WanaBe a ChefSeeking input from chefs

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WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: Seeking input from chefs
By Great_Outdoors (Great_Outdoors) on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 06:20 pm: Edit

I am contemplating the purchase of a remote, fly-in, fishing lodge in Canada and would appreciate input from professional chefs. For those chefs unfamiliar with this type of resort, a little information follows. Guests stay for a maximum
of seven days, then rotate out. Shore lunch, consisting of freshly caught Walleye,
is prepared by an Indian fishing guide (over a campfire) away from the lodge. The lodge is responsible for serving both breakfast and evening meals. As for breakfast, I'm going to assume that the same selection (variety) can be prepared each morning. Therefore, the primary focus must be on the presentation and preparation of the seven, evening meals. The same dinner menu would be prepared for the next group of guests. The point I'm trying to make is that this is not a restaurant environment. However, the evening meals you present to your guests must help differentiate your services from those of your competition. One more thing, guest capacity is under thirty-five.

If I purchase a lodge, I will hire a Canadian chef trained in the Culinary Arts. My question
is: If I enroll in a Culinary Arts Program, based on your experiences with new grads, how long does it take a new grad to become proficient? At some point in the future, I may want to assume the duties of chef. What sort of obstacles can I expect to encounter? Any comments will be appreciated.

I thank you for your time.

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 11:38 pm: Edit


Sounds like a lot of fun. If I were applying for a job there as a chef, though, I'd be looking for a good piece of change and I wouldn't expect to stay there for more than a season or two. Living in the middle of nowhere -- no matter how beautiful -- brings a premium. Also, if you're looking for high-end cuisine, I imagine you might be looking at some serious bucks to have fresh ingredients flown in on a weekly basis.

Enough naysaying. Like I said, it seems like a great idea and if you're realistic about costs and logistical obsticles you can have a lot of success. As far as you doing your own cooking, a few thoughts. It would be difficult but not impossible. After culinary school, though, I would suggest working at least 3 or 4 nights a week in a decent restaurant for a year. That's what I've done (13 months so far), and I can't even tell you how much you don't learn even with a solid culinary education. There's a big difference between what you learn in class and real service.

Also, cooking for 35 people a day takes a lot of time, especially if there's only one person doing it, so I don't know if you can do your own cooking and still run the place. It really has nothing to do with whether you vary the menu every week or not -- rather, it's the prep and the actual cooking. I'd allow 2 hours for breakfast and 3-4 hours for dinner.

Let me know if you're ever looking for a guest chef for a week.

- Steve

By George (George) on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 10:59 am: Edit


I'd suggest keeping your eye on the big picture instead of trying to do production in the kitchen as well. Your time would be better spent schmozing the guests and making sure everything went off without a hitch. In an enviroment like that (no near by supermarket) doing the food is a full time gig that requires experience in that venue.

Best of luck!


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