The Great Hall
Advice The Great Hall: Advice
By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Sunday, November 20, 2005 - 05:47 pm: Edit


Im an aspiring chef, and was wondering what you think the best course i could take to achieve my goal is. My goal is to have 2-3 high-very high end restaurants here in Houston, maybe one in Austin. Currently im thinking go to Texas A&M (major in business management, so i can run them effeciently and not have to pay someone to do it, more mula for me) attend a 1-2 year culinary course, probably le cordon bleu london, (i already have quite a bit of skill, since ive been cooking since i was 6, but there ALWAYS more you can learn)then do something of a "residency" in london at various restaurants, come back to the states, maybe work a few more years in other kitchens before starting my own.

i would be executive chef and GM, although i would be more hands on that most EC as 1, i enjoy cooking very much, and 2, less staff to pay.

so does that sound like a good track, or is there something the seasoned vets would suggest?

thank you very much,


heres some samples of things ive made for dinner parties my parents had (sorry for image quality, it was my old digital camera)






By Ladycake (Ladycake) on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 07:10 pm: Edit

Honey, You've got a long way to go. From your post, it is obvious that you do not understand the extent of an Executive Chef's responsibilities or those of a general manager. The time element is daunting! and your plan is very ambitious.
Do you have a job now? If not, my best suggestion would be for you to go NOW, find a restaurant job, start learning the committment of time and energy that it takes to do these jobs. I think you will be surprised! Learn each station from the dishwasher up.

Cooking at home is not the same as restaurant cooking. Do not be discouraged, you can become very successful if you are willing to invest the time, and sweat, and blood that it takes.

Your educational plan is sound and if you have the energy to stick it out, you may one day be the restauranteur you want to be. Good luck to you, and remember, if you are not willing to put in the hours now, how can you expect to be willing later on?

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 07:33 pm: Edit

Easy there, Ms. Ladycake. He's just 14 years old. He's got three years of high school, minimum before he's even allowed to apply to a college.

I applaud his bright-eyed optimism, and I wouldn't want to squash the soul of an entrepreneur, or of an ambitious individual of any age.

Colin, keep the faith, but do heed Ladycake's advice. Work as soon as you're able to in your state (most states won't let you work until you're 16). When you do get a job, make sure that doesn't interfere with your high school studies, because a low GPA will certianly screw up your plans to go to the college of your choice.

Also make sure that you fit some time in there for your social life...because you won't have one during college while you are hitting the books all day and working in restaurants all night and all weekend... and you certainly won't have one when you're doing time as both GM and Exec for your chain of restaurants...

Can I get an amen on that, any of you experienced folks?

P. S. Here's me, the "Type A", first-born, Capricorn, telling someone else to chill out and take life as it comes. Do you know how hard that is for me to do? :-)

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Monday, November 21, 2005 - 08:42 pm: Edit

haha thanks to both of you, great advice, yes i realise when i first start out ill be working 80-100 hour weeks probably and only go down to about 60 even once my career is booming

ive worked in proffessional kitchens and i like the atmosphere

i can start working (at 15) in a few months, but i have no mde of transportation unless i get a hardship license, but my parents are still married so that aint happnin! haha

thanks again to both of you, and if you know a good restaurant in houston needing a runner or salad chef or something please let me know ;)

ps, how do i change my password from the one i get in the email? and is there a way to stay logged in so i dont have to type it in every post?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 09:28 am: Edit

Why do you want high end restaurants????
Family restaurants are more viable and....if you have the $$$$ for a McD or a BK buy that, that will make you Mula!!!!!
High end restaurants are nice but, they cost more in all aspects and, you will probably open for dinner only right?...Breakfast and lunch are not that productive in high end restaurants since most of the day you have to prep for dinner, so somewhere the food and service will suffer. High end restaurants are only 1% of the restaurants in the country, and they are very limited in clientele and repeat business.
Your educational plan sounds good....if you stick to it, keep working in kitchens. You "never" stop learning in this field!

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 10:29 am: Edit

i want high end restaurants because thats the kind of food i enjoy making, i like the atmosphere, and sicne there's only dinner service that leaves me free until 10 or 12, possibly to have a car dealership, something ive always wanted

plus with high end restaurants theres more recognition and the possibility (im not expecting one) of a michelin star

call me pretentious or whatever, i dont really care haha :)

about mcd's, you just buy a franchise, take stuff out of the freezer put it in the microwave, not really my thing

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:18 am: Edit

as for the password thing... if you click on the 'tools' then 'internet options', then click the 'content' tab. There you will find an autocomplete button. If you click it, it will give you options to auto complete, save passwords etc. Just click that you want to save passwords, then come here and log in. When the box pops up and asks you to save the pw, just say ok. The next time you come here you can just double click the username box and up comes the pw too.

If that don't work, I don't know. I'm not sure about changing the password, but I am pretty sure you can.

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 11:59 am: Edit

> there's only dinner service that leaves me free until 10 or 12

Colin, you have no idea what running a restaurant is like, if you think you're going to have mornings "off" so that you can run another business.

Here's an idea: pretend you're doing a paper for school, and go interview a bunch of high-end restauranteurs in your area to find out how they spend their days. I think you'll be in for a shock.

Fill your head with visions, that's fine, but keep them to yourself in the real world. If you want to be taken seriously, show some focus.

Nobody with any passion is going to take you under their wing if they think that you think that running a restaurant is a part-time job. It's a full-time-and-more job.

Take the baby steps that were outlined to you above. Come back in seven years and tell us how you're making out. You'll be all of 21 and you still won't have earned your business degree yet, but perhaps you'll be a bit more focused by then.

I'm telling you this as if you were my nephew: Take it in the spirit that I'm giving it to you.

