Hopeful on a big move in my culinary path

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by vagabond79, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. vagabond79

    vagabond79

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    So I may have an opportunity to take a 7 month cook position at a upscale vacation spot
    I'll be living on location 900 miles from home.

    Anyhow
    What tools should I take beyond basic knives
    I'll be doing saute / broil
    100-150 covers a night

    First time I've actually been nervous to accept a position
     
  2. hookedcook

    hookedcook Banned

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    "Take it" was good advice I was given a long time ago, whether you are qualified or not .  I have been doing only seasonal, yacht, resort, restaurant work for the last 12 years.  I get thrown in to new situations with new kitchens,new Countries, galleys, cultures, guests all the time.  One thing I've learned over the years is each new job I stress myself out.  Worry about if I'm good enough, the new location, ect.!!  Butterflies are normal.  The other thing I've learned is trust in your abilities.  Fake it till you make it if you have to.  If you have a positive attitude and work hard cooking is easy.   After cooking on yachts for years I've learned from a lot of the businessman that own them.  It's not necessairy to be book smart.  It's about being confident, nice and thinking you belong where you are at.  I've worked on charter yachts that charge 300,000 a week for my cooking.  Flown on private jets, islands, and homes to cook for people paying me way more than what I think I'm worth.  Do I let them no that??  Absoulty not,  I'm the best and any of your culinary needs are possible.  It only matters if your boss, guests, owners are happy.  Doesn't matter how you got there.  I'm always reminded of a time I was flown to the Bahamas for a 3 day cooking interview.  Flew in late, had crab cakes as a starter.  Was so far behind plating.  I literaly went into the fridge.  Grabbed a tub of mayonaise, squeezed mustard in it some ketchup and maybe some siracha, shook it up because I didn't even have time to mix it ia a bowl and taste it!!!  Put it in a zip lock, cut of the tip and put it on the crab cake.  Was stressed out sweating balls.  Pulled the dinner off and the owners wife came to me at the end and explained how the crab cake sauce was the best she ever had and whats my recipie????  Stress and bullshit were the first 2 ingredients!!  It's good to be nervous for a new position.  Everybody has to fill jobs in the world,  getting older you see that there are just regular people working jobs that seem way to complicated for there education or skill set.  Look at politicans!!!  Being friendly and its not what you know, it's who you know and impress is how doors open
     
  3. vagabond79

    vagabond79

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    Definitely hear what you're saying
    I'm confident in my abilities I suppose I just need this to work
    If it does I'll have my food truck built out with in 2 years based on only the income off two seasons of this job

    I'll hear back tonight hopefully
     
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I have done a fair amount of vagabond/itinerant/wanderlust chef work in my career. My travel job knife kit is an 11" chef knife, a 12" granton slicer, a serrated bread knife, and my sharpening stones.

    I figure I can handle just about anything that comes my way with those four items.

    Most restaurants have a general staff use pool of peelers, zesters, graters, spatulas, turners, tongs, etc so I don't bother with anything along those lines. I can always make do and if I can't, then I will buy or get missing item shipped to me by a friend. Hasn't happened yet.
     
  5. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Hi Vagabond,

    Just bring your basic knives.


    Hookedcook,

    I think I addressed your "b.s, 'em, cause they don't know the difference" schtick once before....

    The o.p. will be working in a busy restaurant in a heavily populated area. If the chef or owners gets the slightest whiff of b.s., the cook in question gets the boot and a replacement is found on the same day or next.

    Understandably, you can't do this on a ship two days from the next port of call. But there is a big difference between your opinion and what is tolerated in busy restaurants

    Ironically just yesterday I walked in my pastry section to find the paco-jet f---d up, looking at a $1800.00 repair bill AND the fact that I can't make or sell icecream or sorbet for at least two weeks. The guilty party insisted he knew how to operate the machine, and the Sous only did verbal check.

    So let me make this crystal clear, hooked cook: I do not tolerate b.s ers. Most, if not all Chefs or owners do not tolerate b.s. ers. No Chef or owner is going to rave about some secret sauce of mayo, ketchup, and "maybe siracha", they'll just tell you not to let the door hit you on your way out.
     
    vagabond79 likes this.
  6. hookedcook

    hookedcook Banned

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    That is good advice.  I wasn't telling him to lie. Just trying not to scare the guy. I worked in busy "city" fine dining restaurants for the first 10 years of my Culinary career. Then I found better, less stressful, more money, and lots of time off chef jobs that fit me better of how I want to live my life.  It's cool, we have different opinions on being a chef.  Everyone has something to contribute here.  I just don't take cooking to serious. Although, I give 100% when cooking for anyone.  I do have respect for any chef that decides he/ she want's to spend 6-7 days a week, never taking a vacation, making a restaurant his/her life and over a life time trying to perfect something.  It's just not for me.  I was fortunate to learn that somewhat earlier in my career when I took a job with a chef/owner that worked from 9.a.m. to 10 p.m 7 days a week.  He hadn't had a real vacation in 6 years!  He was divorced, constantly stressed out, broke, angry and bitter at the world.  I was blessed to have that job because the "one and only" thing at the time I new for sure was that I never wanted my chef life to be or end up like his!!  That was 16 years ago. In the last 10 years about 4 of those have been spent on vacation traveling and actually tasting, eating, and learning about the food and cultures in different countries.  I prefer to enjoy the one life you are given not having a "job" be my complete identity and life but that's just me.  To each his own

    P.S.  The last 6 months of "my chefs life" 

    Took a week off in the Bahamas after my summer season.  Flew to Mexico, spent 3 full days cage diving with Great Whites on Guadalupe 160 miles off the coast of Mexico.  Rented an apartment in Mexico surfing, fishing and exploring the next 2 months.  Next flew to Peru and spent a month, took a cooking class in Lima, kite boarded paracus, hiked Machu Picchu, swam with wild sea lyons, Para glided, went white water rafting and stayed in a bungalow in the Amazon Rain forest only accessible by boat.  Took a boat 10 hours down the Amazon river into Colombia.  Explored Cartagena.  Flew to Northern Brazil and kite boarded for 2 weeks.  Went to Rio, hang glided and hung out in Impanima for 10 days.  Flew home for Christmas and new Years (not working!) to spend with family.  Went to the keys and spent a month visiting family and friends all over.  Time to work again.  Was flown to Costa Rica last month for my new job.  Took the boat to Panama.  We are going through the Canal on Sat and working our way up the Caribbean for the next 4 months.  I've been on this boat for 20 days and only cook simple lunches and dinner for 7 crew each day and get the weekends off.  Owners come soon for a week and then off for 3 weeks.   I like my life, it works for me
     
  7. vagabond79

    vagabond79

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    I'm hired for the job
    My current position is understanding
    And working with me
    All good and smooth sailing from here

    Just got to finish putting my kit together
    Picking up some knives on Monday and I'll have a few weeks to get used to them before I leave
    Looking at tojiro knives but we will see what feels best in my hand