I am finally graduating!!! I need advise!

Joined Jun 9, 2001
Guess what.... only 25 days left until I graduate the Bachlors program at The Culinary Institute of America. It feels like I have been here forever!!!

I just recently got hired as the Executive Chef of a country club in Oregon. I do have sous chef experiance HOWEVER......

does anyone have any advise that they would love to pass on that might steer me away from any potential pit falls?

At the current time, I am worried about the other cooks and front of the house people not respecting me becasue I am younger and all. There are a lot of things that the GM and I are going to change but we are going to do it in time and not right away.

Any advise?
Joined Jan 8, 2003
Be humble and respectful of others and you'll get that in return. Build a foundation of respect and friends and you'll be fine.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
It'seasy to get spread thin when first arriving. Organize,to get a few things accomplished each day.I see so many younger chefs trying to address every opportunity that may arrise and not accomplishing any one thing. I think the best cure for burn-out is to arrive home and feel good about the few things you've accomplished.
NEVER! put your business (internally or externally) out in the street.
I personally don't believe3 in trying to make friends. I found it best to be friendly and friendships will come along down the road.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST!!!! Your pastry chef is always right!!!!:D

These are just opinions, The best of luck to you
Joined Oct 13, 2001
I think the most important thing you can do is to have fun . This also will then bring about a happy work envirement . A much better recipe for success then a gloomy work place .
Oh , and good luck . The demands of being a country club chef can be brutal with the hours and having to deal with the membership . again , good luck........... Doug..............
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Grow a thick skin.

Mozal Tov.

Be aware of what you can really deliver.Your "Fond" should be strong.
Joined Jul 24, 2001
[hijacking the thread]

Congrats Isaac, I have been following your posts these years and I am very happy about you :)

chefboy How can you always be so mild tempered and kind? How can you always suggest to people just to be happy :)

[/hijacking the thread]
Joined May 26, 2001
In addition to what the others have said: If you normally pray, pray extra hard now. Practice getting by on NO SLEEP. Get yourself a prescription for antidepressants.

And start looking the your NEXT job. Because, my friend, you are being set up. The implication of that statement is very scary: How do YOU know that a lot of things need to change? Have you already spent time observing and analyzing the operation there? If you go in believing that things need to change only on the say-so of the GM without having done the analysis yourself, then you will not be doing the job you should be doing. You will be the GM's henchman -- not the Exec. Chef. Please don't fall into the trap of so many new graduates, who don't yet have a handle on the subtleties of work relations.

I don't mean to imply that you lack the skills to do the job of Exec. Chef -- although unless you have MANAGED an operation for several years, I think it will be extremely difficult to jump right from school into that maelstrom. There is a huge difference between Sous and Exec: the former is usually a small-scale, day-to-day manager; the latter must see the overall big picture, and fit all the pieces together. Again, I don't say that you can't do that, but it takes practice and experience. Do you really believe that you have the skills -- business, culinary, people -- that you'll need? Can you see behind people's words, to their real meanings?

I wish you well, but I fear for you, too.
Joined Jun 9, 2001

Thank you for your advise. I did have the chance to spend two weeks there in July. That is were I am basing the things that could be changed for the better. The GM wants the food to be better then it is now and the food is what it is now becasue of the employees. They have been there a long time and they havent been properly trained so they are in their own groove.

I know there is a lot of difference between a sous chef and executive chef. Sometimes I tend to bite off more then I can chew but sometimes you need to take a risk. That is how we all learn. I am assuming that I am going to have tough and stressful days but I have a lot of people to whom I admire that I can ask questions too like the people here on this forum.

I am up to learning and taking on a challange. I am hoping that I will learn the other side of the business that normal cooks do not get to see.

As they say...it will be a learning experiance.
Joined Nov 10, 2001
Isaac,taking a chance is one thing,being hung out to dry is another.This may seem like a fantastic opportunity to develop your existing skills,but i think you should still be cautious.The GM may be looking at furthering his/her career on your hard work.
As for the current kitchen brigade,they may have stagnated due to a lack of inspiration.They may welcome fresh ideas if they are put across in a positive way.

Good luck,Leo.
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