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 10:59 pm: Edit

really? even if a sous chef goes to the market for me?

thanks for the password help

just curious but what restaurants do you guys work in? how many hours do you put in? whats a typical day?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 07:29 am: Edit

(flames deleted)

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 07:39 am: Edit

(flames deleted)

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 10:01 pm: Edit

(flames deleted)

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 11:26 pm: Edit

(flames deleted)

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 11:56 am: Edit

Spike, enhance your calm sir! lol
14 or not, the fella has ambition which is good. Don't loose that or the drive to get you there. Seeking information is a good thing and I really hope that you've gotten some and take it to heart. Spike? He's just an old fart that's mad b/c subway only had him on the air for 15seconds and they made him take notes on how to bake bread! lmao

But really, if you're 14, don't spend too much time on the future, but spend more time w/ friends and having fun... like 14y/o's are supposed to. Keep your goals in place, but make them smaller. Make small goals to accomplish rather than shooting for the larger ones all at once. You've got more time to figure this all out, so do it... figure it out and then pursue it. Don't pursue before you figure it out.(which it seems you are doing)(making plans that aren't feasible)

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 11:39 pm: Edit

(flames deleted)

By Chefjoannam (Chefjoannam) on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 11:43 pm: Edit

no, mine is!

ha ha ha

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 10:08 am: Edit

.....and I, nominate you for sexiest man alive JoAnna...........!!!!!...god luck against Jennifer that her name????
Spike, you haven't received the Zanax scrip yet huh??????
Colin, ignore Spike, he's inhaled too much yeast in his life!!!!......remember Bill Clinton, "don't inhale"

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 07:48 pm: Edit

Ahh, you guys. Leave this site for a coupla months and I see this...

Colin, you'll get more advice here than a pregneant Nun will ever get. All of it's good.

Don't like Spike or Manny's behavoir? Get used to it. There aren't many "please" and "thank-you's" in the professional kitchen. You'll run into crusty old farts like these guys in every place you'll work, so get used to it and learn how to make them work with/for you.

Do yourself a favour and walk into a restaurant supply house, O.K? How much does a stove cost? How big of one will you need for a 40 seat dining room? A 10 x 10 walk-in? Fancy bone china? How much for one setting? How many settings for a 40 seat dining room? Real siverware? How do you polish it? Listen to those sleazebag salesguys talk about the used restaurant equipment: Nice 2 door s/s freezer, new costs 2 grand, the used one is only 8 or 9 mths old, they bought it back for $200, and they'll sell it again for $1,500. This is very sobering stuff. Most places fail with in the first year, and it ain't about the food. Everybody on this site wants you to understand this. Like I said, it's very sobering stuff.

No reason why you can't dream big and plan ahead for the future. But you gotta know what's out there, how to avoid the mistakes and how to work with what you have.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 - 08:03 pm: Edit

"Don't like Spike or Manny's behavoir?"
Eat (edit- poop) and choke, please!!!!...and thank you much!!!!
Have a lovely evening! where the hell you been???
How are things in Canady???

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 01:17 am: Edit

(flames deleted)

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 01:24 am: Edit

In fact you know what, only ONE person sent anything towards the laptop for flattop.
One. It shows what hes made of.
All of your talk about supporting the troops is all a bunch of sh*t.
You people couldn't care less about anybody outside of your own fu*king minds.
But when it comes to showing your distain, man you bunch got some fast fingers.
Your Chef's for crist sakes, big deal.
Speaking of fingers, heres one for all of you.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 09:52 am: Edit

Yep, now I know why I left this site...

How are things in Canady? We've dreamed up this new plot to take over the continent: First we grow some real high quality grass and smuggle it over the border all the while declaring it legal on our side. This will give all the US politicians a massive coranary, so all of our grow-op operators will go over there and take their place, and then.....

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - 10:25 am: Edit

Well, I thought you guys were doing that already with the prescription drugs????????
By the way, the Colombians and Mexicans already beat you to the weed thing!

By George (George) on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 12:10 pm: Edit


Lighten up dude.

He's just a clueless delusional kid with no grasp of the realities of which he speaks. (After buying a few cars who would actually want to be the type of slime in the car business?) LOL.

At least his hopes and aspirations are positive. (except for the car dealership thing).

I think playing the grumpy old dad dude in the subway ad has made you grumpier.

Chenejaunechef- kitchens are tough places with absolutely no relationship to what you have seen on TV or even visiting through friends or school or whatever. These forums are closer to what you will see in any kitchen, only much nicer, believe it or not.

Peace out,


By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 06:20 pm: Edit

I commend you for aspirations to become a chef, many years in the future, at your young age. The title must be earned after many years of toiling in the kitchen. Take heed to Ladycake's advice. Being a restaurateur, restaurant manager, chef, cook, foodservice worker in any capacity is not merely a job(much less, a part-time one), but a lifestyle and lifelong commitment.
As far as getting a Michelin Guide Star, young man, you would have to be in Europe, not the USA. Mobil Travel Guide awards up to 5 stars, and AAA awards up to 5 diamonds in the USA. It is more difficult to attain the 5-star rating than to attain the 5-diamond rating.
I do not recommend LCB-London. I think that you would learn much more by completing a 3-year apprenticeship. I recommend that you contact:
ACF Texas chapters, Texas Chefs Association, San Jacinto College in Houston, and/or El Centro Community College in Dallas.
According to Cornell University, Texas Tech University's RHIM program is one of the top programs in the nation.
According to the NRA, University of Houston, and University of North Texas, also have Hospitality Management programs.
U.S. Military Culinary Training:
The USA has an excellent Culinary Arts Program!
The USN's new culinary training facility, and culinary team.
Get a job in the industry to see what it's really like. Work for chefs who forget your first name and refer to you as "asshole," and other affectionate names, and have temper tantrums, hurling pans across the kitchen in your direction, audition(called 'stag-ing[sic]' by culinary snobs or [expleted deleted], unethical, unscrupulous so-called 'chefs' who merely want to exploit free labor in the industry, as if we're not already underpaid as tradesmen/women, that is merely a bastardization of the French word, 'stagiaire.' What the [expleted deleted] is that?! That is not even a word in the French language!) at restaurants, or work at restaurants which don't even pay you, work 14-hour+ days/nights for menial wages, get cut, burned, a sore back, feet, etc. It isn't all "peaches and cream," figuratively speaking, young man. Forget what you see on the FoodNetwork. That is merely entertainment for entertainment's sake. Cooking at home is merely an avocation. Cooking in a commercial kitchen is a vocation. If you survive a 3-year apprenticeship, then, you will know if you can tolerate this hard life. Good luck.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Thursday, December 01, 2005 - 07:37 pm: Edit

