Hi guys! Any hints or tips for a starter in the culinary field?

Joined Jun 27, 2011
Hi my name is AJ and I am 20 years old looking for a carreer in the culinary field. Any tips or suggestions on what I should do first?
Joined Jun 14, 2002
1) Start applying for jobs in food service. Dishwasher and prep cook are good. Highest you could probably expect is pantry cook. Do not be snobbish at places to work. Even working the fryer at McDonald's will give you good perspective.

2) Get good shoes. You will be on your feet a long long time. Find a good supportive pair, then get a pair of non skid overshoes from Shoes for Crews. Good footing will keep you from hurting yourself.

3) Invest in a basic knife kit. Lots of threads on it.

4) Educate yourself. This includes hanging out here, as well as investing in professional quality cookbooks and studying them.

5) Improve your fundamental work habits. These include but are not limited to speed, organization, cleanliness, knife skills, and communication. These skills are universally needed in every level of food service.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Welcome to Chef Talk, AJ. TheTinCook gave you some great tips. I'm going to move this thread to a better forum, as there's less traffic of established members here in the Welcome Forum. We hope you'll return there to tell us a bit about how you got started, who inspired you, etc.

Further, I advise you to use the search tool here to see what numerous culinary questors before you have asked, and what advice was given. I'm sure you'll fine useful suggestions there.

Good luck!

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Joined Jun 9, 2011
Get experience in the real world.

You will most likely start in the dishroom-so what-Every manager, cook,aspiring chef etc better know how to wash dishes-and be good at it.  Restaurant operation revolves around the dishroom.

It is mighty hard to serve dishes in the middle of rush without clean dishes coming out of the dishroom.  The dishwasher touches every single plate,glass and piece of flatware in the restaurant.

Their skill at getting Clean-Good looking result without breakage or throwing stuff in the trash directly Impact's the Bottom line of the Restaurant.

Excell and take pride in what you do-have a "can do" attitude-Management already will have enough

problems motivating/redirecting underperformer's-be part of the solution, not part of the problem

This will you noticed (postively noticed) and you will get opportunities to move to different postions in the operation.


Joined Jun 27, 2011
AJ, as a certified Chef, I completely agree with the 2 comments below. Get into the kitchen! Get Cooking ! Learn from the Chefs and then you can apply your ideas down the road. Chef Hans
Joined Jul 2, 2011
Hi A.J. my name is Eato. I've been in the bizz 23 years and taught at two schools. Get a job in a scratch kitchen and work it for a year. you will know if this is the business for you. It will also make school easier.
Joined May 29, 2011
Hahaha jobs in scratch kitchens are much harder to come by than some might think. The restaurant business like scotch... You either love it or hate it, VERY few aren't in one of those two camps. Get the best job you can get until you can get a better one. Watch craigslist and if you see something that fits what you see yourself doing try out for it. If you get the job GIVE YOUR TWO WEEKS NOTICE. You new boss will have more respect for you(though they may not like it) and you will not be burning a bridge you might need to cross later in your career.
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