Help on making this a good career

Joined Jul 7, 2010
I've been working as a line cook professionally for a couple months now (6 or 7 I think) and I can tell that this is the career for me. The chef I work with says he's had people out of the CIA that weren't as good as me (not that I'm big-headed - I have a seemingly endless amount to learn - it just shows that I guess I have some promise) and I know I have the work ethic to make it in any kitchen. But I wanted advice on how best to make the step into fine-dining. I'm not ready yet, but I am getting a new job when I move at the start of next month, and I want to get the most out of it, while keeping my eye on future goals. What is the best way to prepare myself for trying to get into a fine-dining restaurant two or three jobs down the line? I try to focus on plating things cleanly and nicely (although, in the current setting the owner is much more concerned with speed than appearance) and I have developed my knife skills so that I am comfortable,accurate, and fast, with most prep work, but I wanted to know what other steps I can and should take in order to be as qualified as i can be. Anyway, thanks for your help /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif...
Joined May 14, 2008
From my experiences it a large part is location. Think supply and demand. A lot of resort towns don't have high powered HT schools, so demand for good HT personel is high. Learn the basics and vocab and know them well, so when you go to interview you can be more confident. Study your wines, cheeses, and learn foh it will also be a great step up. Many owners need a swiss army employee. Apply 2 months before season as well. Be sure you have excellent references, and if you have time create a portfolio. Before interview usually a week or so, practice practice practice. Get your prep speed up super high. This is the time to get btter equipment if needed. Buy a mandolin if you haven't already. Set time goals for each prep item based on the menu that you studied prior to applying. If you cover most of what I said above, your income should hit 12 to 15 per hour. And for goodness sakes learn spanish for employees and french for menu. If you can't have a 30 min convo with a hispanic your spanish needs work.

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