My career is at a crossroads, and any wise advice would be appreciated.

Joined Apr 26, 2010
First and foremost, I appreciate anyone taking the time to read this thread.  I've been cooking professionally for a little over 3 years now with no culinary degree, but I've had the privilege of working at a wonderful resort for over two years now.  Some of that time has been spent in a casual dining experience, almost 2 years were spent in a $10 million budget banquet department, followed by a little over 3 months now spent in a 5 star restaurant, which has to this point been the milestone of my career.

I am currently working the Garde Manger station, which along with sushi and charcuterie, I'd consider to be my strong suit up to this point.  Even though I know the safe decision would be to build my breadth of experience in the somewhat safe setting of where I'm currently employed, I am drawn to move to a new area for a myriad of reasons.  Partly financial, and partly to challenge myself even more, I am looking in to several lead cook postions.  My hot line skills I would say are competent, but I can honestly say I am yet to accel.

Feasibly, I have about 2 months to bring myself to a level where I can feel confident that I can run a kitchen.  If anyone has reading or other resources, inspiration, known pitfalls, or advice, it would be very much appreciated to read it on this forum.  I believe it's in a cook's nature to bite off more than they can chew and make it happen, so I don't think I'm the only one who's gone through this in their career by any means.

Thank you for any support
Joined Dec 20, 2008
No one has commented so I will give this a bump for you.  I'm not a chef so I can't help you.  I am guessing the goal is to eventually own your own restaurant, and depending on the type of restaurant you desire will determine the amount of training you need.  If you want to be on the culinary map of elite restaurants, then you will need a little more than 3 years of OJT.  You are smart in working at different restaurants to gain the experience necessary.  Maybe seeking to add a top chef mentor to your lists would be a good step, working a year with a couple of different top chefs who would mentor you, and then when your ready would advise you. 

"Plans succeed with an abundance of counselors"  (Proverbs)  caveat, they should be counselors that know what they are talking about.
Joined Mar 3, 2010
experience is what is needed i too have about 5 years of kitchen experience and im about to graduate culinary school but its not enough skill ofr me yet. if you feel like you want to challenge yourself and not hurt yourself financially then move and to another state or place. just make sure you get a job 1st before you make the change. that is something i need t de aswell and really just want to leave louisville but as above pster suggested working with the right chef or even a sous can get you places. this is why im still working where im at for nothing because the chef and sous have taught me alot and i respect them and wont leave until im good or until the sous leaves. do what you think is best for you, network out see what is available, only you know what is best for you. good luck
Joined Sep 16, 2009
I too am not a chef but I believe that in order to fully understand the environment you are going to be in, the best experience is a hands on experience.  If you are in doubt as to your abilities to run a kitchen, start running a small one.  Once you get the hang of it, explore bigger better opportunities. 
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