goals.
I want to apply for this and somehow show the exec that while I know I lack experience, I can make up for it with dedication, enthusiasm, time, detail, etc...
I want this, but I don't want to show disrespect to the chef by assuming that he would hire an noobie to run his kitchen or something...
QUESTION:
Should I bother? Can anyone see this happening?
IF SO:
How might I go about asking for a shot at this job?
I'm even willing to mention that with my lack of experience, I wouldn't expect to be paid the same as the last KM.

Am I trying to move up too fast?

Thanks for reading. I know it was a long post. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 16

Apply.  Don't ever be afraid to.  The worst they can tell you is, thanks, but you lack the experience and we can't give you the job.  I doubt the exec. chef would get upset.  It shows that you have initiative.  GO FOR IT!!

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I will.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZossoLifer View Post

I'm even willing to mention that with my lack of experience, I wouldn't expect to be paid the same as the last KM.


Thanks for reading. I know it was a long post. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

I was once told by my grand father  that all I needed to know about life was not to shoot myself in the foot.....

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
For sure. Well, I can see how this might be a case of shooting myself in the foot. More food for thought.
post #6 of 16
Even if you "don't have a chance" (and let's face it, you never know, your exec. might see something in you beyond experience) getting interviewed is never a bad thing. Giving a good interview is a skill in it's own right and practice in that department can be pretty useful.
post #7 of 16

     I won't disagree with the others. By all means apply for the job. If you get it great, if not, at least you got practice interviewing.

And congratulations on finding a chef who is willing to teach you a lot of aspects of the kitchen. That is a rare event in my experience. 

     I am curious though. What's the rush? You've been working in kitchens for all of six months and you're fired up to run the kitchen already? 

Cooking can be simple or complex or a combination of the two, sometimes at the same time. Running a kitchen well involves many skills.

Not all restaurants are the same. Multiple cuisines with regional variations. Banquets, fast food, institutional settings, haute cuisine, etc, etc. 

     These and a lot of other reasons make me wonder what it is that makes you feel capable of the job with just six months experience. 

Drive, determination and the other attributes you mentioned do not make up for experience. They are what enable you to get the experience and keep going despite setbacks.  

      You mentioned that this job would help you with your long term goals. For many cooks, running the kitchen is the long term goal and they don't expect to achieve it in six months. So if your applying for this job this early, what is your long term goal? 

     I will add that I'm not trying to be negative. I just think something is missing here. 

I think the title of your thread is telling. "Moving up too fast?"  As the saying goes, "If you have to ask the question, you already know the answer. "


Edited by chefwriter - 4/21/15 at 7:43am
post #8 of 16

+1 . I agree with the chefwriter, running the kitchen after 6 months? It seems a bit of a fantasy to me. Running a kitchen is not only cooking and to be honest 6 months experience in professional kitchen would not be enough experience  for a demi CDP in my opinion...What happens when things go wrong and trust me they do. Damn now I feel bad...I am old school though, I think you have to earn your stripes and to be honest can't see how you could of earned yours in such a short time.

post #9 of 16
How many people are in said kitchen and what are you serving.

You'll have title of Kitchen Manager but not be Chef?

Shorter answer, dont do it.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZossoLifer View Post

QUESTION:
Should I bother? Can anyone see this happening?
IF SO:
How might I go about asking for a shot at this job?
I'm even willing to mention that with my lack of experience, I wouldn't expect to be paid the same as the last KM.
 

Should I bother? why not?

 

Can anyone see this happening? doesn't matter what anyone here sees, we are not actively involved in the situation

 

How might I go about asking for a shot at this job? I would compose a letter expressing your interest, that the chef can read in private

 

I'm even willing to mention that with my lack of experience, I wouldn't expect to be paid the same as the last KM. I wouldn't mention it, it sells yourself short, if you do the job you should get the pay

 

It is hard for anyone on this forum to offer real concrete advice without knowing more about the operation and the background of the players involved. I applaud your ambition.

