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WiscoNole
05-04-2013, 10:50 PM
to cut right to the chase, I am not terribly happy at my current job. I work for a 10-restaurant group at the best restaurant in the company. I feel like I am being underpaid (already been denied a raise based on "company standards" on cooks' compensation or some BS), and I have only hit 40 hours 3 times since I started in September. I also feel like I am not learning much at all, especially after working 3 years in NYC, including a year at Jean Georges (3 Michelin stars)(no snob). Part of me wants to go somewhere else where I can learn new things and get 40 hrs/wk., but the other part thinks I should stick it out and work hard until I can get a sous chef position (which I feel I am ready for) in the successful company I already work for, and eventually turn that into a CdC or EC position.

Thoughts?

JohnnyChance
05-04-2013, 11:01 PM
How old are you? What are your career goals? What are your life goals?

knyfeknerd
05-05-2013, 12:40 AM
How old are you? What are your career goals? What are your life goals?
+1
Are there any/many reasons for keeping you in Milwaukee?
If not, get the f out and travel.
Staying in town is one of my biggest regrets.

Stumblinman
05-05-2013, 01:06 AM
I think, more importantly, why leave Jean Georges ? He has maybe 30 restaurants. It seems like all downhill from there unless opening up your own place ? ahh then maybe I'm ignorant :)

JohnnyChance
05-05-2013, 01:25 AM
Also, any places in your area (or not) that you want to work at?

panda
05-05-2013, 01:37 AM
never stay at a place you're not happy, 'tough it out til something good happens' is a complete utter waste of your time. you don't need to be at a place with a reputation to earn your stripes. if anything that's holding you back. like you said you're not learning **** so go find a chef that gives a **** you can learn from.

Stumblinman
05-05-2013, 01:59 AM
Gotta give your 2 weeks and make everyone feel special for letting you work there though. Otherwise you're in my position and waiting for something to pop up that didn't have a chef work at your place calling to check on you. Even if your 'executive chef' doesn't want to cook, can't follow a recipe, cooks the books and boils chicken stock for 5 days @!

Salty dog
05-05-2013, 07:14 AM
I've known and worked with a bunch of guys who worked for that company. (My daughter worked at LPB for three years also) IMO, it's a great place to lay a foundation. Although I've known cooks who got frustrated waiting for a management position to open up but they don't seem to turn over very often and you know that company likes Chef's cred. (A piece of paper) Don't know which resto you consider their best (I think I know) but I've always liked the one in the village.
Perhaps working for this James Beard winner hasn't lived up to your expectations?

NoChop probably has a better handle on their situation, I think he used to work for them.

Seems to be some interesting new smaller venues in town that might be more fun and interactive. The bureaucracy in a larger company can be daunting. That one in particular.

WiscoNole
06-02-2013, 08:34 PM
Sorry for the lack of response, but I did read your thoughts and have made a change.

I recently started at a newish, smaller restaurant with original, delicious food. The chef/owner currently doesn't have a sous chef. I'm hoping to fill that void once I prove myself.

A couple of you know exactly which company I used to work for. They have a very "corporate" mindset, if you will. They rest on their laurels and cater to traditional regional tastes, but I think tastes are changing here and I am glad to now be a part of a restaurant that is on the forefront of that. Anybody in Wisconsin can PM me if they're going to be in Milwaukee and looking for a great dinner.



Perhaps working for this James Beard winner hasn't lived up to your expectations?
Definitely not. I felt like I could improve something in just about every dish there. He is extremely arrogant, bordering on obnoxious, and doesn't feel any need to improve his (outdated) cuisine.


The bureaucracy in a larger company can be daunting. That one in particular.
That's one of the reasons I left. It seems that promotions are based more on seniority than skill level and potential. One of the sous chefs that I worked under was a complete joke, but she had been a line cook with the company for 5 years and had at least half a brain. I found her to be complacent, lazy, and unimaginative.

