Pay to Play...

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by kimmie, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. kimmie

    kimmie

    Messages:
    2,550
    Likes Received:
    12
    Check out the following article from the New York Times

    Where guests pay to play Chefs

    I know at least one place here in Montreal where you can "pay to play". I even know one person who did "pay to play" and really loved her experience.

    Given the opportunity, would you "pay to play" :chef: for a day?
     
  2. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

    Messages:
    9,204
    Likes Received:
    65
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    Yes! Sanford D'Amato here in Milwaukee has such a program in both his restaurants, Sanford (fine dining) and Coquette Cafe (bistro). I'm hoping for that for my upcoming significant birthday...
     
  3. kimmie

    kimmie

    Messages:
    2,550
    Likes Received:
    12
    Mez,

    Would you go for the Sanford or Coquette? :rolleyes:
     
  4. terrarich

    terrarich

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    10
    A friend sent me a link to an ebay Red Cross auction for a day in Charlie Trotter's kitchen: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=1348099963

    I don't know how I feel about the idea. It is easy bank for the restaurant, having someone pay a lot to be an assistant to a prep chef, but the purchaser of the fantasy, although the fantasy is fulfilled, doesn't really have an impact on the kitchen. As a wannabe, when I got the urge I went out and got a part-time gig.

    terrarich
     
  5. kimmie

    kimmie

    Messages:
    2,550
    Likes Received:
    12
    "Winner must sign a waiver in advance."

    What kind of waiver do you think that is? They don't want to be held responsible for cuts, bruises or burns? :eek:
     
  6. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    37
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    A liability waiver sounds fair to me. I would ask the same if managing such an event.
    I'm amazed that people will pay for such an experience.
    What next? Pay someone for the experience of delivering mail? washing dishes? waiting tables?
    PT Barnum was right.
     
  7. peachcreek

    peachcreek

    Messages:
    1,106
    Likes Received:
    148
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I think it is more an example of "How much would I have to pay you to trip over foodies in the kitchen"? Having to train large numbers of entry-level people in my career, I assure the first week or so in a busy kitchen will be completely lost on you........and over before you are able to really garner anything but the frenetic pace. My advice? Ask if they seat a table in the kitchen, get fed and watch. You will get a better value for the money spent, and the kitchen staff will appreciate you not being underfoot!
     
  8. terrarich

    terrarich

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    10
    I strongly agree with Peachcreek. The money spent on the eight-hour-experience where you don't really learn much could be better spent on a nice meal, a new knife (!) or a cooking class at the local community college.

    Terrarich
     
  9. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

    Messages:
    4,333
    Likes Received:
    82
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I would pay to play if the experience were in a bakery...only a bakery.
     
  10. isa

    isa

    Messages:
    3,236
    Likes Received:
    10
    I'd love to be able to spend time in a bakery or pastry shop but not that way.
     
  11. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

    Messages:
    9,204
    Likes Received:
    65
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    Kimmie, that's a good question: bistro or fine dining? I'd like bistro because I cook more like that myself- good, solid food with good flavors and occasional adventure.

    On the other hand, I'd love the chance to work with ingredients like truffles, foie gras and other things I rarely get to taste, much less cook with.

    Interesting dilemma!
     
  12. kimmie

    kimmie

    Messages:
    2,550
    Likes Received:
    12
    I would see it as a challenge, Mez! When is that upcoming significant birthday?? You must keep us posted! :chef:
     
  13. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,298
    Likes Received:
    878
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I think it is a great idea. More money in the door means I am closer to that new piece of equipment for the kitchen. One of the chefs I used to work for did a number of these. They are a lot of fun, but to be done right, they need to be done on slower days, if possible. Usually the chef, himself, was unavailable to supervise the person coming in, so I was up to me to supervise them. In either case, it was a chef who oversaw the person. We never just tossed them to a prep or line cook for the day, though they might spend a little time with each. After all, part of the fantasy is working with a chef, not a line cook. I find these to be a lot of fun as I got to interact, one on one, with someone very passionate about food. We would help prep for the night's service, but our emphasis really was on dinner for the person in the kitchen and a few of their guests. That way, not only do they learn something (hopefully) but then afterwards, get to show off for a few friends, and "play" chef for the evening. Normally we would charge around $100-150 for a day in the kitchen plus the dinner that was prepared, so yes, it is not a cheap proposition. One the other hand, we have also done a number of freebies for good friends of the restaurant, oftentimes for childern (teenagers) of our good clientele, who thought that they might like to go into the business. It is a good way to introduce them to the industry.
     
  14. athenaeus

    athenaeus

    Messages:
    1,389
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    At home cook
    It seems that some people in France had the same idea with Peachcreek!!

    I have just read that in France in "Gaddi's" Restaurant which is in the Hotel "Peninsula" the chef has put one table for 4 people in the kitchen!!!

    Can you imagine the waiting list for that table???