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JohnnyChance
03-08-2011, 02:35 AM
I have an interview for a new job on Wednesday and it got me thinking, what do you guys pack in your kit for an interview?

I usually tone it down and just bring a few pieces, I don't like to be the psycho making a first impression with the loaded suitcase, knife roll or tacklebox that requires a square yard of counter space to get in to.

For those of you who don't know, many chef, sous chef, and line cook jobs have a "working interview" or a traditional interview followed by tryout of sorts. You usually work a shift, follow someone around, do some prep work, watch how the line works. Sometimes they give you a tray of ingredients and ask you to prepare something. I really enjoy it, I can usually get a pretty good idea of a place in one shift, and it has helped avoid some places that ended up disastrous.

If you have a steady job, or if you haven't been on an interview in years, what would you bring to a tryout if you had one?

I think this is what I will be packing on wednesday:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_ldEKzBPytxs/TXXY68tUPsI/AAAAAAAAANo/A9CuCAb1hWM/s800/IMG_0291.JPG

Top to bottom:
300mm Hiro AS Suji
270mm DT ITK Gyuto
90mm Miyabi Fusion Paring
Matfer Pelton spatula
2 Gray Kunz spoons
Rosle 12" Tongs

tk59
03-08-2011, 03:20 AM
Looks more or less like what I take when I'm going to a strange home with then intention of cooking with two exceptions: a steel or rod of some kind and a 240 stainless beater (unless that is what your dtitk is. :)

JohnnyChance
03-08-2011, 03:44 AM
Normally at work I have a Mac black ceramic rod. But I probably won't bring it with me as I don't think I will need it after one shift with only light knife work. And my beater gyuto is my Miyabi Fusion 10", which I sometimes bring instead of the DT ITK. I had another tryout a couple weeks ago and all I brought was my Miyabi. This place is nicer, and I feel more comfortable bringing a bigger kit and some nicer blades.

mattrud
03-08-2011, 12:18 PM
I would not bring the spatula or tongs, not really needed in my opinion. I would definitely add a peeler in there.

I usually do not bring very much and never need more than a chefs, paring, peeler. But it has sometimes come in handy when i have a micro-plane, tweezers.

JohnnyChance
03-08-2011, 01:00 PM
Yeah, I don't think I would actually need or use the tongs or spat, but they fit in my small bag, so I will probably just leave them in. Good call on the peeler though. I actually needed one at the last tryout I did, and made a mental note to bring my own, and promptly forgot.

ThEoRy
03-08-2011, 06:04 PM
Gyuoto, sugi, parer. Really all you need on a practical.

Most practicals I give I'll have someone finely chop herbs, julienne onion, dice onion, battonet carrot, brunoise tomato, use a mandoline for potatoes, make an emulsified vinaigrette or beurre blanc. Just simple things like that which will give me a good idea of their skill set with knives/tools in general.

While we're on the subject, can you guys think of some other things which would be good tasks to add to this list. I know there's a ton of stuff I'm forgetting that I usually have em do as well.

SpikeC
03-08-2011, 06:16 PM
I read recently that tongs are looked down upon by the cognoscenti. Something about them being a sign of laziness or some such.

Chef Niloc
03-08-2011, 07:49 PM
I'll give ya a tip, one overlooked item that is very impressive...










A finger nail brush. Yup it shows off a level of cleanliness.

Adamm
03-08-2011, 07:49 PM
Id say thats good, the only extra thing i might add would be a cheep mandoline.

mattrud
03-09-2011, 03:03 AM
You would not believe how many cook/chefs have laughed at me for always having a nail brush on my station. I am sorry but that **** is a must.








A finger nail brush. Yup it shows off a level of cleanliness.[/QUOTE]

chefjbs
03-09-2011, 08:27 AM
good luck on the interview, but i would tone down the knife selection. you don't want to come off as a knife snob. bring the duck foot, leave the tongs. peelers help. If you are just doing a tasting with only a couple hours to prep and present, go balls out with your equipment and show off a little. But be prepared to explain how the dish would work for the particular job, its easy to make 2 or 3 plates once, but to do the same dish for 100 -200 every night is a different story. if you are trailing for a shift tone it down and use their equipment. you want to show them you can adapt and work with them... it sucks to have to train the new guy, so try to pick it up quick and make it seem like you've worked there for years.

chefjbs
03-09-2011, 08:29 AM
Gyuoto, sugi, parer. Really all you need on a practical.

Most practicals I give I'll have someone finely chop herbs, julienne onion, dice onion, battonet carrot, brunoise tomato, use a mandoline for potatoes, make an emulsified vinaigrette or beurre blanc. Just simple things like that which will give me a good idea of their skill set with knives/tools in general.

While we're on the subject, can you guys think of some other things which would be good tasks to add to this list. I know there's a ton of stuff I'm forgetting that I usually have em do as well.

I make them break down fish and a chicken. i like to see what they do with the waste. Stock or fumet or jus... i like to see where there head is at.

JohnnyChance
03-10-2011, 03:30 PM
I was trailing for a shift, but I was told to bring my own knives. I just did some prep work and watched them cook on the line. I ended up leaving the tongs in my car, but they arent tong snobs, everyone on the line uses them. So I went in with the gyuto, suji, parer, fish spat, spoons, tweezers, nail brush, sharpies, ceramic rod and honesuki. I had room in my roll so I added the rod and honesuki, which I added so I had something between 90mm and 270mm. All I ended up using was the gyuto, spoons, and sharpie. Turns out I used to work with the Chef for a couple months about 6 years ago or so when we were both garde manger/line cooks. I am kinda over qualified for the job, so he has to sit down with his bosses and see if he can afford me, haha.

SpikeC
03-10-2011, 04:24 PM
Sounds promising!

ThEoRy
03-10-2011, 06:11 PM
I make them break down fish and a chicken. i like to see what they do with the waste. Stock or fumet or jus... i like to see where there head is at.

Chicken, yes. Fish may be a little more costly unless they absolutely know what they are doing. Only one way to find out.

chefjbs
03-10-2011, 09:53 PM
Chicken, yes. Fish may be a little more costly unless they absolutely know what they are doing. Only one way to find out.

Yeah usually just get a whole branzinni or arctic char (nothing too price or large) and see what happens... It really stinks to see them for get to scale the fish or forget about the pin bones.

ThEoRy
03-10-2011, 11:24 PM
That's true those are pretty cheap. I guess cutting fish is sort of the holy grail around my place. Only the top dogs get to really play with the fishies. That's when you know you've made it.