WanaBe a Chefgetting that first cooking job...

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WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: getting that first cooking job...
By Sam1vp (Sam1vp) on Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 01:36 am: Edit

Hey everyone,

I'm a 19 year old in college with a passion for cooking but no education or experience, and I want to find a job for the summer in a kitchen to get an idea of what it is to cook for a living.

What's the best way to find a job? Should I just walk in to the local joint and offer to peel onions? What's the most educational/engaging job I can expect to get without any prior experience? Any advice you could give would be great!!


By George (George) on Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 11:32 am: Edit

If you are in an area with Country Clubs go to the kitchen, bang on the door and ask to talk to the chef about a job. Explain your position exactly as above and tell them you will do anything to prove your self. If you speak any Spanish let him know, it would help.

If your timing is right you might get a prep or pantry gig or more likely a dishwasher or pot washer position. Take what ever they offer and show up on time, do your job to the best of your ability, keep your mouth shut and eyes and ears open.

If you impress them with your demeanor you should at least be a sandwich guy by the end of the summer.

You will see enough to make a decision if you really want to be in this business well before that.

Good luck!


By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 03:59 pm: Edit

You said it all George!!

By Sam1vp (Sam1vp) on Sunday, April 03, 2005 - 08:03 pm: Edit

Thanks for the advice! Looking forward to putting in my time at the sink...

A couple more questions though:

I'm going to be in Manhattan for the summer, so I'm not exactly sure where to start asking. Should I try to talk to chefs in more upscale restaurants or hotels, or would I have better luck trying less well-known joints?

Also, are Chefs more likely to hire help for the summer way ahead of time, or should I start asking around in late may/early june?

Thanks, Sam

By George (George) on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 10:09 am: Edit

Finding work in Manhattan might be difficult. There is a lot of talent available there and lots of culinary students looking to get NYC on their resume. Also the summer time slows down a little (at least it used to) Everyone goes out into the hamptons or where ever.

There are lots and lots of CC's within an hour drive of the city.

This is the time to start looking.

If you are set on Manhattan contact the ACF chapter there and again explain your situation.
Their Website

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 04:23 pm: Edit

After your visit to the big apple and you stil want to do the cookin thing start lookin into large hotels or resorts.....they are always in need of good, cheap labor. Do your homework though, look at the menu, the steps of service in the diningroom and the reputation of the chef.....another route to go, although less financialy comfortable, is to do a stage somewhere. It will either be work for the experience or very cheap labor, but the knowledge you will recieve, if you have chosen wisely, will outway the financial discomfort......good luck

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