Correction: The Michelin Guide is now in North America. Michelin's five criteria for awarding stars.

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 05:04 pm: Edit

im a little confused as to how they rate it in europe, i thought to even get 1 star it had to be outstanding, is that different here, or am i misunderstanding it? like you get multiple stars etc?

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Sunday, December 04, 2005 - 09:18 am: Edit

Exec and GM of multiple places, wouldn't happen.

I work for a owner/chef who has enough trouble with "running" one resturant, here's the story.

(The expanded resturant I speak is still tiny in comparison to a real high end place btw.)

This resturant started out as a very small place, doing mostly pre/post theatre dinners and catering. The start of this year it expanded to a larger location and much larger capactity, with a lunch seating, sometimes a running parallel with a function in the theatre or catering at another location.

At dinner there can be one sitting of pre-theatre menu and a second sitting of the regular ala-carte menu and in worse cases followed by a post-theatre supper and or a large function in the church-theatre or catering for an offsite event.

The problem with this place is that no one wants to work in this kitchen, the resturant is a revolving door for staff and it's about to get worse.

The headchef is payed a salary but generally works well over his salary hours mostly only for the reason he has the other set of keys and has to wait/work until its time to lock up whenever the customers decide to leave, this is while the owner/chef leaves at 8:30/9:00pm.

While the owner/chef drives 3 cars including 2 luxury 4wds and a convertible, the resturant functions with minimal staff/equipment, eg. there is not a single slotted spoon in the place (replace slotted spoon with alot of other utensils as well), the industrial bin is overflowing and needs to be picked up more then once a week but the additional $8 for a truck to come twice a week is considered a luxury.

Being christmas time its currently the most active time of the year and the owner/chef decides to go overseas for a cooking course, subsequently while he was away there was much complaing by the staff and it turns out the 2 longest serving chefs at the place (since it opened when it was small) are also going to quit at the start of next year.

I could go on and on, alot of what I said really isn't about the pitfalls of being a owner/chef but this, dont think being out of LCB or simillar with management degrees will result in a good resturant it will most likely result in a resturant with staff who will have 0 respect for you. Your staff will make or break your resturant period. If your staff dont respect you because you have no idea and treat them like sh*t then no matter how great your ideals are, the staff will just turn out sh*t basic meals without a care until they've had enough and quit.

Watching food network and cooking at home is no experience at all, working under a well traveled and experienced chef (like I used to, I swear 1 month under him beats a year of "experience" where Im at now) will serve you alot better then LCB can, schools can't teach anything like a very experienced chef of a specific style can eg. if you want to be a top end pastry chef then learn from one of the best, basics at school will only take you so far. Also note the best doesn't have to be the most expensive or largest.

If you take anything from my strange ramblings then take this away.

Work your way up from the bottom, not to be able to say that you've done that, but to know what it takes to do it when you own your on place.

That and save your money for a rental property portfolio instead of a resturant :) acctually it's strange like that, I have no desire to own a resturant, be headchef of a top end place yes, own a top end place no.

I see a real chef (and by chef I mean the people who do all the prep/cooking/cleaning, not just come in for an hour or two at dinner/lunch and make up a few meals a huge mess and to finish it off make sure they tell everyone what needs to be done in the most patronizing manner possible) as a profession and a owner as an investor, I dont think they should cross paths.

My ideal of a chef is someone skilled in all aspects of creating great tasting and visually appealing meals which alone is a fulltime job let alone running the place financially and say running a car dealership.

You can own everything you'd like to own, but you can only do one thing at a time, eventually you have to get over the fact you dont want to spend money on staff and live under the rule of you have to spend money to make money, just like everyone else.

You can't possibly be head chef of 3 kitchen in 3 locations at once, you can own 3 kitchens at once and run them financially, but not be a chef in them.

End rambling, maybe someone can sort what Ive tried to say into sensible points.

Edit: Ohh and another great way to run your resturant, lie to your staff about the conditions they'll be working in during the interview.

Eg. I was led to believe the place I am working at had a large staff so large infact that I would only be able to work day about (which at the time I considered ok because I thought I would be learning alot from working there, experience vs cash *which also turned out to be not the case, im learning little at best*), and now Im working split shifts monday-saturday instead of what I was told during my interview.

By Wm_Cia05 (Wm_Cia05) on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 10:03 pm: Edit

You want to be a chef, take a lesson from Anthony Bourdain (who's actions and other advice I rarely condone) and show up on the steps of the best chef in town and beg to wash his dishes... for free if need be. Take in everything you can and work hard, start from the bottom and rise on merrit, then if you still want to do this in a few years, get a good education. This buisness is changing in way we conduct ourselves in the kitchen and the way that we run our buisnesses. Decide what you like and don't like about the way the chef runs his buisness, keep it under your hat, and when you get the chance use it to your advantage.

