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  1. #1
    Senior Member WiscoNole's Avatar
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    career advice wanted and welcomed

    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?
    -Matt

  2. #2

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    How old are you? What are your career goals? What are your life goals?
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

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    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyChance View Post
    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.
    No matter how high the throne,
    there sits but an ass.

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    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

  5. #5

    JohnnyChance's Avatar
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    Also, any places in your area (or not) that you want to work at?
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

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    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.

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    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 @!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member WiscoNole's Avatar
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salty dog View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salty dog View Post
    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.
    -Matt

  10. #10
    Senior Member WiscoNole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knyfeknerd View Post
    +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.
    -Matt

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