First bench test coming up, any adivce?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by ibbq, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. ibbq

    ibbq

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    Culinary Student
    I am a sophomore at JWU and we are required to take an internship during one of our trimesters. My internship will be in the Spring so I have applied to a few restaurants and I heard back from a fine dining French restaurant that has an extremely good reputation. Upon hearing back from them they requested that I come in for a stage/trial test. I have never done a bench test before and I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on what to expect or certain things to focus on. I plan to study their menu and see what they typically make and I would really appreciate any advice anyone has to offer.

    Thanks!
     
  2. nidan2010

    nidan2010

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    Relax, make sure your knives are sharp, and do not try to do anything outside of your knowledge.  Do what you know and do it well.  Make sure that if they ask for classic cuts like julienne etc, that you give them a julienne and not a batonette or something in between.  Be efficient and clean.  Follow all safety and sanitary rules.  I have had a few tests for interviews and one of the 1st things they looked for was sanitation.  Good luck and have fun.   
     
  3. squirrelrj

    squirrelrj Banned

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    What restaurant is it?
     
  4. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Be on time. Upon arrival in the kitchen ask where you can wash your hands before you begin. They should see you doing it. 

    As a culinary student, I would be surprised if they asked you to make anything difficult. They probably are most interested in you being able to follow directions, do what has been requested of you, follow a recipe. Sharp knives, clean uniform, shave if necessary, clean fingernails, no jewelry. Work neat and clean. Listen to what you are asked to do. Be honest. If you don't understand, say so but generally eyes and ears open, mouth closed. Remember you are a guest in their kitchen. 

    After saying all that, relax. If you got the interview, chances are they think you can do the job. They just want to see what you are like in person. Easy to work with and pleasant.
     
  5. ibbq

    ibbq

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    Originally Posted by nidan2010  

     
    Thanks! I really appreciate the advice it seams like sanitation is definately the key to the bench tests. I'll plan on practicing my cuts and probably the mother sauces as well. Thanks for the post I really appreciate the help!
     
  6. ibbq

    ibbq

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    Its Bistro du Midi in Boston, on Boylston Street 
     
  7. ibbq

    ibbq

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    Also thank you very much for the advice with both your advice and nidan2010's it has definately help cut the stress a bit. Im really going to use everything you said and apply it to the test and hopefully it works out for the best! I really appreciate your time and advice!
     
  8. squirrelrj

    squirrelrj Banned

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    That's awesome, you can learn a lot from Chef Sisca..

    I wouldn't sweat it at all, just go in prepared and do whatever they ask to the best of your ability. They aren't going to stick you on a station your first day there, you'll probably trail omeone, and do some prep work for a station, or stations.
     
  9. ibbq

    ibbq

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    Sounds good to me I really cant wait to get in there I've only heard great things about Chef Sisca and the restaurant. Thanks for all the input everyones advice has been extremely helpful, much appreciated!
     
  10. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Awesome advice is awesome!

    (above)

    btw - Forget about the mother sauces.  you won't be doing them.

    --------

    If you ever find yourself without a task or are waiting for a new one:

     - grab a sanitizer bucket and start cleaning!

     - sweep the line (without interfering with the cooks)

     - change the sanitizer buckets on the line (bring a fresh one up.. then take the old one back) start with the Lead he'll appreciate it and let you know how to handle the sous and chef! (wink / wink)

     - ask the prep cooks if they need a hand - don't get dupped into doing their work though - don't accept a new task, just offer to help finish the one they are working on!  (you'll learn more and get taken advantage of less)

    - if the dish pit is under the suds go back and bust a few...

    ---- 

    General

    - have a spare white coat just in case... or black as may be at the restaurant.  (I prefer black - but whatever)

    - have sharp knives but also smart knives... just as many as you need ... fill the rest of the pockets with professional gear  ie. therma-pen, plating fork (chopsticks), plating spoons, peelers, etc. what ever the place uses. 

    - make sure your hands are clean and you have the right footwear!  (call and ask what style of dress and footwear is appropriate a few days before you show up, it might seem odd/awkward but it is a sign of professionalism) 

    - have some burn gel packs in a pocket... but use it discretely.

    - have a band-aid and rubber glove handy, ones that fit you.  cargo pocket pants are awesome!  (use discretely)

    - have some advil - lol lol lol  Keep on going robo-student!

    ---

    Specific

    - keep your eyes and ears open, follow the lead cook / sous chef / chef at all times...the other cooks you'll have to use your judgement.  (remember you might be a threat to them)

    No matter what you think or know...  you must act in the best interests of the restaurant!

    ---------

    If  you have more questions post em up fast..... 

    New years kicked my ass so i'm going to bed but will check again before my next shift.
     
  11. ibbq

    ibbq

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    I really appreciate all of the suggestions you just posted seriously that was extremely helpful and I will be sure to post any questions if i can think of any, thank you!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013