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52280 Views 50 Replies 38 Participants Last post by  wgtaber
Was wondering if we could get a discussion going about culinary school externships. When I was in school it was difficult to know where to go for your externship. Some kids went with the big name chefs and ended up only peeling carrots and cleaning lettuce. Anyone out there have an externship experience to share good or bad?
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Missy, you are mistaken. Most of us on this bulletin board are interested in many aspects of the field and want to hear what everyone says. I can speak for most of us when I say that we check out all new posts no matter what forum it is in. As for doing an internship, I was lucky. I went to New England Culinary Institute where we are required to do two internships. The second one at the end of our schooling. This one usually turns into our first "real" job out of school. For my first internship I worked in a hotel. This is a great experience even if you aren't interested in hotel work because you get a chance to see many types of operations at one time. Most hotels have both a fine dining and causal dining restaurant, banquets and many buffets where you get a chance to work on garde manger skills. You get exposure to a number of different philosophies in a short span of time. I was at the Royal Sonesta in New Orleans and learned all areas of the hotel in six short months.
Unless things have changed since I was at NECI, your first internship was anywhere you wanted and could get accepted to. I used my internships to see places I hadn't lived in before as much as for the experience. The first step in deciding where to do an internship is figuring out what geographical area you want to go to. There are great restaurants and hotels just about everywhere so first narrow your search that way. I don't always agree with trying to get into a well-known chef's place for an internship-they are too short to spend your time peeling potatoes the entire time. Instead look for a great undiscovered chef who doesn't recieve 50 resumes a day. A great internship combines fine dining and relatively high volume. Once you have learned the basics it's not too hard to do nice food for 60-80 people, the trick is developing speed so that you can create beautiful food for 60 people or 260 people. After that it's just a matter of deciding what kind of cuisine you want to work with. I always knew that I wanted to be an American chef doing regional and comtempory American food so I looked for chefs doing the kind of food I was interested in.
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I was at the Montpelier campus Summer of 92 and 93. Graduated in May 94. I have heard mixed reviews so far of the 4 year program, but think that they have the best 2 year program in the country.
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