New to everything!

Joined Jul 6, 2011
Hey there, Ive been interested in cooking since I first learned how to make an edible sunny-side up. So I've just moved to a big city and have been working as a line cook at a chain restaurant for the past 2 months, worked my way from busser to dishwasher and now on the line. I absolutely love it, despite the fact that it's really not cooking, more like super high volume assembly line work. I'm on friers, and it's definitely chaotic (especially during the summer, weekends mash me up from time to time). Anyways. I'm just looking for any advice on advancing. I work at a Jack Astor's, if that helps give some frame of reference. I'm planning to stay for at the very least 1 year, ideally 2 depending on how well I can handle it. So far so good, it's just hard to say long term what my plans might be. I was interested in doing an apprenticeship with the head chef, but they don't have their red seal certification so that's not an option. Would taking classes be a good idea for me, or should I just slog it out for a year or two and then try getting into smaller / more authentic kitchens? Once again, I'm completely new to every aspect of this. The chefs I've talked to tell me I'm doing myself a huge favour by working in a super high volume place like this, because it shows I can handle shitstorms without losing my cool. Any advice or resources for me to read through as a complete newbie would be hugely appreciated. Sorry for the long winded entry, just really looking to hear some thoughts and perspective for someone in my position (21, no post-secondary, and this is my first time working in a kitchen).

Thanks a bunch!
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Hi Narwhal- welcome to Chef Talk. It sounds like you're making a way for yourself, and are keeping your eyes on the prize.

I suggest you ask your questions about advancing in the Professional Chefs' forum, rather than only here in the Welcome Forum. More people who can answer will see it there.

Chef Talk has been going more than 10 years. You'd be doing yourself a favor to use the search tool here to locate earlier discussions on topics similar to the questions you've posted. It's a good bet others have been in your spot before, and their experience can help guide yours. Besides the discussion forums we have cooking articles, equipment and cookbook reviews, photos, wikis and more. We hope you'll take some time to explore the whole site.

Good luck to you! I hope you stick around and make this a regular stop- to learn, but also to share your experiences.


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