WanaBe a ChefVolunteering in a restaurant

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WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: Volunteering in a restaurant
By Ragnar (Ragnar) on Friday, October 29, 1999 - 02:26 pm: Edit

I recently began volunteering at a very reputable restaurant here in Montreal (it's called Passe-Partout). I am doing this to both get a realistic perspective on life in a professional kitchen (of which I have no experience) and also to fulfill a pre-requisite for a school I will be applying to (Stratford Chef School). On my first day, I basically stood around for three hours with an apron watching everybody else work. I offered to help, but understandably they already have an organized flow to their job and I would at this point be getting in their way.

I realize that I may have to stand around a few more times before I will be given something to do, but my question to you all is: has any of you aspiring or established chefs out there taken the volunteer route and if so, how did it work for you? It's not like they need another body in the kitchen, but I want to make it work and build up enough confidence to take on more challenging tasks and make the most of this opportunity. I'm patient, but not sure what to expect.

One thing, I highly recommend anyone who has the desire to be a chef but have only cooked at home, to see what a professional kitchen is like and immerse yourself in that environment. There's no comparison and after one day it's an eye-opener. It's probably the best way to justify your commitment and see if it's really for you. At this point, it's STILL what I want to do.

I'll keep you informed on how things go.


By Shawn (Shawn) on Sunday, October 31, 1999 - 03:20 am: Edit

When I was in culinary school, I was told by a few chefs that volunteering can be a good way to get into a place you really want to be. There's a book called "Becoming a chef" that might be of interest to you. Good luck!

By Craig (Craig) on Friday, November 19, 1999 - 08:32 pm: Edit

I asked a couple of chefs about trailing, and they looked offended/insulted. When I asked if I had said something wrong, I was told there are liability issues. (How frustrating! I can't even work for free!) Durn insurance companies.

By Raul (Raul) on Saturday, August 19, 2000 - 02:07 am: Edit

I'm really interseted in becoming a chef and everyone has told me to volunteer at a restaurant and see if it is everything i thought it would be. I am willing to do this, but I was wondering how I should go about in doing so. Should I call and ask them? If anyone can give advice, please do so.

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