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - 10:16 pm: Edit

yes ive read kitchen confidential and want to read more of his books, other thanthe drugs he is a pretty cool and good guy, definately someone id love to talk to for a while

from your username "CIA 05" im assuming you go/went to the CIA how do you like it?

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 02:01 pm: Edit

Chenejaunechef, hey, you're welcome.
See, when my kids were very small, they'd cover their eyes when I was playing peek-a-boo with them. Their logic was that if they closed their eyes and couldn't see me, I couldn't see them.

So, what's your logic? Half a dozen experienced professional Chefs respond to you, take time to write, and you've got nothing to say? Hey, we're all cynical old bast****, so we'd never expect a "thank you". But you kid, you won't even acknowledge that we took the time and effort to write to you. What's the matter, didn't like what you heard? No one's patting you on the back telling you what a wonderfull boy genius you are?

So we've seen your character. You'll do well in the used car lot, but stay out of the kitchen for now, OK?

Best regards and wishes for your future,

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 02:30 pm: Edit

Excellently said Edward!!!

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 04:30 pm: Edit

Cooks vs. Chefs, Are the workers overlooked?
Bourdain, Between Meals, A talk with Tony
eGullet Q&A with Tony Bourdain
The Bourdain Identity

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Thursday, December 08, 2005 - 05:39 pm: Edit

thanks andapanda looks like some good stuff there

foodpump, sorry the thankyous were in my posts that got deleted, thankyou ;)

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 10:20 am: Edit

Sure thing...

'Scuse me. I've got to give my Chauffeur, Smedly-Grieves, a tongue lashing. The poor man hasn't emptied out the ashtry or wiped down the woodwork in my Rolls today...

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 02:06 pm: Edit

Some car dealerships serve food.

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Friday, December 09, 2005 - 08:57 pm: Edit

'Scuse me. I've got to give my Chauffeur, Smedly-Grieves, a tongue lashing. The poor man hasn't emptied out the ashtry or wiped down the woodwork in my Rolls today...

wtf? what is that about? haha

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Saturday, December 10, 2005 - 01:31 am: Edit

You really need to listen to foodpump especially about the owning a resturant side of things, lets imagine starting out a new 200 seat good resturant.

First you need a place, has to be suitable, needs to be approved meet all regulations and most importantly, location location location especially if you want a michelin or simillar. price: big $$$

So now you've built/bought or are renting a space you need to either renovate it or build it up from the ground, seeing as you dont want to spend money you'll need to do the interior designing yourself, you'll need to determine the position for the kitchen, the flow throughout and the decor itself.

Now youve got a building painted with all the accessories window fittings, the bar, bathroom facilities, entrance points complying with safety standards, theme lighting you name it all layed out you need to think about your customers.

So its a 200 seat resturant a top end one ofcourse, so you need good quality chairs, you can probably get away with 225 chairs (hopefully not too many get broken) what about tables? So now you can seat 200 people in a painted but empty resturant.

Next the bar you need coffee making equipment, a liquor license, refrigeration, wine chiller, sinks. How many coffee cups/saucers do you need? Spirit glasses? shot glasses? beer glasses? mugs? teaspoons? seating?

So now your resturant has tables and chairs and a working bar and window fittings, next you need decoration/theme and ofcourse your computerised cash register system to take peoples money, phone and electricity connected for everything to work and take bookings, baby booster seats, insurance incase one of your customers injure themselves is a must.

Plates? not just any plates, this place wants a michelin star so how much are your imported plates going to cost per plate $30 per peice? more?, how many do you need? Well 200 people you might be safe with 250 main plates (for a month until 50 get broken that is), what about mainsize bowls? entree and desert, side size plates/bowls, presentation platters? what if your waitstaff break them? how many extra do you need? What about your silverware, this is a michelin star place, only the best will do.

Now we finally get to the kitchen, this is where the big $ will come in again, gas/water fittings designing the layout of the kitchen yourself with your experience from LCB (cant spend any extra money after all, you're out to make the big bucks, gotta scroge mcduck , but thats ok you know everything, you can do it yourself), service area, cool rooms, freezers, cold wells, sinks, dish washing areas, hand washing areas, ovens, fryers, stoves, microwaves, robocoups, food processors, stainless bench tops, shelving, oven trays, utensils, teatowels the list never ends, you are always buying for a kitchen.

What about fine wines for your bar, top spirits, soft drinks for some, good quality coffee, what about some staff to run it, say a barista/barperson maybe two or three or four?

Waitstaff to run the food how many waitstaff do you need at a time?, chefs/cooks to cook the food, kitchen hands? or do you make your chefs clean the the entire resturant up at the end of the night, plates, coffee cups and all back to the one washup area in the kitchen (to save money), I bet they dont teach you that at LCB?

I doubt I've even scratched the surface of what it takes to start and run a resturant, imagine doing it 3x let alone HAVING the money to do it, ofcourse mr mcduck you'll do it all in your sleep while running a car dealership.

