Unsure of my Next Step

Joined Apr 26, 2021
Hello all,
Let me first introduce myself by saying I have been working in the restaurant industry for 11 years. I am 28 years old.It is not until now that I am feeling that I have wasted a big chunk of time and have not successfully entrenched myself in a restaurant for longer than 2 years. I almost feel as if I keep joining a restaurant as ( sous chef, head cook , cook) and for one reason or another I end up quitting within a year or so.

I have feelings of shame and guilt that my resume is not filled with being in a restaurant for longer than a year and a half. I have taken a hard look at myself and want to change that moving forward in my thirties . I feel as thought I have passed many opportunities by rage quitting , or thinking I could find a better place. By better opportunities I mean high end fine dining restaurants, where I was getting paid the highest my whole career.

This introspection was only verified by going to about 7 interviews for a sous chef position. ( have only been jr sous before) and not hearing back from them. One of them telling me they can't trust me because of my resume.

My ideal place of work would be souschef a higher end french or Italian fine dining restaurant in my city. I am at cross roads, and do not know whether to join a high-end restaurant as a cook again. Or take an opportunity to be a head chef at a Greek restaurant. I know I would have to stay at this place for 3 + years, but I have fear that this being a "greek " restaurant will hinder my job opportunities in the future. ( me wanting to work for French/italian bistro steakhouse ) .

Any words of wisdom, support , or encouragement are welcomed.

..from cook to chef
Joined Mar 1, 2017
First, welcome to CT. :)

Second, the only way to remedy your problem is with time. Stay in one place. Figure out those issues about yourself that have compelled you to move so frequently from one place to another and work on them.

From an owner's perspective, I wouldn't care if you spent 3+ years at a Greek restaurant. What I would care about is the fact that you were there for more than three years. That's what's important; the dependability. Work on that. Without it, you may as well pursue a rewarding career at The Home Depot.
Forget about the "higher end Italian or French fine dining" thing for now and focus on focusing. Once you become dependable, then you can rightfully say you're ready for a leadership position in a professional kitchen.

Good luck. :)
Joined Oct 31, 2012
What Sgsvirgil said. It isn't the type of restaurant that's the problem. And I would tell you that you can apply at a French/Italian bistro steakhouse but try applying as a cook, then work your way up. If your past comes up in the interview, acknowledge it openly and show you recognize your shortcoming.
So you get in the door, prove your dependability and attitude are in order and then when you become Sous chef or chef, you've earned the position and have also held a job for a reasonable length of time.
But do some research first. Every job will have things to make you mad and want to quit. So make sure have some idea of how the place is run and whether or not you can deal with that before you apply.
Joined May 5, 2010
I feel as thought I have passed many opportunities by rage quitting , or thinking I could find a better place

One more thing to think about. Your rage issues. If you can't control them and understand why, then you'll be doomed to repeat the same over and over again.
Joined Aug 13, 2019
They will ask you when you are ready. Its very difficult to go in cold as a sous or chef, like previously stated, go in with the intention, and attitude, learning it all. 28 seems to be the time frustration hits. Sometimes you have to pay passage to get where you want to be. I always strived to be better or equal to all the cooks on every station. Never quit learning. Good luck. Never fool yourself into thinking you are entitled to anything.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
Hey Chef, Welcome to CT. I worked in about 19 Restaurants and food services on my way up to becoming self taught Chef and owner. I never had a hard time getting another position when leaving another restaurant. Use your multiple job experiences as building blocks to the experience you have gained at present day. When you go to a job interview explain the experience and knowledge you obtained by working different Cuisines. If you stayed in one restaurant and one Cuisine, you would only know that. By moving around in the early yours in your career it gave you an opportunity to gain this knowledge and offer this to a new employer today. Explain that you are now ready to settle into a Chefs position and use your past experiences and knowledge. It's up to you to sell this idea to the new employer. If you can't sell yourself no one can........CjhefBillyB
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