Taking a step back

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by mini chef, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. mini chef

    mini chef

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    So guys just wanted to hear of similar situations like mine and what the outcome was for you guys..

    Alright so im 22 years old and currently the executive chef of a very popular 40 year old restaurant that is projected to gross over $3.5 million this year. I have been in this position for a year now, before i was the sous for 1.5 years.

    Last year in December we were bought out by the current owner and our group has 5 stores. We have a corporate chef who has worked with Keller and is classically French trained and he is the one who promoted me.

    I honestly feel like i was put into this position too soon in my career. Don't get me wrong, i can hang on the line and know a decent amount about food but its time for a step back. I have gained an immense amount of knowledge this year, more then i have learned in my 5 year career but im just burned out.

    My girlfriend lives 4 hours away and i love where she lives so a few weeks ago we started talking, that turned into me applying for college and staging at one of the best restaurants in the area.. its all farm to table, locally sourced stuff, something which Ive always dreamed of. The chef once again is French trained and has worked for Jean George in France & Boulud. The place is way smaller and finer then im use to, what im doing currently is about 1000 people a day in season.. This would be 250 at the most.

    Well the stage went great and i got offered a position and start shortly.

    Hopefully i didn't lose you guys by now, i just wanted to hear personal stories and any advice that you guys could give a young chef.. Anything would really help!

    Thanks guys

    - payito
     
  2. beastmasterflex

    beastmasterflex

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    You're young learn all you can while you've got the energy for it. Knowledge is power, and this farm to table place sounds like a fountain.
     
  3. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    Agreed , like you said you have 5 years of experience , so many things to learn and so many cuisines , and techniques to be dominated. 

    Switch it up , this farm to table place seems likes a gold mine. 

    That and you do have a life outside of the kitchen maybe its time to be closer to your girlfriend as well. 

    In your shoes i would take the farm to table restaurant , even though its smaller , doesnt mean you wont learn many new things, along with interact with new people. 
     
  4. chef torrie

    chef torrie

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    Get out! Switch it up good sir! The biggest mistake that young people in this industry make are taking the job for the money fresh out of culinary school or whatever training you've had. And its such an easy mistake to make. Everyone is trying to make that big money, climb out of the whole that is student loans. My advice to you would be definitely go to this smaller place. Learnnnn! Your 22, screw that corporate mumbo jumbo. And your getting paid at this farm to table place as well! When I graduated from culinary school, I sacrificed a whole lot. I took an apprenticeship to learn from one of the best chefs in the world, taking home the equivalent to 50 dollars a week! The knowledge, however was priceless.

    So again, in short, make the change while your young!
     
  5. mini chef

    mini chef

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    I figured that's the responses i would get. Just making sure i wasent like ruining my career haha!

    This is for sure happening, i have 4 shifts left and the chef up there is begging me to come up earlier.

    Im really sick of the whole faux-corporate setting. The place use to be kinda like a dive place, dark and grungy but incredibly popular and busy, were right on the dock and all the drugs use to come through there in the 70's & 80's but now it looks like an applebees :(
    Im definitely ready to slow down and cook real food for once.
     
  6. mini chef

    mini chef

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    So fellas, a little update!

    So I'm about 6 shifts into my new life and love it!

    Transitioning into fine dining has been the best step I've ever taken. Ive learned so much in just a week already! I was started on sauté and have the station down pretty well by now. The most we've done so far is 200 people and that went pretty well considering 250 is the most they will ever do there.

    I have burns everywhere but I'm going home happy every night! Met some awesome people as well!
     
  7. kaiquekuisine

    kaiquekuisine

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    Congrats minichef. 

    Hope you feel comfortable in this new enviroment as well. 

    Last night i also got a call from my old boss, who told me not to get hired because they may just call me back in january. Been 2 months of no work for me , and i cant wait to get that call and go straight into doing weddings , and events for 200 people (i had left because of the chef, but seems she is quitting after new years so cant wait). 

    Keeping fingers crossed till then. 

    Hope you enjoy the ride on this new adventure!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013