The way more experienced chefs on here could tell you even more.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Saturday, December 10, 2005 - 11:32 am: Edit

All that and did you even read the requirements to obtain a Mobil 5 Star??? Forget Michelin...that is in Europe....but then again, you might want to look at that as well and incorporate some of their requirements into your design. Mobil's requirements for 5 Star are long...and not only do you have to follow those for 5 Star but must still maintain all the requirements for the first 4 stars. It not only has to do with how the food is presented and tastes....but overall layout of the establishment.....service is a big issue!!!....but they even look at how your ice cubes are holes in these cubes, they have to be solid. Plants in the bathrooms?? have to design space for that. Entrance area, seating lounge for the wait to even sit down. And it does not stop there.......monthly inventory, cost analysis, what menu items are dogs, what sells, why is food cost so high?? theft? portion control, purchasing mistakes?? what FC do you want? what do you want your profit margin to be? what is the percieved value of the food? does service live up to the food?? servers giving •••• away, bartenders giving freinds free drinks....whats hot, whats not....whos hot, what person likes who who is banging who, who is about to get stabbed cuz this one does not like that one and if they all like each other are they gunna all make it in on time the next day after going out for cocktails (been there, seen that) what do you do when all your guest leave cuz food is coming out slow and they have a game/show/play/movie to go to?? whats your special gunna be?? how many specials? oh ••••! cooler is not working......I have $20,000 worht of product...where do I put it?? health inspector is here. Magazine critic is in the dining room................................................................................................................................................................oh and chef/owner your wife/girlfriend is on line 3!!

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Saturday, December 10, 2005 - 12:37 pm: Edit

'Scuse me. I've got to give my Chauffeur, Smedly-Grieves, a tongue lashing. The poor man hasn't emptied out the ashtry or wiped down the woodwork in my Rolls today...

wtf? what is that about? haha

To understand my logic, chenejaune chef, or as you say wtf?! You have to re-read your previous post:

foodpump, sorry the thankyous were in my posts that got deleted, thankyou ;)

See, now in the used car biz, lying, oops, scuse me, um, "untruths" are just a part of the biz. BS a guy on the value of his car and make some exta cash, BS the next guy on the price of a used car and make even more cash. When you BS in the used car biz you're a hero. But in the kitchen it's different, kinda like cheating at chess. Everyone knows what your doing, you ain't fooling anyone except yourself.

So like I said before, we've seen your character, and you'll go far in the used car biz, but stay out of the kitchen until you smarten up. O.K?

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Saturday, December 10, 2005 - 04:03 pm: Edit

what is your problem? i was sincerely appologiseing, in one of the posts where i wrote a whole page worth of stuff then another paragraph saying "thanks to everyone who has given good advice"

stp assuming you know my character when my true character got deleted...

and whats all this about the used car business? i said exotic delaership, and i was thinking more like financial backing a factory backed dealership over a decade down the road after i satrted my restaurant

"seeing as you dont want to spend money you'll need to do the interior designing yourself, you'll need to determine the position for the kitchen, the flow throughout and the decor itself. "

im not a screwge, im actually really good at spending money, where are you getting this from?

and you guys act like its a terrible thing to want a michelin star...?

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Saturday, December 10, 2005 - 09:00 pm: Edit

Chefgibz, I appologise for my confusing words, thats in no way a *design* I was trying to point out the thought/cost and work it takes to "build" a resturant before you even open your doors to the kid, I meant to describe it as to the point its a functional resturant/bar with staff ready but hasnt been opened yet and hasn't been stocked, cause hell I didn't even mention anything about food itself once.

Chefgibz, Dont take what I'm saying as a design, im just trying to show the kid that a resturant just doesnt get popped out of nowhere, it takes alot of thought and experience to produce a resturant that will not fail, once again I appologise for the confusion my post was to attempt to show "Chenejaunechef" the work/cost it takes to get a "resturant built", let alone established and working and being successful a year down the track.

As I said a more experienced chef such as yourself could easily put me in my place in terms of what it *acctually* (vs theory) takes to run a successful high end large scale resturant.

Chenejaunechef, imagine doing what I described acctually having to think about it vs where I could just rattle off a few things that would need to be done, all of what I said + about 10 million other things need to be though about in depth to run a single successful resturant, let alone be "hands on" in the kitchen.

"im not a screwge, im actually really good at spending money, where are you getting this from"

"and not have to pay someone to do it, more mula for me"
"and 2, less staff to pay."

I dont doubt you like to spend money, but I can tell right now from your posts you wouldn't spend a cent more then you'd need to on your business, that is while driving around in 3 or 4 top end cars and coming into work bragging to your over-worked and under-supplied staff about all the new stuff your buying and trips overseas your taking.

It's all in your attitude. You seem to think think that running a resturant will be effortless and everything will just click into place while you run a car dealership in the morning and come into work at night time to to cook.

You talk as if everything will just fall into place, "I'll get into a business college, then I'll go attend a fancy french cooking school for a year so Im an "authentik (sic) french chef" and finally I'll travel to london, because I'm so great owners will beg me to work for them, and then I'll just pop three of four 1 michelin star resturants out of my a** when I return to the US." Talk like that is cheap, cheapens the work that others do and is pretty offensive, it looks like you offended spike and foodpump at least.

In response to your first question:
"so does that sound like a good track, or is there something the seasoned vets would suggest?"

Im no veteran, but I'd say pull your head out and acctually go start an apprenticeship then after completing it, come back here and see if your still the chief with all the grand ideas.

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Saturday, December 10, 2005 - 11:51 pm: Edit

Colin, I guess the best thing to do is to print out this whole thread, stuff it into a book that you know you won't read for a while, and then in a few years take a look at it. All the answers to your questions are there, you just have to look for them.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 02:35 pm: Edit

Pegasus...It is I that should apologize to you, I was merely trying to continue on with what you said and expand on the thought....I have looked into starting my own, cuz I have a lil knowledge of what it takes, not everthing yet mind you but a lil........and I want no part of it, at this time. I will work for someone else and let them deal with all the headaches. Once you own something it is yours and you cannot come and go as you please. If one truely wants a restaurant that person is married to it, it IS you. You cannot leave, you are there 24/7 even when you are not physically in the building, your mind is running on all the things that need to be done and what has already happened......that is if you truely want the place to be a success and not have to just say you have it. AND AS FAR AS A MICHELIN STAR......THAT IS IN EUROPE, NOT USA, CHENEJAUNE!!!!!!!!!!!! It takes alot to get a restaurant to a Mobil 5 does not just happen when you open the door....your place has to prove itself BEFORE the awards come is a privledge to be awarded a star or a diamond and takes alot of hard work.....I should know I work for a 4star/diamond!

