Help: Low Esteem to move on

Joined Nov 7, 2020
Hi Chefs,

Currently I am with a cafe/restaurant setting station to do griddle, deep frying and pasta. There weren’t much preparation thing that is complicated to do. It was simple. Just keeping the stocks, some cleaning, restocks for next shift and cooking. It can get fast paced at times when orders come together over 30 something lump together in queues. Each slip of receipt contain different food orders or same orders with abit of change so you have to cook it separate. But holy I had stay in same position same routines for 8 years calling myself thanks god I got a job and being loyal.

Looking back now I might be a head Chef by now in a atas restaurant earning big bucks.

I consider myself a line cook or cdp but my current workplace rank all as Cook.

I am being offer an interview at TOP rated place and Michelin star head Chef will be the one interview me.

I am expected to be honest with my skills since my current role honestly is just some simple cooking anyone could pick up fast. To suddenly make a big jump to high luxury place even though is an entry level position again.

I mean with my 8 years experience people would expect a lot of me I seriously doubt I can cope with it should I be offer a position.

Or I should just endure my current workplace since I’m a veteran there and accept Low wages.

I am just being low esteem and my body aren’t that young to go through entry level physical movement as much as last time. As well as to learn of the real skills in a high luxury restaurant Michelin star. But if I survive it my career would see shines.

I do not have good knife skills too.
Joined Nov 9, 2020
I'm a little confused by your post. Food is an environment where you are always learning, always improving, and seeking the next step up the rung.

You say you've been cooking professionally for 8 years. If you made it to the interview stage, they must have skills they want or can build on. This is a plus, so figure out what they saw in you and accentuate that. You walk into an interview saying "I'm not worthy" and the first thing Chef will tell you is "Yep, your're right, now go home."

I was once in your shoes, and the Exec I worked for gave me some good advice, and I'll pass that on to you. Practice, practice, practice, then practice some more. Knife skills? Hopefully you have your own tools, and you can buy cheap produce and day old bread and hell, even a piece of plywood as a practice surface, and get it on. Knife work is muscle memory - I can't see how you can't develop that in the 10,000+ hours of work you've done on line. If you're still shakey - remember the adage slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

How did you learn how to flip eggs? I set up about a dozen egg pans and some stale bread and started flipping them in a line until my speed was good and I did it right every time. How did you develop your salamander timing? Toast bread. How did you learn the timing to kick out a dozen or 3 covers back to back? Yep - practice and timing.

The most important thing ANY employer looks at is (a) how willing are you to learn, and (b) how able are you to pick up what we do? The basics - are the basics. If you know some of the other basics - how to make the 5 basic sauces, how to make a liquor-based dessert mousse, things like that, it's a plus. And it's all skills you can LEARN. When I was a kid in the biz, we didn't have stuff like the internet - if we were lucky we had a chef who was willing to take us under their wing. We watched others, and snuck off to take notes on what THEY did so we could practice it and do it.

You have a chance to work for and learn from a Chef with a Star. That's a good opportunity. But - this is big - you have to SELL yourself that you are the dynamo they are looking for. Don't say "I'm not young enough to hustle like I used to" - instead work on your strength and stamina so at 65 you can still command a kitchen. And if you say "I don't think I'm worth it" - Yep, go home. YOU have to show these 20-something kids that you have the brains and the skill to run them out of the interview and claim the brass ring. And once you got it, ride it for all it's worth, baby.

This is one of those opportunities that don't come around very often. It's being offered to YOU. If you don't grab it, someone else will, and from then on you'll say "woulda shoulda coulda" instead of "What a hell of a ride it's been!"

Quit being yourown worst enemy, go out there, prep like you're prepping for a 1000 plate banquet, and go into this thing with your head held high KNOWING you got this thing. If you don't - you've not only wasted Chef's time - which is bad - you've wasted your own time, which is far worse.

Hope this helps.
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