The Great Hall
Backround? The Great Hall: Backround?
By Jonnyboy (Jonnyboy) on Sunday, June 04, 2000 - 01:16 am: Edit

Well since i was out here last week and we all had some opinions to share tell me a little bit about yourselves. Since this is such a great forum for chefs to communicate around the world why not make more use of it? Me? I am 27 and from toronto and have been in kitchens since I was 14, nd have except for a couple of years, have always been a restaurant guy. I ran my first(real) kitchen at 21 and am presently chef de cuisine at the hot stove lounge in the air canada center.So let's hear from some of you, it will be interesting to see how far and wide the responses will be. Look forward to hearing from you.


By Dpconsu (Dpconsu) on Sunday, June 04, 2000 - 07:42 am: Edit

Good idea Jonnyboy,
I am nearly 48 and started work at the age of fifteen with a full apprenticeship program with Hilton International Hotels in Amsterdam,then did my 1 year of estagers in three differant Michilin rated restaurants in europe to get certification. This enabled me to finish school(5 days per week) and attend college(3 evenings per week)and got a bacholors degree and also to work 90 days in each of the 12 stations in the brigade kitchen and full time thoughout the school holidays,and also a stint as chef de range in the dining room. I worked through out europe for the CHIC franchise of Holiday Inns on the pre opening crew until I came to the USA in late 1971, and got promptly drafted into the army, I didnt cook for the army but I did run a cooking class for NCO and Officers wives while in Panama for my 3 years there.I took advantage of the GI bill and did a Masters degree in civil enginiering. Then when I got out,I went back to London and work for VIP and RAND agencies as a chef de cuisine tournant, I replaced executive chefs through out the world who were sent by their employers to France for futher study, usually for about six months at a time.This enabled me to get lots of international experience as I'v now worked in 18 countries.
I have also during this time run my own seasonal catering company in Monaco for five summers. I returned to America in 1991 after 3 1/2 years in Isreal working for myself as a consultant.Since being here I have worked as a chef in California and in Boston and Cheyenne as a suppliment to what consulting jobs I could get. Now since 1993 I have with my interior decorator wife, Donna, run our own full service consultancy based out of the Dallas Texas area. I limit us to a maximum of five projects per year to ensure client satifaction and although I still cook alot with training programs that we offer, I do not spend hours on the line any more. A heart attack three years ago makes 18 hours a day in a hot kitchen unadvisable! But I love my life and how I make my living now and I really have never regreted my choise at the age of 11 to be a chef. It was in my genes I guess, as my GrandMother was the chef for the Duke of Kent in England, She tried everything to talk me out of doing it!I guess that she knew greater hardships than I did from doing all of her training in service from a scullery maid at the age of 15 until her retirement at age 56.

PS. I am both American (from my Dad) and British (from my Mom)

By Blackstock (Blackstock) on Monday, June 05, 2000 - 10:25 pm: Edit

Hey there!
I guess Toronto chefs like to talk alot!!
I also work in Toronto at a place downtown,Ive met a cook from the Air Canada Centre by the name of Marcus,do you know him?
I've been in the buiseness for going on 16 years with most of those years spent in the front of the house.(sorry)I joined the dark side about 5 years ago and I am sooo glad that I don't have to talk to the people anymore. I find cooking to be alot more fun!
I have worked in Europe as well as Canada from Stolkhom to London to Calgary and back again.
I'm hoping to find a way to work in the States for a bit,does anyone have any ideas how to do this legally?
Hope to hear from a few more people soon

By Jonnyboy on Tuesday, June 06, 2000 - 10:37 am: Edit

Yes i know marcus he is a good friend of mine and i worked with him at zoom a couple of years ago and ended up convincing him to come work down here. How ever it is very difficult to get a job in the states as a cook legally, under the table it is a little bit easier. The only way you can really get into the states is if it is an exec chef position or at least i high management position.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, June 07, 2000 - 08:55 am: Edit

Hum, we have tons of illegal workers here in the States. (Not that I'm recommending this but...) It seems the way to do it is, just do it. All aliens (every Mexican dishwasher included) present some kind of green card (they forge them)to begin working. No one really examines them closely (management knows they aren't legal, da).

Everyone is looking for help in todays tight labor market. Get a job and work it out. Half our guys are now legal citizens and none entered the country that way.