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 09:14 pm: Edit

thats actually a great idea foodpump, i think i'll do that, thanks

chefgivz, i know its europe but ive heard daniel boulud's restaurants in NYC have multiple michelin stars, so i dont know if theyre expanding to the US or what

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Sunday, December 11, 2005 - 10:50 pm: Edit

"Michelin rates NYC restaurants"

"The verdict is in and there are shouts of joy throughout the five boroughs of New York. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Michelin Guide New York City 2006"

Michelin have a guide for New York, but have expanded to the entire USA.

Even then I'm not sure how the NYC guide compares to the European guide, if they do at all.

"Stars are awarded sparingly; for instance, in the UK and Ireland 2004 guide, out of 5,500 entries, there are 98 with one star ("a very good restaurant in its category"), 11 with two stars ("excellent cooking, worth a detour"), and only 3 with three stars ("exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey"). Michelin stars are taken very seriously in the restaurant business, where the addition or loss of a star can mean a difference in turnover of millions of euros. Some three-star restaurants are able to charge hundreds of euros for a meal on the strength of their reputation."

As Chefgibz pouinted out a Diamond/Star rating applies to USA resturants.

Foodpump, I think all he needs to do is go work 12 hour days in a busy kitchen 6 days a week for a month, that'd be enough to set him straight. We'll see how much he likes the "atmosphere" of a professional kitchen after that.

Chefgibz, I looked at the requirements for the 4/5 star, crikey Ive never eaten anywhere with a valet before, Ive never checked if my icecubes are hollow either. Or expected the staff to know my name. Then again I'm not exactly well off and dont come from a well off family, so unsurprising there, + I know what the business is like from working in it so I'm not a pr*ck about small things if I do ever get to eat out.

It'd be nice to eat somewhere like that once a year at least for the full experience, but I generally perfer taste over perfect service.

Also chefgibz, thats the main thing thats put me off from owning a resturant, you can't leave its your business and your stuck with it especially if you rely on it for your income.

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Monday, December 12, 2005 - 07:07 pm: Edit

Chefgibz, I looked at the requirements for the 4/5 star, crikey Ive never eaten anywhere with a valet before

never once? you find a special occasion to celebrate and do it, its usually really great food to boot

thanks for clearing up the michelin thing

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 12:31 am: Edit

As I said, I dont come from a wealthy family, I didnt get everything I wanted handed to me on a silver plater and then have the nerve to complain about it.

For me when I was younger, a "fancy meal" was chinese takeaway on a friday night. Many many more people have it much worse.

Today I still dont have the money to waste on excessive meals in fancy places having the bathroom door opened for me and all of that other cr*p.

I can get just as good and probably better tasting food from a small place for a cheaper price and if I had time even make better myself, at least I can see the state of my own kitchen.

Good food and a good resturant are 2 very different things.

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 01:18 pm: Edit

Hell I work at a 4 star and have only eaten here once and that was on the execs' account...I don't have the money to "pick a special occassion and celebrate it" mortgage and car payments are more important to fill than my tummy with over priced and poorly served food that I can make my damn self......let alone eat what I serve, so why in the hell would I pay for it...I am sick of seeing it. When I go out I want to eat some good food that someone put a honest days work into and not a piece of "art" that some young punk is jerking off over cuz he is full of!t give me a gyro anyday over a filet mignon. Besides I will have more self respect eating from my stainless steel spoon than a silver spoon anyday of the week.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 01:38 pm: Edit

You guys are taking this kid, or whoever he is too serious!!!!!
By the way, next week I will buy Microsoft, fire Bill Gates, run for President of the USA and, will buy all BK's and McD's franchises in the Continental USA. On my day off I will buy all Ford and GM stocks and get those companies back on track, I would deal with the Iraq situation but Dick Cheney seems to have a hold of that!!!!

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - 10:32 pm: Edit

manny, what have i done to you? is wanting to own a nice restaurant in my future a ridiculous idea? nothing good to say? dont bother

pegasus, i understand completely, no worries, i would say that if i ever have a restaurant like i want and still in contact with this forum you could drop by on me, but then manny would complain how im comping meals and showing off..

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 05:48 am: Edit

Owning your restaurant is not a ridiculous idea, a lot of people try. I had some good advice, like many others, I just hope you listen to 1% of it.
With the type of restaurant you have you won't be able to afford to comp anything!
Also, work on your spelling and grammar, nothing like a businessperson who can't spell or write properly.

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Thursday, December 15, 2005 - 05:41 pm: Edit

If my earlier post werent deleted, you could have seen how well i can write when i actually try. its not that i CANT write, i am usually in a hurry, and/or don't care, i think even spike commented on how well it was written.

and just wondering but what is with you and thinking i'm not a kid?

and yeah you've posted some good advice, and no doubt i will use that.

By Adelie (Adelie) on Friday, December 16, 2005 - 12:45 am: Edit

It sure sounds as though there a some unhappy people in the kitchens of the restaurant world...

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Friday, December 16, 2005 - 11:06 am: Edit

Unhappy? No... Most of us are happy with what we do, cooking.
However, climbing up the ladder and surviving in the kitchens have taught us to take a, um, rather, "realistic" view on people. Yeah, sure, call it cynical. But it's a common trait in old cops, old priests, and old lawyers too....

