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I got an offer to stage at a 4 star hotel as pastry but I'm really a culinary major

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Basically I'm asking for your opinion. I applied for a job at this 4 star hotel. 1 day later I got a call back from someone in pastry asking if I could come in to stage with her. I said sure, not knowing what that meant. As soon as I hung up the phone I realized i was speaking to pastry and not cooking. It's not a job but something that could lead to a job and it's at such a nice place that I really don't want to turn it down. I believe any experience is good experience. If she looked at my application she is aware that I'm a culinary arts major with no real kitchen experience so she is aware of my skill set. My question to you is, is it a waste of time for me to spend time on pastry when I want to become a chef some day or is it best to get the experience? I believe it's best to get experience but I also don't want to waste people's time
post #2 of 11

Anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a chef, should include pastry in their skill set. Go for it. Don't worry about wasting their time, that decision is up to them.

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 #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thats what I thought. Thanks! Also, I applied to the job but instead it turned into staging. Is this purely interning or is this a test to see if Im worthy of the job. Or it could be both?

post #4 of 11

Probably along the lines of a tryout. However it turns out, it is a win for you, as it is a great chance for learning and exposure to the industry. Goodatcha and give it hell!

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 #5 of 11

First of all experience and learning are what make great chefs.   Staging is basically a working interview and should not last more than a day or two.  An internship is done through your school and formally documented.  You should get course credit for it.  Go for it and have fun.

post #6 of 11

In Germany I believe that apprentice chefs start out as pastry chefs.  Why?  ingredients for pastries are CHEAP so if you screw up, no big deal.  You can get 50 lbs of flour wholesale for what, less than 10 dollars? Unlike hand dived scallops or kobe beef.  

 

If you are going to be a serious chef as chef layne said make sure you learn this skill set, and learn how to do all the different types of  "pastes". Short crusts, chou, puff, baba, savarin, pate sucre, pate brise, short flake, long flake, suet, etc etc....

 

Chefs are judged by their knowledge as well as their skillset.  To that end you must also know how to execute that knowledge properly, mastering the basics is your key to success.

 

Why would you? Quite simply it has applications in culinary as well, a pot pie is in effect a savory pastry.  

 

As far as advice for the stage, get everything done in a timely manner but make sure to do exactly as they say to.  They should be somewhat lenient on speed since that comes with practice ya know.

 

Oh, and if you finish up with your project while the person is gone, don't wait until they come back, start asking people if you can help them with something or find something to do!

post #7 of 11

I was fololwing this thread and personally i would love to know how it worked out for this user. 

SO DUDE UPDATES?? How´d it go??

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
A lot has happened actually. I interned at the hotel and I was really nervous. I met with head of pastry and she was really laid back. I thought it was going to be much more fast paced. She handed me 2 recipes. Pastry cream, Ice cream and crime brûlée base. They had very very very bare bone instructions and then measurements. She said I could ask her if she has any questions. I basically would ask what order certain things would go in, like should the sugar go in the pot with the cream or be placed here. She was very kind and patient. I got everything done faster than I thought. While this was happening, about 15 cooks were swarming around me because they were cooking for a banquet. The hotel had several different kitchens for their different functions. The head of pastry then said that the executive chef wanted me to see my knife skills and that I should do some cuts. She handed me some carrots and 1 large onions. I did a small dice on 1 half of the onion and julienned on the other. The carrots where done as fine julienne and brunoise. She gave me some plastic containers to put the cud in and then she went to go see the executive chef in change of the main restaurant. She was nice but very straight to the point, as I have recently found out, is a characteristic of a head chef. He basically said that I could either A) take a hired position in pastry because the pastry chef actually needed someone and she said I did well OR there was a position for pantry. The only problem is that I had at the time no really kitchen experience. The restaurant gets very very busy and he wanted to make sure I could handle it. He suggested maybe a seasonal position and then if we both agree it's a good fit then full time position. I told him that the next day I had another stage at another restaurant and that this one would be much more fast paced. I could do it and if it all went well then I could go back to him. He said that sounds good and he would like to find a position for me but obviously they also had other candidates to screen

