Going back into catering as a head chef after time out...

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by Iad6012, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Iad6012

    Iad6012

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    Hi everyone, I'll try and keep this brief!

    I grew up in a kitchen at my parents restaurant, it was Italian cuisine to a decent level but all fresh.

    Went to college studying eveything but catering, got a part time job in the busiest restaurant in town as a KP...

    Realised that my love for food and working in the kitchen was more important than computer programming....

    Worked my way up to sous chef in the restaurant I'd been working at since college, again an Italian restaurant, fresh food and I stayed for 6 years

    Took over another of their branches as head chef at the age of 25, stayed for 4 years until I moved on to a new place as head chef. High class Italian again.

    Stayed there for 3 years but left due to terrible owners, took a head chef postion at a lower level restaurant with a mish mash of a menu and a husband and wife owner who knew nothing about running a kitchen who the undermined me at every turn so I left after a year.

    I Took 6 years off of full time catering but still helped out the company I had previously worked for, for 10 years. On occasion filling in for the Head chef in various branches when needed.

    OK, this will sound a bit different but I've been driving a taxi for the last 6 years as my full time job, due to it being similar money and a lot more free time to have a social life.... I don't love it, but it pays the bills and gives me the time to meet people etc

    I've just been keen to apply for head chef jobs in private restaurants, not franchises over the last 6 months and now by chance, I got the job at one of the busiest seafood restaurants on the beach in my city, I'm very happy and excited but at the same time very nervous...

    It's 99% seafood focused and while I'm confident in my ability to cook fish I've not worked in a strictly seafood restaurant before... It'll be busier than anywhere I've been before probably, there are more staff in the kitchen than I've had before and the owners are again apparently quite difficult to get on with...

    I really have to hit the ground running as summer season is here and it'll be crazy busy every day, right away... I can deal with numbers and keeping quality high but just nervous about the brigade and the new menu and new ingredients after so long out of it...

    I know I can be the hardest worker, and study everything on the menu to a T... But I have no friends in the industry anymore and wanted some feedback from knowledgeable people here!

    Thanks for Reading!
     
  2. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    A quick word on my way out the door. You'll be fine. You have enough experience to tackle this.
    So..Pick a problem. Solve it.
    Pick another problem. Solve it.
    Keep moving. Tomorrow's another day.
    Okay, I gotta go.
     
    Vjan, pnwchef, Iad6012 and 1 other person like this.
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Oh, there’s no doubt you will be able to do the job.

    Consider this:

    Just because I’m healthy enough to go sky diving, doesn’t mean I WANT to go sky diving.

    You left the industry because you needed some kind of a life and a decent salary to live it, regardless of how good you are in the kitchen.

    How long will it be before you second guess your decision to go back into the kitchen? Will both you and your dependants be happy with this? ( sh*tty hours, lots of stress) Because once you start to waver, to second guess, everything comes crashing down.

    Don’t want to sound like a downer, but I’ve been there....
     
    Iad6012 likes this.
  4. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    Make a list of problems. Solve it.
    Write a book of all the problems. Solve it.
    Stop at the liquor store for your evening btl of Vodka. Solve it.
    Lose your wife and kids. Solve it.
    Lose your house. Solve it.
    wake up after a 18 hr work day with a empty btl next to you. Solve it
    Get out of rehab, no job, no friends, no family. Solve it.
    Pick up a newspaper and see if there's a Taxi job opening. Solve it.
    10 years from today, scratch your head and wonder how all this happened. Solved It

    Find a job you like and do it. You left the restaurant position for a reason. The reason hasn't changed.
     
    Iad6012 likes this.
  5. Seoul Food

    Seoul Food

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    So are you saying your concern is that you will be cooking seafood instead of Italian? Doesn't Italian food utilize a lot of fresh seafood? If you are a decent cook than those skills should transfer whether you are cooking fish or beef or vegetables. Being outside of your comfort zone is the only way to keep things fresh and give you a chance to grow.
     
  6. Chef Amalelbana

    Chef Amalelbana

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    Hello
    I want to make my own catering business
    Could u plz help me choosing luxury name
     
  7. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Luxe
     
  8. Chef Amalelbana

    Chef Amalelbana

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    What dose it mean?
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Can’t you do any work for your own business name? Googling
    “ luxe” is out of your skill set?

    Cheflayne, don’t charge for the name idea, charge for the thread hi jacking.....
     
  10. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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  11. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    That has always been my biggest faux pas. Never charging enough and not using the correct category on the bill. But at least I am smart enough not become a financial backer in this particular scenario. However I am protected from that gaffe because that takes money and I am a chef!!!
     
  12. PoorlyChef

    PoorlyChef

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    The cooking part is the easiest, staff management is the hard part. If you are serious about being a head chef for a career then take the time to master leadership skills. Having the correct leadership skills will make the culinary vision come to reality. The road to being an effective and highly skilled head chef is littered with crappy leaders that are great culinarians.
     
  13. Iad6012

    Iad6012

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    Quick update, went for the day to shadow and ended up working a full 15 hour shift, short staffed, full restaurant, but was utter chaos, no system, temp workers that not interested in the long term job, staff not turning up for work so no kp in the evening. They are located on the beach as I mentioned and so they serve fish n chips on the lunch menu and I swear I must've made about 100 fish n chips, fishcakes and fish finger sandwiches from 12 till 4.. So mostly on the deep fryers... Not what I envisioned really... The night was just as bad but uncoordinated floor staff the usual 50 orders on in the space of 5 minutes. But really just the morale was terrible.

    Anyway, I wanted to do a day and I ended up doing a lot more than I should've. (unpaid) but better to know what you're getting into before accepting permanently.

    Got a couple other applications going on so I'll see how they work out.

    Cheers guys&gals
     
  14. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Good to find out ahead of time. The more you know....
     
  15. FakeItTillYouMakeIt

    FakeItTillYouMakeIt

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    Hi everyone,

    I've got myself in a situation and am really in need of some advice and guidance.

    Initially I offered to provide a catering service however had ended up being the chef for the food van. Now I cook at home, have been known to make a few things here and there for friend with fantastic feedback, in fact requests and ingredients to make the same and new things.

    To the point is have a 12 hour shift coming up and ive no experience as a chef, I'm only going to be cooking things like gourmet burgers, hotdogs, chips, side dishes ETC. (I THINK/ HOPE)
    Have I taken too much on, do you reckon I can pull this off, I'm concerned that it's going to be very obvious I'm inexperienced as my chef lingo/ terminology is next to 0, my knowledge of temperatures, timings etc are pretty much 0 too. I just wing everything at home as over time I know how long roughly by looking etc.
    Any advice and tips any help will be massively appreciated!!
     
  16. PoorlyChef

    PoorlyChef

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    FakeItTillYouMakeIt, I recommend that you start a new topic for your issue. This one is for lad6012.. You'll get a better response..

    lad6012.. In my experience, when there are morale issues it's a deeper rooted problem than what you see on the surface. Time and time again it goes back to the owner or GM that is or has allowed this to exist and usually they do not see it and will not change their approach/behavior. I would not take that job, especially if they allowed you to work for free, they are taking advantage of your good hearted gesture.. Never work for free, ever!!
     
  17. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I hope that you are choosing to not accept the position. Sounds like a disaster that will only get worse.
     
    Iad6012 likes this.