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Friday, December 16, 2005 - 11:44 am: Edit

You had posted, "so i can run them effeciently and not have to pay someone to do it, more mula for me." Let me tell you about a chef I know. He had worked for an abusive restaurateur who wanted him to cook scraps and serve them as their signature dish instead of using the high-quality cuts of meat which had been previously used to build the reputation of that restaurant.
The chef refused to used scraps and pass them off as their signature dish which previously used high quality cuts of meat. The owner threatened to fire the chef.
The chef said, "Are you sure you want to fire me?" Owner, "Yes! You're fired! Get out!"
Chef, "I'll give you 5 minutes to reconsider firing me."
Owner, "No, I'm absolutely sure. You're fired!"
Chef, "Okay, boys, let's go!"
The entire kitchen crew quit en masse, and the owner was left standing there with no kitchen crew. The owner relented and said, "Hey, wait a minute! Maybe we can work something out." The chef and the kitchen crew left. The only reason that restaurant even had a kitchen staff was because the chef had pleaded with his cooks not to quit and stay with him. That restaurateur repeatedly called that chef for the recipes, but those recipes belonged to the chef and not the restaurant. That chef and his kitchen crew was the vital element in the success of that restaurant--not the owner. That restaurant went out of business 3 months afterwards.
Did you read my link about Chefs vs. Cooks, Are the workers overlooked? or any of my links Chenejaunechef?
Oh, excuse me, you already know everything and you're going to be the first American chef "boy wonder" to receive the coveted Michelin star in North America!
No, I'm making this an "ad hominem" attack or remark about you. I'm merely questioning your reasoning or lack thereof.
No, there is nothing wrong with wanting to have a Michelin star, but your path of reasoning will not take you there. Did you come to this forum seeking "advice" or "approval?" When you did not receive any "'atta boys[sic]" from us regular posters on this forum you became indignant. Many of us regular WFP posters have been on this forum for many years and many of us have been in commercial kitchens longer than you have even been alive! Tip: Read all of the threads in The Original WFP forum, then read all of the threads in The Active WFP forum. Look up who some of those chefs are.
We're merely trying to help and guide you to become a professional chef.
Alain Ducasse is the ONLY chef in the world who has 6 Michelin stars. Did he ever attend LCB-London?
Daniel Boulud never attended LCB either. Neither did Mario Batali, he dropped out of LCB-London, and yet he became proficient at his craft by working in various kitchens in Italy.
Thomas Keller never attended LCB, nor any culinary school. Ditto for Charlie Trotter.
Bon Chance.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Friday, December 16, 2005 - 11:47 am: Edit

If you ever work in the cooking trade as a vocational cook vis-a-vis an avocational cook, then perhaps you might come to understand why we cooks and chefs are a crusty lot.

By Adelie (Adelie) on Friday, December 16, 2005 - 01:24 pm: Edit

I don't plan to, and I understand the pressures and meanness of the professional kitchen. But I think we're forgetting that this is a 14-year-old kid, full of dreams and ideas, and people here are treating him as though he'd spat into their soup.

And yet... everyone here is full of complaints about how kitchen staff are treated by managers and ECs, but I don't see much difference between that and the way they are pounding on this kid. He'll get his dose of reality when - IF - he actually follows through on his talk. Until then, perhaps some gentler guidance/encouragement is would be helpful. Kids his age are notorious for thinking they can take on the world. Why is everyone taking his bravado seriously? He's FOURTEEN, fer chrissake! Give him some credit for even knowing what he wants to do with his life, regardless of how unrealistic his hopes may be. I retired three years ago after 37 years in the workplace, and I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Saturday, December 17, 2005 - 04:29 pm: Edit

thanks adelie

andapanda, wow SIX stars?!?! thats crazy, im reading his website right now, hes only 49! thats an amazing accomplishment, period, but especially for such a young guy

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 04:23 pm: Edit

I stand corrected, Chef Alain Ducasse has 9 Michelin stars now that the 2006 New York City Michelin Guide is out. He's the consummate professional chef--a perfectionist. He's undoubtedly the best. I do not think that Chef Alain Ducasse has any time to be owning/operating an exotic automobile dealership. The only Michelins(tires) I ever had were on my father's car.
I'm a simple man. I'd be content with a Dodge Magnum to replace my 1971 Dodge Challenger which was wrecked many years ago, thanks to that drunk driver who didn't want the world to have another Challenger on the road. I still miss that car, but I digress.
My advice to you, is: take some cooking, chemistry, physics, classes in high school.
When you are 17 years of age, you'll be old enough to do a culinary apprenticeship at one of the aforementioned colleges.
I have studied both automotive mechanics and culinary arts. Perhaps when you're 17, you'll have a better idea of whether you want to sell cars or cook meals. You could have a car dealership which serves meals as some car dealerships do now. I don't expect any of them to receive any Michelin stars anytime soon though. A car dealership in California actually hired a chef to cook Italian food there. You might see that episode on The Travel Channel sometime.

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Sunday, December 18, 2005 - 08:56 pm: Edit

How's this for advice for ya kid.

I just found out today the owner/chef is "re-structuring" the resturant, I left a good job in july to work at a "better place" which now is subsequently being "restructured" and theres no place for me.

I get told the week before I'm about to go on holidays, so I have to find a job when I come back, and hows that "fired" for christmas time.

What a #$^%#$^% waste of 6 months.


Dont join the hospitality industry kid.

By Chenejaunechef (Chenejaunechef) on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 11:30 am: Edit

well that sucks, did you at least get some sort of severance or any thing?

