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Thread: Trial in a fancy restaurant on Tuesday. Any tips?

  1. #1
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Norn Iron

    Trial in a fancy restaurant on Tuesday. Any tips?

    Basically I have applied for a job in a very fancy restaurant near where I live and pretty unexpectedly the head chef of the place rang me today and said I have a trial on Tuesday. Despite working for about 7 years, I have never really worked anywhere but my current job so I am unfamiliar with these trials. Anyone have any tips? I've been told to bring my chefs clothes and knives so that's one thing I have sorted anyways

    I have never had a trial anywhere else so basically, what should I do? Is there anything in particular that they will be looking for? How long do they normally last?

  2. #2
    For what is worth = be who you are and don't change a thing. Always worked for me ...

  3. #3
    Senior Member/ Internet Hooligan
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Depending on the joint, your trial will last anywhere from 30 minutes to a full shift, so I can't be much help there. My first "trial" at a breakfast joint in Portland consisted of me showing up, them asking for a demonstration of my ability to cook and flip eggs, and then getting suckered into a 10 hour shift on the egg station. Another restaurant had me create a few different dishes based off the ingredients on their line, then excused me after about an hour and didn't call back for a week or so. Be prepared for everything though and remember--you're trying them out too, so spend some time in the kitchen checking things out, and deciding if it's a place you want to work in the first place.

  4. #4
    My advice:
    Keep in mind that you are not begging them for approval--you are being you, and both of you should be checking for a good match. You have basically one day to see if the boss is a or if the workspace is dirty or whatever.

    Make sure your knives have great edges! My knife got me my current job.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Salt Lake City
    +1 to everything said already. Also really if you don't think its a good fit and you don't absolutely need the job just do what they ask and move or you can say I don't think this is for me.

    Also I'd say I don't know if this is an issue for you but try no to be intimidated. Just approach it as another day at work.

  6. #6
    Very good advice by Vertigo and Eamon.

    Like they said, you are seeing what they are like as well. Some things just arent good fits. I have turned down jobs I was already offered after working a trial shift there. There are plenty of clowns out there in poorly run kitchens, no matter how great the restaurant appears to be from the outside. If you get a bad feeling about something in just one shift, listen to it, that usually doesnt go away.

    And Peco is right as well. But if you know you have some bad habits (most people do, it's fine), try to avoid them while you are there. You might have some that you dont even know you have, but most places that hire people "moving up" understand that.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  7. #7

    ecchef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    In the Village.
    If you have to work during a service period, try to form a relationship with the cooks. They can help you find stuff, give you tips about the equipment at hand, help you get ready for plate up. If you just get in their way, they can bury you.

    +1 to what everyone else has said as well. Good Luck.
    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
    Show up with everything you need to go, this includes a sharpie, small notebook, pen, peeler, proper clothes including footware, shaved face etc.
    In my experience there are three ways that it usually goes; first is the aforementioned demonstration of cooking ability, second is the follow someone around and help them or do things for them to check you out, or the here is a task do it now. The first situation is self explanatory; cook your best. In the second situation just pay attention to what is going on with the person you are trailing and how that is playing into the rest of the kitchen, you may be asked to go help someone else out of the blue. Also, don't correct or criticize the way things are done, if its a deal breaker its a deal breaker and don't take a job there. When asked to do something do so with precision and in a timely manner, but don't rush. In the third situation just get whatever it is that needs doing done, properly, cleanly and quickly, in that order.
    At the end of the day like others said be yourself and don't forget you should be evaluating them as critically as they are evaluating you.


  9. #9
    Senior Member tkern's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Washington, DC
    They might throw you a mixed bag of ingredients and have you create a few dishes from them or give you an hour or so and have you present a few dishes.
    The last guy we hired at the place I work; we had him prep and help out the line for a few hours then asked him to present us with 3 dishes. We gave him 2 or so hours to do this. We weren't looking for anything thats going to blow us away, just that the guy understands clean plating, how flavors balance, proper seasoning and cooking of proteins to proper temps.
    If you've been cooking for 7 yrs, you know all this and you know what kind of food makes you happy. stick to your instincts. If you made food you like and they don't than it probably wasn't a good fit anyway.

  10. #10
    Engorged Member
    El Pescador's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Chances are they're not looking to hire a star, so just be as solid as you can. "Yes Chef","No Chef" know the routine.

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