WiscoNole
06-02-2013, 08:48 PM
+1
Are there any/many reasons for keeping you in Milwaukee?
If not, get the f out and travel.
Staying in town is one of my biggest regrets.
I went to culinary school in NY and worked in NYC for a few years. I just love Wisconsin, and the idea of advancing the palettes of the people here. Milwaukee has a need for innovative food, and I hope to help fill that need.

knyfeknerd
06-02-2013, 11:47 PM
I'm glad you made a change.
I hope it keeps you happy, that you can contribute and/or learn something every day. Keep us posted.

Brad Gibson
06-04-2013, 01:08 AM
I found myself in the same situation nearly. In a 16 restaurant corporate group and hating my job because I wasn't learning much and I feel nobody shares the same passion and desires to make good food as I do. They gave me a huge raise now an although the money is great, I see the people I did like in the restaurant all fleeing and I still am not happy.

At this point in time I'm 27 years old and feel like I NEED to travel to another city to find what I'm looking for in the culinary world but I find myself looking at a massive pay cut and it discourages me even more.

I want what you had in a three Michelin place. That is my dream.

Do I leave now? I'm only getting older. I don't want to put off my dreams for money. But the money is really good.

kpeddie2010
06-04-2013, 06:51 AM
Me too brad.. I wish to broaden my experiences with great culinary minds but I'm working in a hotel with pretty good pay and amazing benefits. Roughly worth almost 75k a year. Do I take a 50% pay cut and work at a different job where I could be learning everyday or should I stick it out and hope to make management n say 5- 10 years and then change things around. Then.

chefcomesback
06-04-2013, 10:20 AM
Brad and kpeddie2010 I would recommend You doing stage if You are looking to learn from great chefs. There are some drawbacks aswell You will not get paid for it unless You convince your hotel or restaurant this a sort of training that it will ultimately benefit the company. But if You are a quick learner within a week You can learn a lot from that environment from cooking tecniques to the way thet run the line etc. I have done one stage for top 25 restaurant in the world and loved every second of it.It opened my vision , gave me great ideas and the list goes on. And i didn't had to sacrifice my pay other than using some unpaid leave and days in lieu . I have another stage lined up in a 3star restaurant in US too , looking forward for it

NO ChoP!
06-26-2013, 07:57 AM
NoChop probably has a better handle on their situation, I think he used to work for them.



Yah, I worked there back in the day when the brother was in the kitchen daily. It was hot, and intense. I will say the one thing they drilled into my head was consistency. Every risotto was ala minute and tasted by the chef. They definitely weren't reinventing the wheel, though.

I left on good terms, and went back for a chef position years later; the big guy told me I was hired, but I had to agree to giving him 100% availability. No stipulations; no requests off; had to be available 24/7...I then talked to the current exec (who was just a line cook back when I was there) and he told me to expect to work 70 to 80 hours a week....needless to say, I went elsewhere.

CoqaVin
06-26-2013, 08:54 AM
Yah, I worked there back in the day when the brother was in the kitchen daily. It was hot, and intense. I will say the one thing they drilled into my head was consistency. Every risotto was ala minute and tasted by the chef. They definitely weren't reinventing the wheel, though.

I left on good terms, and went back for a chef position years later; the big guy told me I was hired, but I had to agree to giving him 100% availability. No stipulations; no requests off; had to be available 24/7...I then talked to the current exec (who was just a line cook back when I was there) and he told me to expect to work 70 to 80 hours a week....needless to say, I went elsewhere.

Wow...never knew there were so many similarities as my situation...I actually found a new job and am starting it soon...but did not burn my bridges gave two weeks and I have been working at this "new" restaurant the longest in the kitchen besides the owner/head chef...I just never saw myself adavancing there nor did I want to work the line with a pompous chef are they all like that? like complete douchebags like I am not no young buck that just graduated culinary school I am 29 years old and trying to make a new living for myself don't talk to me like I am a piece of S*** or am retarded...Change is scary I know but all the hard work and hours I put in there I have to move on changes are a coming! and better pay lol...sorry for the rant had to get this out.....