9 @#$%@$% stars?! i think its quite safe to say he's the best.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 11:50 am: Edit

Two Laws are constant in the hospitality industry:

1.) Law of Entropy or Disorder

2.) Murphy's Law aka Finagle's Law or Sod's Law




I concur with Pegasus. I've also been hosed by the hospitality industry more times than I care to recall. It's a HARD life. If you enjoy cooking at home, then continue to cook--AT HOME. Otherwise, go into this trade with BOTH eyes WIDE OPEN.
If you want to become a professional cook, you're going to get cut, burned, fired/sacked, hosed/screwed, defrauded(I'm still owed back wages which I never received!), etc., if you were to work and stay in the trade for any length of time.
The point I'm trying to stress here to ALL aspiring cooks/chefs is: be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that you are willing to pay your dues(blood, sweat, tears) by toiling away in the kitchen, sometimes in physical pain(cuts, burns, sore neck, back, feet, etc.) and poverty to learn your craft. You may have to move several times in order to learn your craft. Or worse, you might even get fired, or "restructured" out of a job and have to start all over. One time, I had lost my job and was driving across the country back home, only to have my car demolished by a Chevy Jimmy SUV in a hail storm. Fortunately, I survived but lost everything--no job, money, car, etc. I had to hitch a ride back home.
Forget what you see on the television, or read in books, magazines, newspapers, the internet, etc. about celebrity chefs, and don't fantasize about becoming one.
Work hard at becoming a professional cook.
Most cooks and chefs NEVER become wealthy nor famous.

By Cvincolorado (Cvincolorado) on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 08:10 pm: Edit

"Most cooks and chefs NEVER become wealthy nor famous." That last line by Andapanda sums up everything everyone has been tryin to tell you chenejuanechef.

By Tamsin (Tamsin) on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 05:15 pm: Edit

Good statment by Anadapanda.
I'm a hotel chef, will never be famous, definately not wealthy. I've worked my guts out, yesterday was only a 12 hour day, my ex sous chef usually does about 14 hours a day, why do it? because we love it, and you know what is rewarding when a guest comes up to you and says that it was one of the best meals that they have had.

By Tortesrus (Tortesrus) on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - 11:17 pm: Edit

Like most of the other chefs I will be working on Christmas Day. But I would like to take a moment to thank everyone that has spent the time over the last year to place their thoughts and advice in this forum. And thanks to you George for creating it. Not to mention all the hard work and hours you put into maintaining it. Merry Christmas to all, and Peace Health and Happiness for the New Year.

By George (George) on Thursday, December 22, 2005 - 11:11 am: Edit

Thanks, appreciate it.


By Briangig (Briangig) on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 01:50 am: Edit

I'm not sure how to take this thread...but here is my 2 cents.

I'm not much older than you (21), I can see where you are coming from, but you just need to take it slow, one step at a time. My recommendation? Find the best restaraunt in town, get a job washing dishes. Show up on time, do your job fast, correctly, and always look for something to keep you busy (wipe down counters, break down boxes). Someone will notice you, and within a few years, maybe you will move up, do some prep work, then maybe move up to line work.

But I tell you this, you have no idea what is in store for you...dont listen to people who flat out say "Dont go into the restaurant biz"...If you read this whole thread carefully, listen to what everyone says (they have ALOT of experience), and still want to do it, get the dishwashing job. It can be a fun profession, if you do it for the right reasons. But your life will be hell if you expect the wrong things (fame, money, fairness in the workplace). So much goes into succesfully running ONE restaurant, it is foolish (but a great goal), to assume opening AND running 3 locations will happen. One is hard enough.

This is not a 9-5 job, or cooking dinner for a few dinner as much as you can now, anything. Down and Out in Paris and London comes to mind.

By George (George) on Thursday, December 29, 2005 - 11:18 am: Edit

Briangig you are beyond your years.

All the Best,


By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 05:21 pm: Edit

An interesting article appeared in BusinessWeek(February 13, 2006): They Came, They Cooked, They Conquered, and French Chefs Go Global(slideshow).

By Pegasus (Pegasus) on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 06:11 pm: Edit

"It can only work if the chef gives away responsibility in the kitchen,"

"Other things become more important: selection of ingredients, selection of personnel, teaching. Alain Ducasse has done it, but not everybody has this set of skills."

"Ducasse also has some help: His business partner Laurent Plantier has an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management."

if chenejaune is still around he might understand how the big fine didning places do it, the name might sell the place, but the name has no involvement in the running of any particular kitchen.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 06:27 pm: Edit

Yes, I agree with you.
Here are some poignant quotes about haute cuisine(fine dining) from the article:

" Another reason for the global push: Haute cuisine has fallen on hard times in France. Corporate belt-tightening has put a big dent in expense-account dining at Paris restaurants and increased their reliance on foreign tourists. Overhead is high because of the large staffs required to prepare and serve complicated meals. "In France, a gastronomique restaurant is hard to make profitable," says Robuchon in an interview at his spartan Paris office.
That's why many chefs are opening less formal dining venues."

"Operating a top-notch restaurant requires flawless coordination and attention to detail. Many chefs stumble when they try to open more than one."

By Cookingfresh (Cookingfresh) on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 06:58 pm: Edit

I think that chenejaunechef should read all of these posts and understand that there is some truth in them and that there is alot he needs to learn. However noone thought the Empire state building was possible, the Golden gate bridge would hold or even 20 years ago the Chefs would be all the rage in the 80's 90's and beyond. With new technology like Digital Witness, POS stations that run inventories and manage labor who knows what will be available in this young Chefs future. He could either have the desire and plan for it or be like most teenagers and float thru the next few years. I applaude he forward thinking and wish at his age I had an idea(any idea) where I wanted to go. Good Luck. Future Chef keep the dream.

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