Quantcast
Advice to the Younger Cooks
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30

Thread: Advice to the Younger Cooks

  1. #1
    Senior Member JanusInTheGarden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta/New Orleans/Hyde Park
    Posts
    151

    Advice to the Younger Cooks

    So as this forum is filled with wise and line-hardened chefs, I thought it might be a good idea to see what kind of advice the B-O-H lifers like to give to aspiring young cooks--such as myself. What are you glad you did in your career? Is there anything you wish you had done? General tips?

    In looking forward to my career, I thought it made sense to ask these questions. I, and any other aspiring chefs who take the time to read this, sincerely appreciate anything you guys are willing to teach us.

  2. #2
    Engorged Member
    El Pescador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,904
    Dont go to culinary school to learn to cook, cook in as many places as you can.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Senior Member shankster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Toronto/Canada
    Posts
    506
    Quote Originally Posted by El Pescador View Post
    Dont go to culinary school to learn to cook, cook in as many places as you can.
    +1
    Don't do it for the money or the "fame".Do it because you love it..

  5. #5
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Caledonia
    Posts
    1,891
    I was told this 30 years ago. It set me on my path.

    "You'll never make real money in this business working for someone else."

  6. #6
    Although I am very done with working in food, I have some advice. I was told by an older guy at a bus stop(after he noticed I was wearing kitchen shoes), that I should stick with it, because "you'll bust your ass and pay dues for 10 years, but after that, you'll always have a job". That is true. The job will always take place during evening, weekend, and holiday hours, but it is a job.

    +1 to what Salty said, Cooking is a job where you put in your time until you are ready to fly and own your own place. It's more or less a competition to see who will make it out still wanting to open a place up and make some cash.

    Lastly, creativity is NOT the prime feature of a good chef--98% of chefs don't get to make stuff up, and when you do, it's about once in 3 months, and then you get to make it again 25 times a night. The best feature of a great cook, or chef, is consistency, followed closely by a thick skin. Anyone can learn to do things well, and when customers get a great plate of food, they want it again--that's where the money is. Even in a place with bad management, totally consistent behaviour will stand for itself. And you have to have a thick hide if you are going to feed people. Take nothing personally, and leave work at work.

  7. #7

    ecchef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    In the Village.
    Posts
    3,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Salty dog View Post
    I was told this 30 years ago. It set me on my path.

    "You'll never make real money in this business working for someone else."
    That's not necessarily so. I know plenty of corporate chefs that make 6 figures. And they're not 60 years old either.
    Though I could not caution all I still might warn a few; Don't raise your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools. - Robert Hunter

  8. #8
    Senior Member Salty dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Caledonia
    Posts
    1,891
    I guess it depends on what your definition of real money is. And yes pulling in six figures cheffing is good money.

  9. #9
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Norn Iron
    Posts
    1,391
    I'm not very old, but I agree with johndoughy in saying a thick skin is essential for being a chef. It is a high pressure job where you are in a hot environment all day with many people shouting at you, so being able to take criticism or have 1000 different people shouting at you at once and carrying on working as normal is a great skill.

  10. #10
    Senior Member goodchef1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    249
    The Japanese have a corporate philosophy saying "kaizen" brought over by an American "Deming" It is a constant and never-ending improvement. As in any field, there is no substitute for hard work and self improvement to succeed.

    there are mixed feelings about school, and I always promote school. Not those pricey culinary schools that I believe you can learn in the field, but a full program/degree from a university, or college that has a good culinary program. You will have many doors opened up for you with an education. Jobs that require conceptual and analytical skills, interpersonal communication skills, accounting & cost control knowledge, certifications etc. etc. and most of all "a degree"

    one habit I've been taught was to do the stuff others hate to do, and you will never be out of a job.

    always seek and learn from people who've "achieved" what you want. There will be some that want to bring you down.

    always go beyond the call.

    be the most valuable person at your work, not the most popular.

    don't be afraid to take on more responsibility

    don't be afraid to fail.

    never burn your bridges, network, network, network

    never suck-up, you will lose respect of co-workers and superiors. People will notice talent.

    integrity, character, reputation has a price, and it's too high to pay to lose it.

    take every opportunity or challenge that comes your way, regardless if you think you are qualified or not.

    make sure you seek employment that has the ability to advance you to where you want to go.

    these are a few that hopefully you can use to guide your path. There are many opportunities in F&B and like any other field. It is competitive, and the ones that succeed have certain characteristics in common. seek these out and let it become a part of your habits, behavior, lifestyle.

    chance/opportunity favors the prepared mind. If you are in the right place at the right time, without the right knowledge and/or the right skills, it will be lost to someone who has.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •