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  1. #1
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    tips for a young chef?

    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

  2. #2
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
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    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.

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    Lol that's basically what I didn't want to hear. Thank you tho.

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    Senior Member turbochef422's Avatar
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    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

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    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?

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    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.

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    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. Had to learn that on the job myself.

    Good Luck in your new job

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    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..

  9. #9

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbochef422 View Post
    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.
    No matter how high the throne,
    there sits but an ass.

  10. #10
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    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!

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