By Chefluc (Chefluc) on Wednesday, June 07, 2000 - 09:13 am: Edit

AS I recieve those messages by mail, this one look interesting.
I have in the past the experience to work in palm beach as chef and I was hoding canadien pass.
Heasy you get there, find a position, there is a lot. Then come back in Canada (Toronto border)
Take an imigration athorney US 800 to 1000.
In 2 days you can get into USA with a legal working permit for one year. The employment contract as to be done for chef manager, executive chef. Position which involve managment.
The company mush show proof of income/solvability/registration.
Working illegaly in USA is ok perhaps never take the same road back home and don't say to any. Peoples are watching you!
Basicaly it make the owner buisiness that they can get butter for the price of oil (vegetable oil) :-)

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, June 07, 2000 - 09:59 am: Edit

People are not watching, unforunately! You can get a drivers license and no one will even ask if your legal. Our Country throws money at this issue and doesn't come close to opening their eyes and looking at its' reality.

By Raine on Wednesday, June 07, 2000 - 01:17 pm: Edit

If people were watching, the population of florida would be cut in half (miami probably wouldn't exist) and there would be better pay for those that ARE legal.
Get a work permit, or marry an american. Those are the only legal options.

By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, June 07, 2000 - 06:38 pm: Edit

Getting married to an American does not do it anymore. Actually we are not throwing money at this problem.
Getting a green card is not that hard, becoming a US citizen? Most illegal people or workers don't want to give up their citizenship in their country of origin.
Hiring illegal workers is not that easy. They must have the paperwork I-9. 2 forms of ID etc.There are heavy fines imposed on those who do not follow the rules.
I hardly feel that our unemployment is due to illegal workers. Most illegal jobs would not be filled by legal workers. It is much easier to go into the system than to work for low wages.
This is a big issue in our industry.

By Raine on Wednesday, June 07, 2000 - 07:48 pm: Edit

Unemployment? What unemployment? There are more jobs in florida than we have people to fill them with. If you don't have a job here it's because you don't want one. If we didn't have so many green carders and illegals, they'd have to close the whole damn state.
If there was an unemployment problem here, we might be able to get a decent crew, and not have to hold on to all these slackers.

By Yankee on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 12:39 am: Edit

We just got a letter from the Social Security folks a few weeks back. It was a list of the people on our employment rolls with bogus SS numbers. The list covered half of our FOH & BOH staffs. I think we have 60 days to respond and note what we are doing to rectify the matter.

You mean when I get married, my Aussie fiance does not automatically have the option to take dual citizenship?

By Yankee on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 02:49 am: Edit

Oh yeah, I'm 35, a Cancer with rising sign in Aries. I like jazz, long walks on the beach and leather bars.

Ooops, right topic, wrong board.

By W.DeBord on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 08:57 am: Edit

Panini if hiring illegal workers was hard we wouldn't have so many (and we need them). They forge ID cards and businesses know it too! I'm talking mainly about Mexicans, Panini you might be speaking about other groups. We do throw money at it because any money we spend on people who patrol the borders is a waste because it doesn't address the real problems or stop the vast majority of illegals from crossing.

I do not see any unemployement in my state either. So many businesses are desperate for people! Businesses that used to employee the young now have all seniors or Mexican workers.

I'm not saying everyone should come work here illegally...but it's done easily...we do need some types of one honestly polices the is wrong.

By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 03:53 pm: Edit

My statement about unemployment was in response to " there would be better pay for those who are LEGAL".
AGAIN, we are not throwing money at this problem!
The Mexicans you speak of have probably driven by my house to get to you. There is not enough bodies,monies,time given to the border patrol.This branch of our government is not slacking, they are greatly understaffed and underfunded. The Gov. keeps this open door policy for some unknown reason. I personally think it's because these illegal workers pump millions of $ into the social security system through bogus cards and they will not have to pay it back. This is no bargin to the illegals either. I'm niether pro or con on this issue because I'm very close to both sides of the fence.

By Blackstock (Blackstock) on Thursday, June 08, 2000 - 09:19 pm: Edit

I'm glad to see that alot of people are reading the postings here. I did not mean to start a debate on the pros and cons of hiring "illeagals",I was just intersested in a new learning experiance.I don't want to not pay taxes or any thing like that I would just like a chance to work at some of these great places I hear about.
To Jonnyboy, I to now work at Zoom ( and it is agreat place to work,Lorenzo,the chef,is a great guy and I am learning alot from him.When did you work at Zoom?

To yankee, I to like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain,I'm not into health food.. Damn , wrong chat room again!

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