The 2nd staj. The next day I went to another restaurant to staj. The chef told me that if he liked me then he would hire me right there. He said it was a really small kitchen and that prep and pantry kind become one thing. Ar the time I didn't even really understand what pantry was. The chef told me to meet him at 3 pm on a busy Saturday and this place is located right by the beach. I walk to the back door right at 3 and the general manager says that chef isn't there yet and that I should come back in 30 mins. So I do so. I come back and he still isn't there. The general manager tells me to wait in the kitchen. The kitchen is very very very very very small. I understand at the time I had been spoiled. The only kicthens I had experience was my culinary school which is large but not that big and then the banquet kitchen which is very large because it's made to cook and prep things in bulk. This kitchen was very very cramped and part of that was due to its being slightly disorganized. I walk through the double doors with my knife bag in handle and everyone looks at me like I just another person taking up space, which I was. I said I was waiting for chef and I'm interning. 45 mins late and chef walks in and apologizes cause he was stuck in traffic. I am about to talk made crap on this establishment and I don't want to give names or locations away. All the names I use are fake. When I interviewed for this position, chef told me that he would throw me at a station on my first day and I would shadow someone. He said he was very hands on when it comes to training because that's the beauty of working in a private restaurant vs a hotel where the executive chef wouldn't be that hands on. Chef bob introduces me to mike, pantry cook, and basically teaches me extremely fast the recipes for the pantry station. It was things like playing desserts, all salads, ceviche and some fried food like empanadas. So this wasn't a problem because I had mike to ask questions to but after me being there for 15 mins mike gets pulled away to the line. Suddenly I'm running a station and I've just been told what to do 15 mins ago. Then one of the dishwashers comes up and starts helping me. I kept thinking how does the dishwasher know what to do and why is the pantry guy being pulled to the line. Eventually I started to get the hang of things and after 2 hours and fully understood what to do. I even jumped as an expediter at times because I had my own ticket printer and I would check them. Someone's I noticed the line would call things so I would call it for them even if it had nothing to do with pantry. I only did that when I wasn't busy. This happened about 3 weeks ago so I don't remember everything about that first day cause it's mostly a blur. Also, this all took place on Mother's Day weekend. It's 10 at night and the place has closed. The kitchen is a mess and I'm beat as hell and yet super proud because I pulled everything I did that night out of my ass. Many of the wait staff couldn't believe this was my first time in a professional kitchen because I acted like a "seasoned professional". I just laughed at that because there were totally times when messed up. The one thing I kept nothing throughout the night was that I was never trained properly so no wonder I kept messing up. I am cleaning the pantry station and the chef comes up to me and says I did really well and he would like to hire me. I said yes and we shook hands. He said that he was going to teach me everything. I thought that sounded great. The next day is Mother's Day and he had this butternut squash recipe he wanted me to do. He showed me how to do it once and then left the restaurant, which I didn't notice. I finished the batches and place the squash in the oven. Then I cleaned. It was during the cleaning that I truly discovered all the flaws in this establishment. This place is only 11 months old and gained much popularity very fast and I think because it happened so fast, many kinks still haven't been worked out. The dishwasher who helped me early was actually pantry and would jump on dishes from time because the really dishwasher often got swamped. Mike, the pantry cook, his title was pantry and yet he does everything. I have never seen someone work so hard in my life. He looks like he could be a sous chef. He is only 24 years old and he just worked his ass off. The reason he couldn't train me was because he kept getting pulled to the line but yet does not get paid accordingly. He logged 105 hours in a week and hadn't had a day off in 2 months. 4 month ago he put his 2 week notice but management basically said no. I don't blame them for saying no because no one in that entire place works as hard as he does and they know that loosing him would be a great loss to the restaurant. It's now 1 am and we are still cleaning. They keep telling me I can go home but I say no because there is still so much work to be done. I couldn't leave mike to clean by himself and then the dishwasher(not pantry dishwasher) to do the pile of dishes by themselves. I hear someone walk into the kitchen. It's chef and he gives me the strangest look. It was a mixture of shock and anger. He stares at me and then walks off. I look at mike and I asked if he was made at me. I thought he could be made because he is paying me for overtime. Mike says he just got back from the bar and this is a habit. Apparently he drinks a lot. I just got back to cleaning. I hear chef yelling "THESE ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SQUASH IVE EVRER SEEN!!" I walk by him and I'm putting