Looking to get a real culinary job at 18 years old

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Joined Jan 19, 2017
Hello all, this is my first post here.

I've been working at Dominos pizza for about two years now. I take great pride in the work that I do, even though some might view it as just pizza. My store was the #1 store in the nation for six weeks straight, and we have hit the #1 spot plenty of other times, just not consecutively.

I've recently decided that I'd like to get a semi-real cooking job, actually cooking food besides pizza for once. I wouldn't mind making a few pizzas, but I've made tens of thousands of pizzas in the last two years and don't want to do it every single minute of every day, yknow?

Do you know a good job to start off someone's career in food? A job where I could take pride in what I make, and constantly learn how to make new things. I'm 18 years old, so I have every evening and night completely open, and have school in the mornings.

I know plenty of you here have had wonderful jobs in the food industry. What were some of your favorite places that you worked at? Was there anything interesting you remember? Any interesting stories? Any input is greatly appreciated.

For job relevancy, I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in northeast Texas.
 
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Joined Apr 29, 2011
You will get lots more people reading and replying if you repost on the professional chef form......as a cook you are allowed on there.
In my opinion you should try and get a job at a smaller independent restaurant doing interesting food.With your two years doing corporate you will have learned organization, cleanliness and how to follow instructions which an employer would be happy to have.They might start you off doing prep to learn what your work habits are like but all you need to do is prove to them you are capable.Once again stay away from franchises if you really want to learn and cook.Hope this helps.
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
With summer coming up most hotels and country clubs will be hiring a few extra hands.
If you can find a chef willing to take you on a couple of months early and "teach you up" consider this to be the goose that laid the golden egg.
Not only will most have interesting dishes requiring "from scratch" prep but IME work with top notch ingredients as well.

If there is one thing Dallas has plenty of it is CCs and fancy hotels ...

mimi
 
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That's good advice Mimi...also seasonal resorts are really good for learning because the business is more condensed.....at your age it would be a great way to spend a summer both professionally and personally.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
I would start with the country clubs. The richer the members are, the better the food. 

Stay away from Marriott for the time being. They are very corporate so you follow the plan, not direction by the chef as much.

Larger hotels will have more outlets like restaurants, room service and banquets. 

Find a meeting of the ACF (American Culinary Federation) in your area. Show up and introduce yourself, ask for a job. You should have one in five minutes. 
 
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
 
I would start with the country clubs. The richer the members are, the better the food. 

Stay away from Marriott for the time being. They are very corporate so you follow the plan, not direction by the chef as much.

Larger hotels will have more outlets like restaurants, room service and banquets. 

Find a meeting of the ACF (American Culinary Federation) in your area. Show up and introduce yourself, ask for a job. You should have one in five minutes. 
Was doing some hotel shopping the other day and saw the Driskill (Austin) had finally capitulated and joined the discount hotel sites .

Has always been on my bucket list but as of last summer they were still showing $400/450 for their singles...wonder where they trimmed the fat.

mimi
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
When interviewing, try to address your kitchen skills, your organization skills, and your need for speed.

You'll need this to overcome the bias you may find because you worked making pizza.

This is very important
 
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Joined Feb 2, 2017
I would recommend a kitchen in a supermarket. Maybe you could work in the Chinese or Italian department. 

My second suggestion would be a bar and grill.  Learn how to make good bar food. You will get to feel older because of the atmosphere.

Work hard and play harder. Bust your butt on the grill then go shoot a game of pool and pound some beers. These are the people you can make future clients if you start a catering company or personal chef etc.
 
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