Trial coming up and I've zero experience

Discussion in 'Jobs / Internships Postings' started by thatirishguy, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. thatirishguy

    thatirishguy

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    I've a trial next week in probably the best restaurant in my county and I've never worked in a professional kitchen or taken a culinary course but the head chef is giving me a chance and I want to know what I should expect, doors are open to customers only 4-5 hours.
    I'm pretty nervous he'll ask me to cook something and I'll mess up and be out the door lol.
    I can cook but as he said, cooking at home is completely different to cooking in a restaurant.
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  2. rpooley

    rpooley

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    I also have not been to school and do not have a lot of experience but am pretty well self-taught.  I got to work with a couple of big chefs (Michelin-starred) at a private event for 12.  When one guy realized what my experience/training was he said "just don't tell me you can do something if you can't".  I just did whatever work they gave me, checked in when I began a task to make sure I didn't finish the whole thing incorrectly, kept busy cleaning, looked for anything to help with, etc.   Worked out great and one of the guys asked me to another event a few weeks later.   /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif  
     
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  3. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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    Bring at least a chef's knife, paring knife, a peeler, a black sharpie, a small notebook, and steel. Ask them about a dress code. Black pants and black shoes are pretty standard here in NYC. 

    Ask lots of questions if they allow you to, do exactly as you are told, and I agree with rpooley, if you don't know how to do something, tell them. Watch how other people interact and do their job. Get "kitchen sense" right away. That means know where everybody is around you at all times. 

    If you aren't a full time employee, and are doing this as a "stage," you probably won't be getting near fire since they might not be insured for noobs. If they are, remember one thing. Anything on the stove is hot. Everything. Use your side towel.  

    I'm guessing you will be doing a lot of prep work like picking herbs and chopping onions in the beginning.

    Expect to learn stuff.

    Good luck and have fun!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
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  4. rpooley

    rpooley

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    @jake t buds  makes a good point about the knife bag and supplies.  It turned out I didn't really need any of it as they had ample supplies, but it still impressed the chef and kind of shows you are serious.  At least I got to do some work with my own knife and get some good mojo on it.

    Also, I would suggest remembering to thank the dishwasher every time you drop off some gunk-smeared piece of equipment.  I think they really appreciated it, especially if it's a massive Hobart mixing bowl covered in marshmallow.  
     
  5. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Courtesy will take you far in life.

    What I am going to post may sound a bit simplistic but first impressions are lasting ones....

    1. don't be tempted to splash on your favorite aftershave (a major part of cooking is being able to detect aromas and the cook next to you may not appreciate the double dose of patchouli oil you treated yourself to ) 2. good grooming counts... have recently clipped and cleaned fingernails... absolutely no polish..3. clean hair and trimmed beard ( good habit to get into is running a fine tooth comb thru any facial hair as it helps to reduce the number of rogue hairs you WILL be shedding).

    My other advice is to be "teachable".

    That means every time someone is talking, close your mouth, listen and ... write it down on the little pad you brought to the stage for later reference...along with the answers to the questions you brought with you to ask but do not under any circumstances record any of the recipes nor the tweaks of any basic dish that has been elevated by...whatever.

    If Chef wants to share he/she will let you know.

    If the place is weedy and you are not on an assigned task .... jump in to help.

    If you are making a supply run to the walk in ask if anyone else needs anything then grab a large SS bowl so you only have to make one trip.

    Another FYI is to try to avoid sweeping during service as it opens up the window for contamination (there will be exceptions like a glass or plate has shattered).

    If there is a spill just cover with a rag or two and say something like "spill" while you are wiping it up (if the area is still damp toss another few towels over the area).

    Don't worry if someone doesn't hear you...it is their responsibility to avoid potential slips and that includes glancing at the floor occasionally.

    Wash your hands every time you pass the "clean" sink.

    oops....didn't set out to write a book... show up early...and have a good time!

    mimi
     
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  6. thatirishguy

    thatirishguy

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    Guy rang me yesterday and told me he'd just hired someone from the local collage.
    There wasn't even a job advertised, he called the day after I sent my CV and told me to come in for an interview and then told me to come in for a trial the next week.
    Wasted my whole time and money.
     
  7. rpooley

    rpooley

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    Sorry to hear that.  You seem like a willing candidate, he seemed interested, doesn't make a lot of sense.  Sorry, again.  
     
  8. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Sounds like he was interested enuf to give you a lookie loo so just keep reading and practicing.

    Something else will come along.

    mimi
     
  9. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

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    • ThatIrishGuy, This business is all about taking care of the needs of today. There isn't much loyalty or caring for the applying persons needs. This is what happens when a chefs view is "People yield Business doesn't". When you were told to come in for a trial there may not have been a lot of qualified people applying. They knew you didn't have any experience in the kitchen and still told you to come in for the trial. This wasn't real fair to you unless they were willing to take you from "nothing to something" in the kitchen. In some cases it may be easier to teach a new hire "my way" instead of picking someone with a bad work history or bad habits. Take this as a learning experience. Sometimes the things that don't work out in life, are stepping stones that lead us in a better direction....Good luck, from one Irishguy to another........ChefBill
     
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  10. chef brah

    chef brah

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    i am in similar boat.

    i got part time at a michelin restaurant and i am very nervous

    even though i am comfortable with the cuisine, the way of doing everything is different...finer cuts, more precise cooking and more accurately measured ingredients.
     
  11. chefross

    chefross

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    This all brings me to a question for ThatIrishGuy.........

    You are here on these forums as an at home cook. You posted in your own words that you have never been in a professional kitchen nor have you ever taken any culinary courses What in the world made you think to even accept an offer in a professional atmosphere when you knew you were not capable?

    ChefBillyB, I agree with you in that a new hire green behind the ears could be developed through time but there's no guarantee that the new guy will work out either. It's a crap shoot.