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Thread: A tough decision to make

  1. #51
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be surprised if Ramsey pulls his name from there. Most times the lessee has to keep up to the name, and most contracts have how that is satisfied. Losing 2 stars would def. be a deal breaker.

    On the other side gratz on the job offer.
    Chewie's the man.

  2. #52
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    I meant to weigh in on this a while back, but its been busy over here. There has been a lot of good discussion in this thread, so i'm not sure how much this will add. Being a former culinary professional who still finds himself very much attached to the cooking world, i've found that my perspective has changed a lot on this kind of issue over the last few years. When i was cooking, fine dining was the only thing i cared about... it was about being the best, working with the best, and pushing yourself to the limit. At that point, my job was a job of passion, but with no real foresight to the future. Its hard to make enough to get by doing that kind of work, and unless you are really truly great at what you do, have great luck, and are prepared to sacrifice quality of life in favor of "the life", its hard to justify that lifestyle for long periods of time. Thats not to say i dont love and miss that part of the world, but it is to say that i understand what it takes to be able to live now better than i did before (have good insurance, savings, planning for the future, etc.).

    If you are the guy who wants to be the best and push yourself, understanding that it will be at the cost of all else, then by all means take the TK job or any other job like that. It will be hard work, but its hard to get to the top without working with people like that... the way they work and the way they see things is just different... for those of you who have worked with guys like that, you know what i mean.

    However, if you are starting to value your quality of life, want savings, planning for the future, etc., i would take another job. Maybe the Long Island thing or maybe something else. I have a lot of friends who work in corporate dining (some of which is more fine dining that others). That seems to be the kind of job i would want if i wanted quality of life and the ability to plan for my future well. I'm not saying take a job at sodexo (please dont... its like selling your soul to the devil), but companies like LEYE, Hillstone, Nobu, Wolfgang Puck (especially his hotel restaurants), etc., can do better for you in the long run. You need to be ok with corporate shenannigans, but its a smart long term move. You can always play around with fine dining anyways... its not like we all dont have friends who work at other restaurants... If i miss things, i can call up a number of people and get myself back in a fun kitchen for a day if i want... i'm sure you can do the same.

    Oh... and skip the ramsey job.

  3. #53
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    Thanks John, to be honest I know exactly what you're saying and the whole reason I'm contemplating going to work in the city is that I have no real "quality of life" right now and I don't think I want one any time soon. I left a long term well paying job for what was supposed to be an "improvement" in my quality of life, mind you I made this decision under my ex-wife's pressure. Well most of you know that whole thing didn't work out so well. So after all of that, then the Hurricane and that accident I was just glad to finally get back to work last summer. However it's a crap job so anything is an improvement both and quality-of-life (work) and pay (hopefully).

  4. #54
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    Colin I wish the best to you whatever path you take.Many people have mixed feelings about Unions,which I can understand.Several times I was offered management position,but I had many yrs. in the Union,besides my job was that of working manager.Plus I had Ice Carving accounts with other Hotels which kept me busy & paid per sculpture was quite a bit more money than my Union scale pay.

    I do not know about Unions on the mainland,here many Hotels still have.I don't know of any private reasturant with.I agree that cooks are underpaid.Janice was a registered Nurse made quite a bit more per hour than I did putting out Banquets.

  5. #55
    Senior Member quantumcloud509's Avatar
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    I read this whole thread. I pondered. Im 10 years younger than you. I try to go for hotshot places over places which pay better because I know I wont be the best and I will learn. Now, I live in a totally different part of the country than you do. Managed to save up $10k and put a downpayment on a fixed up 2200sqft house across the street from a well cared for park. House payments are $715/ month. I dont make much ($12/hr) and I typically dont even get 40 hours a week anymore because its cheaper for the employer to run everyone just under. I make enough to cover all expenses and take care of my wife and kid and buy a new knife here and there.

