Just joined because I have this dilemna that no one else would better understand than fellow cooks/chefs. I'd love any kind of feedback you can give me to make this decision easier for me.
Culinary experience: less than 1 year. Started my first job as a fry cook 12 months ago and was let go after two weeks, from what the head chef told me it was because I wasnt able to keep up. However; the sous chef whom I got close to told me it was because during the interview, I had mentioned I wanted to open a restaurant one day and I shouldnt have said that. I figured something was up when I was supposed to make spicy mayo(this was a really popular sushi restaurant) and the owner said he would do it. They thought i was going to steal their recipes and open up a similar concept. It sounds, silly but I dont think he would lie to me.
A month later I found myself as a line cook at an American Contemporary restaurant with Mediterranean influence.
Started at garde manger and a couple of weeks moved to saute. Then the Head chef and CDC left to go to open a new restaurant and they asked me to come, they only asked me so i felt special. I told them I would follow them anywhere...
Of course, I had to stay a little longer to help the new chef with the inner workings of this place, we do a little under 2 million in sales. At this time, I had been cooking for about 3 months.New chef arrives and I tell him that I would like to give my 2 weeks. He replies with, there it is,I figured at least one of you would go with them. Over the next two weeks, I told him my one year goal is to become a sous chef, which we already had. He was very encouraging and was a great teacher and we got along really well. At the end of two weeks, he told me if I stayed he'd give me a dollar raise and groom me to be a great sous.
I accepted and two months later, our sous left and I was offered sous chef and we negotiated a salary of 30k. I was ecstatic, to become a sous within 6 months and to be able to post it on social media,lol. I was speechless. Over the course of the next five months, things changed, his hours dwindled from 50-60 hrs/week to 30-40 hrs/week. Owners and managers weren't too concerned or even noticed because he never clocked in, nor did I. But when he was there, he answered all my questions and in a way became a great father figure. I remember I got frustrated and threw a quart of cream through our expo window, I got fired that night.
I apologized a few days later and he told me to come in and offered me my job back. Two weeks ago, he told me he was leaving to open another restaurant. He wanted me to go and be his Jr Sous Chef right below his executive sous. I told him heck yea, every time someone leaves, they always want me to go with them. I felt great, but the managers knew this was going to happen and spoke to me. They offered me the head chef position. We haven't spoke about numbers, but I know what my chef is offering me at the other place.
45k, one weeks paid vacation and insurance(fully paid) after six months, and a quarterly bonus which roughly translates to 4500 a person, plus I would continue my learning under this great chef who has 20 years experience and worked at some badass places in the DC area.
What would be the minimum amount of money I should receive from current restaurant before it would be stupid to leave with my chef?
One hand, I would continue learning under my executive sous and my head chef, but on the other hand I can force myself to learn new things, get paid well, do what i want with the menu(almost).
I love every aspect of cooking professionally, but i just don't know. Will i ever get such an opportunity again in the next couple of years? My insecurity is that if I compare myself to every other head chef in the area, I would be considered under developed-- I learned so much from my chef--gastriques, demi-glace, flavor profiles and pairings I wouldn't even think of, but I also want to see if i can do it on my own as a head chef along with my line.
Honestly, I'm just rambling at this point and it's because I'm so torn...any advice? Thanks in advance
P.S. I have till the 25th of January to come up with an answer. I will be getting an offer tomorrow after service from the current restaurant.