 

Quote: ― Durgesh Satpathy,
 “Sometimes our highest goal becomes our big enemy when we move towards our goal blindly without focusing on the path we follow.”
 
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone. This has been very helpful. I'll address a few things.

What's the rush? Good point. I am very determined to be a chef, but perhaps I will one day be a better chef having more experience on the line as a CDP.

The long term goal is to be an executive or head chef who is hopefully talented and strong enough to run a kitchen and oversee all culinary efforts. This position/restaurant is more day to day with one new special each month. Being the chief here would warrant the experience and duties of simply running the day to day.

The position is Chef. But for some reason, the only people who refer to this role as chef, is the exec, and the owners. The staff refer to this position as Kitchen Manager.

The more I type, the more I realize that perhaps I am jumping the gun.

I believe I'll talk to the exec about this and apply for/suggest a sous position.

Based on the advice of each of you, I'm going to write a letter of intent, and when it comes time to talk in person, I will do my best to keep it humble and simple.

I know my efforts will be appreciated, and if I'm lucky enough, could lead to a higher role. As chef or even sous, I will still work the line and gain experience, as this restaurant is a bit smaller than other professional kitchen establishments.
I'll be happy either way, and if I'm not offered the job, I'll do my best to embrace the fact that there is years of experience and challenges ahead.

Seriously thank you everyone.
post #12 of 16

I guess I'm going to be the dissenting opinion here, but don't do it.  Sure the experience of interviewing is good, but what if you get the job?  I've seen too many young cooks move up too fast.  They end up shooting themselves in the foot, in the long run.  They don't have enough experience to be a great leader and even less to become a great, or even good, chef, but once you start taking the better money, it's a hell of a lot harder to go back to being just a cook, and so these people continue on.  They end up being, at the best, okay chefs at okay restaurants but very few of them have I seen excell.  My two cents; take your time, learn all you can from this chef that has taken you under his wing, then go and find another cooking job and do it again.  Work for great chefs (and that doesn't mean "big name" chefs) and learn all you can from them.  Learn what they do that makes them great, in your eyes and in 3, 4, or 5 years then you will have many (not all) of the skills you will need to be a good "second in command."

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
i couldn't agree more.
I really wanted all of you to tell me to go for it and that it's a grand idea, buts good chefs don't set cooks up for failure and I appreciate that.

I most definitely have not "earned my stripes". I may be 23 but I respect the old school way.

After listening to all of you, I think a better option would have been to ask for a few more responsibilities rather than a higher role that takes years of experience. Either way, if I get the job I'm going to embrace while (in a perfect world) remaining humble to the idea that I still have much to learn as a cook.
post #14 of 16

One never knows till one tries do they? Go for it you may be perfect for the job. When I was in my mid 20s  I had a great job running a large catering  facility.

    A friend of mine a large meat wholesaler said a friend of his was going to open the largest catering facility in the US and he would like me to meet him I said ok. The day came and we met in the parking lot of the Old Worlds Fair in Queens NY.

One question he  asked me was how much do I pay my waiters? I told him $30.00 a job , he laughed at me and said"" I pay my valet parkers that"". I looked at him and said ""I guess that makes me smarter then you "". He said to me YOU ARE HIRED,  manage this place.,  I did and made a lot of $$$ and got a great reputation. We grossed 17 Million Dollars  per year in strictly banquet. Need I tell you the profit in that.?


Edited by chefedb - 4/22/15 at 2:24pm

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #15 of 16

Depends on what you want. If running a kitchen is your dream then go for it.

 

If you want to be the best cook you can be then don't do it and move on when you can't learn anything else where you're at.

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

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post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to let everyone know, that I ended up applying, but instead of giving underexperienced me the job, my chef now wants to teach me personally so that I can try and do this at a younger age.
So thanks to everyone for all the hard truths and helpful advice. I realize that no matter the enthusiasm or passion, it takes real experence to run a kitchen.
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