Getting a Stage, How to go about it?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by linecook854, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. linecook854


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    Head Chef
    I have staged at two upscale restaurants, one for 3 months 1 day a week and the other 2 days a week for a month. I had no trouble contacting them via email, responded right away and was in the kitchen within a week. I am starting to think I got very lucky at these places because I can't get other restaurants to stage at.

    I am looking for another place to stage uncompensated to hone my skills but for some reason I am finding it very hard just to get in touch with the chef, sous or kitchen manager. Email I get no response which I half expected. Calling I get some server who takes my name and number but never get a call back or I get "the chef says we are not taking interns at the moment". I tried walking into a place hours before service on a Sunday and asked to see the chef to no avail. Didn't even take a name or number.

    I don't know what other avenue to take, maybe just keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully one place will be interested? I know not to call or show up during service or even attempt to make contact on Friday or Saturday. I had it so easy with the other two places I don't know what else to do.
  2. chefbuba


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    Retired Chef
    Walk in, show that you are putting out some effort. If I got emails or phone calls, they would go unanswered..

    If you took the time to beat the pavement, I might consider talking to you.
  3. cheflayne


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    Professional Chef
    I agree with chefbuba, except that if you walked in I would definitely either talk with you or set up another time to do so. Phone calls and emails have a mass mailing campaign quality to them that is not attractive.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  4. denaliranger1


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    Sous Chef
    Walk into a restaurant around 2pm with your knives ready to go. Ask to see the chef or sous chef. If you tell them that you want to stage they will most likely not turn down the free labor. 
  5. northcack


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    Line Cook
    While it's good you understand not to try and contact chefs during Friday or Saturday, Sunday is as bad, if not worse. Especially if they do brunch. That should be the absolute last time you try and get a stage. For most, that is our 'Friday' so to speak, and you've already worked X amount of hours, and possibly had a late night, only to wake up early and finish off your week. You will see a lot of chefs/cooks in very, very bad moods Sunday morning.

    Try Wednesday or Thursday. Busier than Monday or Tuesday so having the chef in is more likely, but not weekend crazy.

    Look at your local Craigslist. You will be surprised how much you cab tell by your local restaurant scene by Craigslist. Who's short staffed, who can never hold on to staff, who lost their chef, etc. A restaurant actively looking for cooks is probably more likely to accept your free labor once a week.