    Youre talking about paying $10k just to move somewhere. Youre looking at having $3k a month at least in expenses for a safe, clean life. In 10 years I can guarantee you that you will not be as motivated to get up and do the loco kitchen life thing as you are now.

    I cant say which one is better, or which one you will regret or love. I would like to encourage you to start thinking about quality of life after you turn 50. What if you get too salty and wont be able to work anymore? Where will you live? How will you pay for things?

    Ok...ok. I think that from a purely economical stance Id go with Long Island. Cheaper living costs, opportunity to shine and be your staffs Thomas Keller, opportunity to stash up some money and buy a house somewhere on the west coast where things are awesome and a lot quieter than the east side. Youre not gonna be a young buck forever and in 20 years your health wont care about how many cool people you worked for.

    Hope I didnt come off too sharp. I wish you the best man. Make a 10 year plan and see which restaurant fits it better. Cheers mate!
    Amat Victoria Curam Fortune favors the prepared.
    "A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into." -George Orwell

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by quantumcloud509 View Post

    Hope I didnt come off too sharp. I wish you the best man. Make a 10 year plan and see which restaurant fits it better. Cheers mate!
    Not at all that's why I started this thread, be because I have this conflict in my mind. Every and any points of view/ insight is welcome, it helps me sort things out, gives me a broader perspective.
    Thank you

  7. #57
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    One thing that is starting to sink in is that I think "most cooks" go to work for a guy like Keller to gain the experience, knowledge, and " the name" on a resume. They do this whit the hopes to obtain a better job (in pay and title), or to open their own place.
    After reading this thread and the other one that's going on right now I'm starting to think:
    I take the job with Keller to achieve what? I have a job looking me in the face that offering over 100k a year, this is obviously the upper tier of what just about any chef expect to make without owning his own place. I guess all my years spent on long island have built me a resume and reputation that allows me to get these upper tier job (on Long Island). The city would be a new start, but what do I expect to achieve from that new start? I think with all that has happened to me the past two years I might just be trying to "run away" from my " old life" rather then make the best of what I've got, and maybe in perspective might not really be that bad at all?

  8. #58
    I am about your age (37) and though by this point in a career the skills/confidence/ability to do the job are there in spades, we are no longer young in this industry. I fully understand the desire to start fresh and especially with an exciting opportunity like per se, but personally moving down to a sous position (even senior, whatever that is) is going the wrong way. I am sure that there is room for advancement because the head guys in the kitchen gain their experience and go on to bigger and better things, Jonathan Benno/Corey Lee, but it is also a question of how long are you willing to wait. Maybe by the time you are 45 you have moved up the rungs, but then what. I can't see myself physically being able to cook past fifty and I am in shape, the job is just to hard on the mind and body. Sorry if I come off as negative but just wanted to throw my dice into the party. Good Luck but by the sounds of your last post it seems like you have made up your mind anyway.

    laurie

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chef Niloc View Post
    One thing that is starting to sink in is that I think "most cooks" go to work for a guy like Keller to gain the experience, knowledge, and " the name" on a resume. They do this whit the hopes to obtain a better job (in pay and title), or to open their own place.
    After reading this thread and the other one that's going on right now I'm starting to think:
    I take the job with Keller to achieve what? I have a job looking me in the face that offering over 100k a year, this is obviously the upper tier of what just about any chef expect to make without owning his own place. I guess all my years spent on long island have built me a resume and reputation that allows me to get these upper tier job (on Long Island). The city would be a new start, but what do I expect to achieve from that new start? I think with all that has happened to me the past two years I might just be trying to "run away" from my " old life" rather then make the best of what I've got, and maybe in perspective might not really be that bad at all?
    I think you're drawing the right conclusion. There's an old saying: "Better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big one. Good luck either way.
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  10. #60
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    Ok it done.
    Looks like I'll be staying on Long Island as the Executive chef at the Shinacock Hills club.

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