away some pots and pans. He get supper supper close to me, like when drunks have no personal space, and says that just because I'm a female in a kitten doesn't mean I don't have to work so hard and that I'm working too hard. I just ignore that becaus that not why I work hard. It's now 1:30 am and he asks me to come in at 8 am. I was hired to work PM shifts so this wasn't part of the agreement. Me not wanting to be not be a team player say I can come in at 10 am. After that I leave. Mike still is cleaning and putting away dishes. As I walk out the door I realize that we hadn't talked about how much I'm getting paid or what my hours are or what my schedule is like because I'm still in school. I figure that could all wait till the morning. Next day it's Mother's Day and I show up at 10 am. I walk into the kitchen and the chef doesn't even remember me asking to show up at 10. He tells me that we are all going to work split shifts. I work from 10-12 and then I went on break and then came back at 3. This time I am much more confident because I have found my groove in this chaos. I basically just watched mike because I trusted him more than chef. This time the place closed at 8. I stay super late for cleaning, longer than I need to and I can't tell this is going to be becoming a reoccurring theme. That part didn't bother me. The part that bothered me was that I didn't know how much I was getting paid and I hadn't been properly trained. I also saw mike who was such a hard worker and yet management abused him and I could already tell they were going to do that to me. The chef was leaving and said goodbye and that he would see me tomorrow. I said I was busy with school. Also, he knew I was in school becaus to staged. He gave me this look like "how dare you!" I felt guilty. It's now 11:30 and mike, dishwasher and I are out back cleaning the rugs. One of the food runners comes back to the restaurant and asks if we wanted to go get a drink. I said no because I was busy early in the morning and mike says no because he stays and cleans till around 2:30 am every nights. The food runner and I were talking about parking and he offered to drive me to my car. I had a bad feeling about his but once again I didn't want be a bitch who thinks every many is going to try and take advantage of you. Mike tells me to go home. The food runner drives me to my car and he was very nice. We talked about car problem because my car hard broken down at the time and I was driving my dads car. I thought that he was just going to drop me off to the car and drive off but he follows me to my car. He said he was selling one of his cars and he would be willing to sell it to me. While he is telling me all this he is touching my shoulders, and placing his hand on my cheek, or pinching my cheeks. Just getting kind of close and it was suppppperrrr uncomfortable. Also there is about. 30 year age difference between me and this person. I cut off conversation and get in my car to leave. 2 days go by and I get no phone call from work. I had another job interview lined up that I had scheduled about a week and a half ago before the 2nd stage. I decided to still attend it because I like keeping my options open. I was surprised no one has called because chef said I was hired and I worked 2 days well over 8 hours. I thought they would call to discuss paper work or something. On the 3rd day after the stage was the job interview. I met with the chef and I liked him quickly. Once again, as all chefs are, straight to the point. This place is upscale casual. Huge emphasis on alcohol pairing with the food and the ingredients are high quality. It's like of like a gastro pub but a huge location. The chef hires me on the spot as a prep cook. He gave me 3 days to cut ties with the previous restaurant. I called by no one called me back. The chef sent me new hire forms online. Everything was so much more legit. My first day was may 14th. I am now much happier where I am now. They train you properly and they are very knowledgeable. I can now proudly say I work at Saint and 2nd at long beach, CA. The food is great and everyone is very nice. This experience has taught me much and I am happy that I have found a place to grow and learn.

P.S. On Mother's Day morning I emailed the executive chef at the 4 star hotel. I briefly told him about my experience at the stage and that I would still be interested in a seasonal pantry. When we spoke in person he told me he was going to be in paris for business and so I knew he wouldn't get back to be fast. 3 days ago he replied to my email asking me to come in. I kindly told him I had found another position but thanked him for the opportunity
post #9 of 11

I really wanted to read about your experience, but I couldn't get through the second paragraph. It was too difficult due to the length without any line breaks, which makes following along, especially in the middle, just too hard.

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 #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Haha that's okay. It was more of a mental rant cause one of the restaurants I staged at just made me very upset. The 4 starr restaurant called me back for an interview but I turned them down because I had found a better place. Obviously it didn't happen as smooth as that, hence the rant
post #11 of 11

Well i read a good chunk. 

I hope it all works out for ya then. 

If your content with your choice thats all that really matters. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply
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