Career advice

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Joined Nov 11, 2020
Hello I’m an 18 year old line cook at hooters it’s my first cooking job and cooking is something I’ve always been intrested in but when I got the job I realized I loved it my question for u is it worth it to go to culinary school to be a chef? Also if I decide to leave hooters what type of restaurant is a good place to move up to like and upgrade basically
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
If I was 18 and a cook at Hooters that last thing I would be thinking about is cooking.
Try to get into a better menu working under a Chef. This will give you a better idea of real cooking and how a kitchen works. A place like Hooters is set up to teach cooks quick to do the something over and over again. There's no creativity in that kind of operation. Ask yourself why you like doing this kind of work. Understand all the hardships this industry has. You're only 18 yo, you have time to go to school. In fact it's good to work in the industry for a few years before you go to school.......The Best....ChefBillyB
 

kuan

Moderator
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Joined Jun 11, 2001
Hotel, country club. That is my recommendation. Country clubs are like small hotels where you do banquets and dining room service. Most of the food there is kinda old fashioned but sometimes the chef can flex during special events.
 
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Joined Dec 13, 2018
What interests you about the profession? What type of food would you like to cook? Where are you located? All these things should factor into your decisions. School can be a great way to learn technique and sanitation standards but when I talk to chefs, many of them believe they could be further in their careers had they started sooner. If you can find the opportunity to work in a Michelin kitchen, even as a dishwasher, I would recommend it. Catering and event execution is where the money is in this industry generally, a bit different navigating the changes this virus has brought though. I agree with Billy, find a place with an actual chef, preferably not a large chain.
 
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Joined Nov 9, 2020
Short answer? Yes. You will get a LOT of exposure to a LOT of different techniques, skills, and disciplines that working in one place (regardless of what it is) will give you. The one good thing about a chain, whether it's Hooters, Dennys, or Red Lobster is you develop basic skills - Knife work, production slamming, sanitation, station jumping, things that you can always use no matter WHERE you go.

It will also give you a taste of the different disciplines you can find in foods. That's something that's hard to do in a chain with a fixed menu. Kuan recommended Hotels and Country Clubs; I would add to that resorts and dinner houses to broaden youe xperience after you've learned what you can from the chain.

Also remember that cul school is pricey, so start saving now!!! Buona Fortuna!!!
 
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Joined Nov 27, 2012
honestly there is always something to learn wherever you are. Specially if you are starting out. its never to early to learn about SoP and the efficiency of a big chain kitchen. Sure there are more exciting things that could be doing, but as long as you are using your time to learn it will be worthwhile.

Not all places are equal but giving it chance won't hurt. Hunt for interesting options while you are there and hopefully you are having a blast with the FOH.
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2004
As mgm0 says, you should be able to learn something almost anywhere. The big difference coming up today vs back when I was young is the internet. There are more ways to learn now, and especially more ways to network today. You should be able to learn from reviews and from places like Indeed and Glassdoor if a place is worth working at. That could cut years from the time it takes to get where you want to go, just avoiding places that will waste your time. Time is your most valuable resource, and it's not infinite.

If you're half ways sharp you'll pick stuff up as you go, that's obvious. The food part is probably the easiest part of being a chef- given a decade of hard work you'll know 95% of the culinary stuff you want to know. The business part is probably more important than the food part to be honest. And after a while you begin to see that most problems are people problems, so learn to deal with people. Don't waste people's time and don't allow them to waste yours.
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
If I was 18 and a cook at Hooters that last thing I would be thinking about is cooking.
Try to get into a better menu working under a Chef. This will give you a better idea of real cooking and how a kitchen works. A place like Hooters is set up to teach cooks quick to do the something over and over again. There's no creativity in that kind of operation. Ask yourself why you like doing this kind of work. Understand all the hardships this industry has. You're only 18 yo, you have time to go to school. In fact it's good to work in the industry for a few years before you go to school.......The Best....ChefBillyB
I beg to differ. If this the first job in a kitchen, where better than Hooters? A kitchen is a kitchen, is a kitchen. This is a place with equipment, sharp knives, storeroom, techniques to be learned and safety, sanitation, respect, and learning. It doesn't matter the menu, for a first time basic learning experience.
 
