Just out of the blocks.

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by bjpamf, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. bjpamf


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    Culinary Student
    Just wanted to say hello to everyone in the forum community. I've finally made the first step in my culinary career and interviewed / accepted an apprenticeship position in a place of fine dining. After seemingly forever chasing my computer science degree i have finished and found out i never want to be that unemployed software developer or stuck in a depressing IT department. The truth is i have always been happy in a kitchen and most of my best memories are the time i've spent cooking with different family members or putting together meals and entertaining friends. The youth in me feels like i'm about to walk a dark and narrow road till i find my place, but im so excited its like i could tackle anything in my way.

    If anyone has any advice for a clean slate i'd appreciate anything you could pass my way. What i have to go on so far is that the executive chef told me to bring some comfortable shoes, my knives if i have any, and they'd sort me with a jacket till i could get my own wears. when i had my tour through the kitchen many of the staff were wearing what appeared to be birkenstocks, but im not completely certain they were. Can you wear birks in a kitchen?! i'll be looking for a few knives in the future too i'm sure. I currently have only used Henckles and Wusthof in my home kitchen, but i've handled some Kershaw knives and thought they were the best blades i've personally ever held. (approx. 15-20 minutes of demo play at a retail store) I wonder what a nice starter set of knives should include. Price isnt really a concern, but quality is.

    I breifly spoke with the exec. chef about possibilities of attending culinary school in the area, but wanted to get my feet wet in a real kitchen where the staff knows the trade and can offer an environment to grow in. He assured me there is a wealth of knowledge to learn from actual experience and i was making a good decision before plunking down $$$$$ on classes before i knew what i was getting into. I hope he's right. I have no real professional experience so i'm a bit nervous about my first day!

    I came across ChefTalk purely by accident, but after reading around a bit i think this is a really great place and i hope to learn a lot just from hanging around.



    sorry, thought i was in the welcome thread! if a moderator could move this.... Please and thanks!
  2. jolly roger

    jolly roger Banned

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    Professional Chef
    Ready...set...go! I won't spare any "feelings" here because it sounds like you just walked into a mine field. Personal wear: Buy three inexpensive chef coats. Ask your chef about this, he/she may be able to get you a deal, like 15.00 a pc. Shoes: Starting out, find out from the other cooks what they wear and what keeps them from slipping around. Good shoes will cost good money...so be prepared to commit to that purchase. I wore combat boots for six years (went through two pairs) and I just recently went to Dansko clogs with a heel back. I have reasons and if you want to know, just ask. Knives...my favorite topic! First, whatever you currently own, do this: learn how to put an edge on them and how to maintain an edge and buy a 25.00-30.00 knife roll to transport them in. Protect your cutlery! They are your tolls of the trade. When you develop good knife skills...you will know when your good...then it's time to shop for some serious culinary steel. By this time, hopefully you have been at the same place over one year and still have your love for food to fire you forward. Your chef is your "master". Chef may not always be easily understood, but he/she is the one you answer to. Other cooks and the sous chef...learn from them. Take copious notes on everything, not just the things you like...EVERYTHING! That should get you through your first year there. Any questions you wish to ask me about my background and experience, I will answer eargerly. I love what I do and enjoy helping others in this industry.

    -Peace and bacon grease