Externships and Traveling to Europe

Joined Jul 22, 2011
Hi everyone,

I am currently enrolled at LCB Sacramento for the regular and extended program... finishing class work in November.  My ultimate goal is to get to Europe and travel for several years learning as much as I can from whom ever will teach me.  I've been there twice on vacations, but have no real connections.  Hoping for some answers from someone who has walked this path...

1.  How important are Visa's?

2.  Can you jump from country to country every 90 days to avoid Visa's?

3.  Is it hard to find a job without outside help, because there are companies who can help... for a fee

4.  Hotels or Stand Alones?

5.  I was thinking Spain, France, then Italy... any suggestions on where to start or countries I've missed?

Any and all help would be appreciated!  If you need any of my back story, it's all in my profile : )


Joined Jan 5, 2007
Visas are extremely important!  The terrorist threat is taken very, very seriously here - and considering that today there were a couple of separate instances in Scandinavia which are being laid at the door of Islamists, you can understand why.

If you are at LCB, don't they help students to find stages at European restaurants, if that's what the students would like to do? 

In all instances, you would probably have to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself without recourse to local health care etc.  A visitor's visa would not allow you to work in the UK - and I think the same may be true of other EU countries.  A working visa is more difficult to obtain, but you could try applying to the French or Spanish or Italian Embassies, via websites, and see what the rules may be for each country.

I'm sorry that I can't help you with your questions, I'm based in the UK and we have a fair few Michelin starred chefs here, too...   Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Rankin, Atul Kochhar, Marco Pierre White, Marcus Wareing, Tom Kitchin..... and so on and so on and so on!
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
Hey Chris,

I couldn't find your BIO. You can travel in and around Europe with your american passport. Unless you're not from the states.

I think people from the UK aren't allowed in to many places. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif

Staging at restaurants is really a thing of the past unless it's sponcored by someone. Now a days when it comes to

learning, it seems to be all about the money. I would check into things here to try to line some things up before you go.

It's relatively inexpensive to travel around Europe compared to vacationing.

  My son is a Junior in college and working on an expidated masters in computer engineering. I disallowed him to enter

the food industry. He has spent the last 3 or 4 summers backpacking around Europe. Last summer he decided that him and a friend were going to do a culinary type trip. He usually visits 10+ countries per trip. As soon as I finish here I will PM you with his email address. Also keep in mind that he has a constant watch for cheap tickets. I think got direct flights to Spain for 399. RT

He purchases an Eurorail pass. He also confirms his lodging before he goes. The stay in student hostels. They run 15=30 a night. Email him and tell him I sent you. He might not get back right away because he's working full time for a semi conductor co.

Good luck to you


PS If given the oportunity to venture out, take it! Once you start to work and have a family the time seems to disappear.
Joined Jan 5, 2007

Noone is saying he cannot travel on a US passport to any country in Europe - simply that he NEEDS a visa to do so IF he wants to work/live in the country.  A short-term holiday is a different thing entirely.

And, btw?  The UK is part of the EU and we can travel through most countries in mainland Europe WITHOUT showing our passport - (but that will change soon, I am sure).  No American can do so unless he/she can show dual nationality with the country he/she is trying to enter.

Was that a whiff of anti-British attitude I smelt there?
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Was that a whiff of anti-British attitude I smelt there?  
Oh no, You took me seriously. I know you're thick skinned. Forgive me. I really wasn't contradicting you.

  I was actually trying to agree with you but not sound negative about going. I seriously doubt he is going to get work visa's.

I was very fortunate to do exactly what he described, 35 yrs. ago. I haven't heard about anyone doing it recently.

I encourage my son to travel, whiles he young. For a young chef in the making I think it's a good idea to do an informational

trip and not focus on the working. I did tell him I'd drop a line to family. They may know something. Their in France, Zurich and Italy.

  I have never traveled to your neck of the woods. Don't know anyone over there to get the good info. We abhore vacationing. I like to plunge into

daily life. Maybe one day we will get a conection over there/img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

I think you might have been smelling Haggis/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

Your friend

Joined Jul 22, 2011
Panini and Ishbel,

All great information!  I found a company that can get me a job in a hotel somewhere in Northern Spain to get me started, then... I'm still hung up on what kind of Visa to get : (  I thought about England, my parents actually have some friends that live there!  Michelin Star all the way, I figure if your going to step into a career, may as well start with the best!  I have nothing keeping me here and am looking forward to just working for a while... no glorious job required, just putting my time in ya know.  I will have about 5k saved for the trip, not sure how much I will need to have or prove.  I will do my externship here and stay and learn as much as I can, then take off this time next year for the EU.  Thank you both for your answers, if you think of anything else I'll be here!


PS. sorry about the profile, I created one... weird : /
Joined Nov 2, 2010
Hey bluetides, I'm actually considering doing the same thing that you are doing and am wondering if you could pm me the name of the company that's getting you the job; do they offer jobs in other countries in europe as well? 


Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Hey Bluetides,

I have done what you want to do so let me share my experiences. A friend of mine did what you did and went through a company and I don't think the experience was the best but it got him a foot in the door and a visa. After he had stayed at the hotel a while he moved onto another place that was more interesting. I on the other hand did not have a visa I just bought a one way ticket and went with a few contacts and a lot of faith. You can go to just about any of the ski resorts in Italy, Switzerland etc in the high season and get a job. Likewise you can go to the Greek Islands and get a job in the summer months. My recommendation is that you do not work at anything more than one michelin star. Working in a michelin 3 star will only get you cleaning lettuce and chopping herbs. You will never cook a piece of meat or fish and you don't need to go to Europe to learn how to clean lettuce, chop herbs and wash down stations. Be smart about where you work and mindful if you are actually learning something that is worthwhile of being in Europe or are you just learning something pointless. Here is an example of what I mean. Years ago I had a cook who worked for me and after he work for me all day he would go home for an hour or two then go work at Charlie Trotters all night for free! I asked him one time when he came in what did he do last night. His reply was he cleaned 6 cases of snow peas. You know what? You don't need to work at Charlie Trotters to learn how to clean snow peas. Be smart...
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