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Joined Dec 7, 2020
If you want to learn the best and proper techniques with out going to school you could do some research in your area and find a restaurant with a well experienced chef and also check their reviews so you know you're walking into a place of professionals that take pride in what they do. i've worked in a few places where people don't care. you could look into going into a corporate hotel chain where you'll have some decent benefits like health insurance, 401K, and some offer buying shares of the company at a discount. i first started out at a hyatt when i was 16 through a culinary program at my high school. i learned a ton working directly with each part of the kitchens sous chefs, enjoyed the benefits and have my retirement account to this day. one additional piece of advice if you really want to advance in the culinary field is always take the initiative to improve your skills and hold yourself to a higher standard. my motto in my restaurant is always "if you wouldn't serve it to your mother don't serve it to the guest" best of luck!
 
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Joined Dec 13, 2020
I have never graduated in Culinary School, but I am what I am now today cause of learning and proving myself over and over again. if you think of learning then best source is to work under pressure from a Chef who has principal and travel. but if I have a chance to go to culinary school, I will as that to extend your knowledge which you will surely needed time-to-time. Best of luck in your career only wat to succeed is not giving up no matter what circumstance
 
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Joined Jan 22, 2018
Hello I’m an 18 year old line cook at hooters it’s my first cooking job and cooking is something I’ve always been intrested in but when I got the job I realized I loved it my question for u is it worth it to go to culinary school to be a chef? Also if I decide to leave hooters what type of restaurant is a good place to move up to like and upgrade basically
Do not waste your money on culinary school man. Just learn from experience and work under some good chefs and find a mentor.
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2004
I guess I didn't address the culinary school thing at all. I went to college and studied Philosophy, Business and Information Security (weird combo I know) and my degrees are in business, so I didn't go to culinary. The business degrees have been good but I went back when I was older having already been a chef for many years. I started out as a dish dog and worked my way up to Exec of a company that had many properties. Over the decades I hired a lot of culinary grads and a lot of self taught cooks. So here's my perspective.

Let me put the last part first- you'll get out what you put in. My niece went to LCB after they lost their accreditation. So not a great school. And she didn't put in the work, when she got to her externship she was late so many times that she didn't get enough hours to get her diploma. Within a year she was out of the industry and working as a nanny. Don't do that! On the other hand some of my chef buddies went to decent-to-good schools and worked hard. It worked out pretty well for some of them but mostly they're at about the same level as I am professionally.

It depends on your age, your personality and what you want to do. If you're focused you can learn a lot in school. If you're committed you can learn a lot just working. As a chef doing the hiring I don't much value new grads if they don't have experience to go along with it. You can't learn to slash and burn in school, you need experience. But that doesn't mean I won't hire them, just that if I need a platoon leader it's gonna be a guy that's been in the trenches.

That said, you'll get a well rounded culinary education from a good school. In the beginning I learned what my Chef needed me to be able to do. It was the needs of the business not my personal enrichment. To get the skills I wanted and the knowledge I craved I had to do a lot of work on my own. Buying books, watching videos, etc. A lot of that will depend on what kind of market you're in and where you live & work. You could work at Perkin's or Hooters for 20 years and never learn what roux is (I'm guessing, don't know their menu well). If you don't go to school you'll need to get lucky and land a gig in a good place where you can learn. and you might have to be willing to keep moving around from job to job once you've run out of things to learn. If you go that route, keep in mind that you're not just learning skills, you're building a resume. If you app comes across my desk and you've worked 12 places in the last year and a half your app is going in the Round File (aka the trash can).

Finally even graduating from a good school will probably mean you make $9-$12/hour after graduation. Yeah, you might land a better job and if you live in a place where wages are higher you'll start higher. A degree or diploma might get you in the door but you'll still have to work your way up the ladder.

Just a few observation from a few decades on this ride.
 
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Joined Dec 14, 2020
I would really love to go to culinary, actually, however I'm now completing my Modern Business Management studies
 
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