Trails and Internships

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by jnjsqr, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. jnjsqr


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    Culinary Student
    I was offered the chance for an internship at a New York City restaurant and am going in for a trail tomorrow. It's the point in out program where a lot of students are getting internships and I find myself comparing the restaurants that we are all at.

    Should I care that some of my classmates have opportunities at higher rated restaurants? I have never worked in a professional kitchen, and a chef instructor set me up with a paying internship. After finding out that some classmates, who I will admit have more skill in the kitchen (for the time being), are at more acclaimed restaurants, I find myself being shy about telling people where mine is at bc I know they will be comparing as well. And frankly, I know nothing about restaurants and their statures, I just don't want to find out I'm working for the McDonalds of the culinary world later on. Other than google and the NYTimes, who do I go to?

    Why is culinary so damn competitive? Does the restaurant's rating matter when future chefs will be looking at my resume? 
  2. nicko

    nicko Founder of Staff Member

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    Former Chef
    You should not feel worried or concerned about getting into the higher end restaurants at this point. The fact is you are not ready since you have never worked in a professional kitchen. Ratings don't matter what matters is this, The quality of the food and is the restaurant profitable.

    Sooo many culinary students get caught up in only the food but that is one piece of the business. Knowing how to be profitable at what you do in my opinion is equally important. It is really great if you can do the most amazing molecular gastronomy etc but big deal if in the end you lose your investment. Find a great kitchen that produces great food and is profitable.

    When I was looking for me externship there were many kids who went to better places, really quite high end. When we came back to school and shared experiences you know what they did? Clean lettuce, chop herbs, peel and cut vegetables. You don't need to go to Charlie Trotters or Daniel Boluds to learn to do that. Want to know what I did? I ended up getting a spot at the four seasons in Chicago and did the following:
    • Worked in the garde mange where I broke down 30 salmon a day, butchered meats, made sauces and mayo fresh, and even did a couple ice carvings,
    • Worked the breakfast line where I learned how to be fast on a Saturday morning.
    • Worked the hot line on the potage station
    • Worked the pastry kitchen 
    • Worked the banquets
    • And worked the Sunday brunch.
    After I got done listing all I did the other people who went to the "high end" places felt gipped.

    Go for quality not the name and you will be much happier.
  3. matthewmlewis88


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    Line Cook
    Nicko, did you find that you get more exposure in hotel restaurants?