culinary jobs

Joined Jan 21, 2002
If I don't have any real-world exprience in a kitchen what jobs are suited to me? I want to work in one. But I don't want to be just a bus person. I want to be in the kitchen. Is it feasible to find a kitchen job with NO experience.

Joined Dec 8, 1999
Anything's possible. What you have to do is show your drive and ambition to potential employers in the interview process. Stress that you are willing to do whatever it takes. Even this will usually result in a starting position as a prep cook or as a pantry cook, at best. Then, show that same drive and ambition on the job. If the chef doesn't move you up in 3-6 months, he/she is either unable to or somehow can't see potential in employees (in which case you are better off moving on).

On the other hand, starting as a dishwasher is a not so bad idea. It's not a high brainpower job, but it gives you the chance to show your work ethic and ability to organize to your employers (2 very valuable assets for a line cook). Plus, you get to watch everything that's going on and learn. There are also prep duties involved, usually. Plus, once you move on to a chef's position, part of your abilities should be to be able to work any station as well as, or better than, your employees. Including your dishwashers.

Regarding your earlier post, "2 cape chef", if you would post it again, I'm sure that the rest of us would be glad to help you, if you like. Cape Chef has had a busy week, so was apparently unable to answer your query.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Hi, Jeffery,

Everything Greg said, plus list your assets - are you prompt - neat - 'works and plays well with others' - ?

I bogarted my way into my first restaurant job (at age 49!), by just saying I'd work for low wage, do prep,etc., just for the learning curve. The only 'experience' I had was my lifetime romance with cooking, and a two year stent as an assistant at cooking classes which featured very high end chef/instructors. He actually hired me on as pantry for the day shift!

My attitude was, go in with your head high - if they say no, you're no worse off than if you hadn't tried at all. Be proud of who you are, and what you're trying to accomplish, and be honest about what you don't know.

Just a thought, also - some chefs will let you 'trail' - no pay, but you're in the kitchen, learning from the chef, watching how the kitchen is run, and eventually someone is going to put a knife in your hand!

Good luck - living in Las Vegas, you shouldn't have any trouble at least finding restaurants to check out!

PS - What martial art do you study? I have a 4th degree black belt in Aikido, studied for about 15 years.


Joined Apr 6, 2001

It's definitely possible to obtain work in the kitchen w/o any prior experience.

Beyond "trailing", which is usually more of an observational role, you can offer to "stage", which is work for free, to get your foot in the door. This is actually what I did:

1) I found out the best restaurant that I wanted to work at.
2) Asked to meet the chef (after the lunch service and before dinner service).
3) And asked if there were any opportunities to stage for him.

After a brief "stage", I was offered a salaried position! :D

Good luck!
Joined Jan 21, 2002
And to marmalady I study Kung Fu San Soo and have a brown belt.

I called a friend of my mother-in-law and she got me in contact with her husband. He's the Sous Chef at a hotel restarant. He said he'd try to get me on as a kitchen helper for $9.00 per hour. Not too bad.

I don't know what I need to do other than keep looking. It is so hard to get hired without experience. My catch-22 is how to get that precious experience.

My other post I just deleted. I saw his "on-line resume" and he looks busy on paper. I can't imagine what his day is like. I asked him a question and he had wanted me to post some information on my background. I will re-post later on.
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