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jared08
09-09-2013, 08:43 PM
Hey fellas, I know a lot of you are professional chef, so i am looking for some help/advice. I'm only 23, been cooking 4 years, and just got offered the executive chef position in a brand new restaurant within a hotel. I just got my firfirst sous chef position less than 5 months ago, so needless to say, I'm a bit nervous. I am confident in my food, its the day to day operating and expenses I'm worried about. And tips? Good books to invest in? Am I overthinking this and should just dive in head first?

Thanks for your advice
Jared

Salty dog
09-09-2013, 08:59 PM
Food is the easy part.
I'd like to help but I wouldn't know where to start.
Maybe a vague piece of advice. Learn to compromise and in the end it's all about money.

jared08
09-09-2013, 09:21 PM
Lol that's basically what I didn't want to hear. Thank you tho.

turbochef422
09-09-2013, 09:35 PM
I took my first executive chef job at 23. It was great at the time and all worked out but now 31 I look back and it kind of limited me in what I was exposed to. I now have a daughter(best thing that ever happened to me) a wife and a house and wish I would of left the exec responsibilities for later on and tried to work at every great restaurant I could when I was younger. Good luck

jared08
09-09-2013, 11:07 PM
Maybe I should add some insight. I've worked for a chef that was sous chef to allaine duccase and jean george. Total of 16 michelin stars. After that I did 21 months at one of the 2, 4 diamonds restaurants in my area. I have a 5 month old son and a girl I intend on marrying when I can offer her a better life than my menial pay currently. Yes, baggage! Haha. From experience, should I jump to exec now and lose being with my son 3 days a week or keep waiting till he's in school and don't miss so much?

jgraeff
09-09-2013, 11:23 PM
I had my first exec chef job last year although its seasonal it was a great experience. I can tell you to make sure you can connect with and lead your team, they need to trust you and respect you. As the exec you will spend more time in the office and doing paperwork etc than actually cooking. But its good to get on the line every now and then other than expediting to stay sharp and inspired. Figure out your food costs, portions etc and share them with your cooks, teach them about it and how much you actually make off a dish. When they can realize its not much they can respect the products much more and not throw away tons of waste.

good luck, like salty said its all about the money.

keithsaltydog
09-09-2013, 11:26 PM
Alot is being a manager,computers help keep info. on what dishes are going out everyday,when you want to change keep the good sellers,change the others.Have to take inventory of walkins & Freezers. every day.Front Line boxes check to limit waste.

Get input fr. workers,some places workers do their own ordering for station.In any case you have to moniter it.Food Cost is your respondsibility bottom line.

Helps to stay calm,not only you think clearly & see what needs to be done.Getting excited or pressured out always makes matters worse,wasted energy.:2cents: Had to learn that on the job myself.

Good Luck in your new job

jared08
09-09-2013, 11:45 PM
Really, thanks to all for the advice. As much of it I don't like I appreciate even more for the heads up. Lets see how this plays out..:cheffry:

knyfeknerd
09-10-2013, 01:08 AM
I took my first executive chef job at 23. It was great at the time and all worked out but now 31 I look back and it kind of limited me in what I was exposed to. I now have a daughter(best thing that ever happened to me) a wife and a house and wish I would of left the exec responsibilities for later on and tried to work at every great restaurant I could when I was younger. Good luck
Very well said. A situation similar to my own.
It also is like Salty says "about the $$$"
All that being said, managing people sucks. All you want to do is put your head down and work.
Instead you've got to listen to people complain. Yeah, you'll get some of the credit................................
..................but when it goes wrong, it's always going to be your fault.
No matter what.

3200+++
09-10-2013, 05:09 AM
hello, happy you were offered this work. i agree with what has been said.

my 0.2 (i ve been chef/manager in various producing plants and directed the brussels comics cafe opening):

regarding food cost and waste control, its just going further the habits you must have develloped as a sous chef/cook (what is a line cook btw? chef de partie? commis?).
regarding the dish creation, nothing very difficult, if you can keep the ratios and have the house philosophy. i dont know what will be asked to you but keep in mind there is nothing more complicated that to do something simple. Be rigid toward yourself, softer to others. always try to be an example. bear in mind you still have to learn in every domain (like everyone else)
the hard part is management imo. you'll need to be respected and a good sous chef to rely on. he will save you huge amounts of time and money. be prepared to fire people. you ll have to at some point and the first time is VERY hard for a normal minded person. try keeping an even mood whatever happens, and always use the hierarchy way to say things (ie if you talk to a low end cook about his mess, you kill your sous chef's authorithy in the kitchen, making impossible for him to help you effectively). this is very important because days only last 24h ;)

best of luck, well no this is not about luck. best of courage!

scotchef38
09-10-2013, 08:07 AM
Food is the easy part.
I'd like to help but I wouldn't know where to start.
Maybe a vague piece of advice. Learn to compromise and in the end it's all about money.

Too true but it takes a lot of years of beating your head against a wall before you can accept that truth.

Chuckles
09-10-2013, 10:17 AM
Once you go exec there is no one left to teach you. Do you feel like you've picked up the finer points of team management from your previous jobs? You will need ways to make sure everything is going according to plan even when you are not there, especially so at a hotel. Or, you will always be there. Then it is a big good luck on the home front. If you have never worked for a chef that successfully managed the work/life balance this will be a very hard move to keep control of. The overwhelming temptation is to sacrifice yourself for the job for the first couple years. If the pay is amazing and you think you will be there for ten years it could be worth it. But I am guessing if you are early 20s that the hotel smells a bargain here and could be looking to ride you hard for very little to try and deliver to the bottom line. Remember you are an asset but your $$$ value is probably less than the hood system. No offense, I'm sure your a good guy and make great food. I just think you should think hard about the worst case scenarios that could develop and what 'costs' they could mean for your life and the life of your family.

Good luck! Let us know what you decide!

jared08
09-10-2013, 09:14 PM
Thanks chuckles. I believe you are right in every aspect. Ill know for sure tomorrow after meeting the district manager and talk $. But as it looks now, I'm getting screwed. Not worth missing the family in my eyes. Thank you everyone for thw advice and wisdom of elders.

Jared

quantumcloud509
09-22-2013, 02:37 PM
Hi jared. I want to give you the best piece of advice I ever got and repeat it to myself and everyone I know basically every day since I got it. It really helps. I got a list of rules from chef one day when I just started a job. This advice applies to every situation in life. The advice was rule #1 on that sheet. Rule #1 was: Don't fn^k yourself. Trust me...it works. Meditate on that for a while. Good luck with your journey man! :)

Chefget
10-27-2013, 10:21 AM
No matter how upset you get during service, you look up and all the tickets will still be there.

-Michael

jbl
10-28-2013, 09:08 AM
I'd give it a miss. Put yourself in a position to learn for as long as possible. It'll be hard to ever take another role once you're used to a certain rate of pay and calling all of the shots. It's also hard walking into an existing crew, and given your age you'll have cooks twice your age trying to undermine you. You basically need no chinks in your armour. But ultimately, trust your gut