West Coast?

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Joined Oct 4, 2016
Hello Chefs, I'm a cook in Atlanta, Ga with 4 years experience. My resume is mostly fine dining with some solid names and my skills are good. I've held every position and I'm getting ready to leave a full time production pastry position to go back to the line.

The thing is, I'm really ready to leave Atlanta for the west coast and right now I'm looking at San Francisco.

Is there anyone who has worked or is currently working in San Francisco that wouldn't mind giving some advice? Also, I'm sure there are plenty of others that would like to see a thread on this.

Here's a few questions to kick things off:

Is there anything in particular these high profile Chefs are looking for? What would a viable candidate's resume look like? Or is it more about "who you know" rather than what you know?

Where do the cooks live? At the lower end of the totem pole with a lower income, where's the housing? I'm married with a 12 year old daughter so shared rooms aren't an option. (Former military, career changer)

What is the pay like for a line cook/commis/CdP in San Francisco?

Thanks in advance!
 
4,769
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
Is there anything in particular these high profile Chefs are looking for? What would a viable candidate's resume look like? Or is it more about "who you know" rather than what you know?

They are looking period, there is a labor shortage.

Where do the cooks live? At the lower end of the totem pole with a lower income, where's the housing? I'm married with a 12 year old daughter so shared rooms aren't an option. (Former military, career changer)

$2,000 unfurnished studio in Tenderloin

$3500 unfurnished 1 bdrm in Tenderloin

parking can be a problem so keep in mind garage space rental $250

What is the pay like for a line cook/commis/CdP in San Francisco?

$16
 
2,238
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Joined Feb 17, 2010
And to add, the tenderloin ain't where you want to be.
When I worked in the city many, many moons ago I lived in Hayward, San Leandro area. A bit more affordable There is a commute, Bart services that well.
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
San Francisco ain't the town it used to be. It would be real hard to find any place to live worth wide in the city. The city also has a lot of homeless and the city isn't controlling them real well. At one time it was my favorite city, it's not even on the top 10 list anymore. What is your opinion of Portland, Or or Seattle ??? Lots of good thinks in both cities with a good nightlife. The Pacific Northwest has a lot to offer with great hiking trails a short hop out of town. The Ocean is less than 50 miles West of Portland, the weather is in most cases mind.......Thats my push for the PNW..........Good Luck.........
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
@combatcarl, you might take a look at Napa. Michelin star restaurants. Big name chefs. Good food scene. It ain't cheap either, but still cheaper than SF and you wouldn't have to pay for a parking space. 2 bd (in a much nicer neighborhood than Tenderloin of SF) can be found for $1200, plus I imagine if you get out of Napa proper prices start to drop.
 
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Joined Oct 4, 2016
Thanks cheflayne cheflayne , chefbuba chefbuba , chefbillyb chefbillyb . I really appreciate the advice!

cheflayne cheflayne $16/hr? Wow I wouldn't have expected that. I'm looking at taking a line job at a place here in Atlanta for "around $15+/hr." I would've thought SF cost of living and big name profits would warrant a little more than that. Hm that's interesting.

And thanks for the tip on Napa. I'll definitely look closer there.

chefbillyb chefbillyb Yes I've also considered both Washington and Oregon (and even Vancouver), but still exploring San Francisco as a possibility for now. If there are any specific places there I should look at, I would definitely be interested to know.

Another question for all. In my limited experience, showing up in person with resume is one of the best strategies for landing a job, but with such a big move I'm really feeling like I need to have a job ready and waiting when I get there. I'm thinking I just need to get in touch via email/web somehow. Then, if I can somehow stand out in what I imagine to be a vast ocean of emails for stages and I get accepted to come interview, I'll just make a short trip for a stage first? Or maybe set up several stages for my trip. How have you guys done big moves like this in the past?
 
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Joined Dec 27, 2014
So i love sf and when I worked there (2015-2017) I cleared about 55k a year as a Cdp. Really great food scene from the restaurants to the farmers.

Now like others said affordable housing in the city is almost impossible to find. I would look at the east bay and commute in. Same vibe as sf just cheaper and more like the way sf used to be. Also Berkeley/Oakland have some great restaurants too. Napa would be better suited for families. LA is really up and coming too.

As for jobs literally every where is hiring and if you have drive and a good head on your shoulders you will not have any trouble getting hired.

I would recdomend coming out for a week or two and set up like four or five stages just to see what chefs are doing out here. If you're interested I can even recommend some of my favorite restaurants for you to check out.

Good luck
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2016
LA is the hottest place in terms of culinary innovation and cuisine explosion.

why dont u look there also?

i find LA much much more affordable as compared to SFO...its easy to find cheaper places to live..but i dont know what they are paying these days.

i personally wanna work in new york for 2 years then move to LA.
 

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