What do you think i should be able to do (food/skill wise) before starting my acf apprenticeship?

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by edrodriguez, May 26, 2012.

  1. edrodriguez

    edrodriguez

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    I Just Like Food
    I think im gonna start my apprenticeship through the acf soon and im wondering what skills i should have prior to starting? Also cn anybody tell me what a regular day is like as an apprentice?
     
  2. twyst

    twyst

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    Be able to listen.   That's about it, the rest you will learn on the job :p
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Get plenty of rest night before, and wear comfortable shoes.
     
  4. chefhow

    chefhow

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    Pain.....
     
  5. Iceman

    Iceman

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    You should learn and know how to make the mother sauces, in your sleep, with one burned hand and the opposite broken foot. You need to look up and learn at least a dozen old-fashioned French dishes that you most likely will never ever have to make or serve. You need to be ready to apprentice and work under a really old master chef that speaks broken English at best, or whatever your native language may be, for +/- 23 years of very long hours and very little pay. You better be able to clean and portion a salmon while at the same time doing the same to a side of beef. God help you if you ever have any brown on your omelet. Consider changing professions and becoming a plumber if you ever do. That is just the beginning of what you should know and be able to do. Gimmee some time and I'll think of sommore stuff. It's a wild crazy ride Kid. Hold on tight. 
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Iceman  

    Don't scare this  kid   I  know cooks and even some chefs? that can't break down a side of  beef.  Meat cutting today is really not done in a restaurant or hotel like 25 years ago. Even supermarkets. Most meat comes Boxed or broken down into sub primal cuts.  I wanted whole prime ribs as they fall my spec was choice abot 40 lbs.  I had to call about 4 wholesalers and it was considered a special order.  Salmon , Yes every one should learn and know how   . as well as  fileting other fish.. If you learn 1 new thing a day and master 1 a week thats great.
     
  7. rbandu

    rbandu

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    Twyst has the right idea, as does Chefedb.  Know that you cannot put water into hot fat without evil things happening.  It's common sense, but I'm just throwing that out there based on what I've seen happen with greenhorns.  Be respectful, keep your eyes and ears open.  Taste everything (be sanitary, buy a box of plastic spoons.) Hopefully you'll get a "normal" mentor, but if you end up working for an eccentric screamer, remember that he's screaming at you because he thinks you can do better, not because he dislikes you; otherwise he'd just end your apprenticeship.

    A regular day depends on your environment.  You'll be doing an unbelievable amount of basic prep, most likely.  Word of advice, when you're working with onions, breathe in through your mouth, out through your nose and you'll never "cry."  Invest in some good insoles for your shoes.  It may seem trivial now, but when you're standing in one spot for 8+ hours...you'll appreciate the cushioning.

    I'm very excited for you.  There is no better way to go about a career in this field, IMHO.  You're going to learn to do things properly "when it matters," because people are actually going to be eating what you're preparing.  It sharpens your eye and refines your palate.  When you're done you can be certified and have that nifty CC after your name just like the schoolboys...but you'll have far more experience on the job and a greater chance of being hired by a chef/business that knows what he/she/they is/are doing.  I would pick up a former apprentice over a recent CIA grad in a heartbeat.
     
  8. Iceman

    Iceman

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    NO, if you end up working for an "eccentric screamer", it's because you are very unlucky and got stuck with a jerk. 

    The biggest problem CIA grads have is working for konw-it-all codges who have no appreciation for CIA grads. 
     
  9. kostendorf

    kostendorf

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    the good shoe comment is good advise.  and listen.  ask questions.  write things down that you learn.  but before you go in know your knives and know how to sharpen them know how to use them.  and work work work one two three jobs and different types of places.  many places will hire cooks to work night shift for a few hours and then you can keep one steady job.  keep recipes   organized that you learn.  and the mother sauces are good to know perfectly.
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I would also hire a former apprentice first.
     
  11. chefhow

    chefhow

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    I will tell you as somebody who was put thru the ringer as an apprentice to a man that was PURE EVIL at times I was MUCH better equipped and mentally prepared when I was done than 90% of my counterparts that were culinary school grads.  While they had the book smarts they had no measure of what it was to work a line on a Sat night or finish Sat night and be back at 6 am to prep and do Brunch for 400 ppl.  You can learn how to make recipes from a book but 3 years of OJT is PRICELESS!!
     
  12. duckfat

    duckfat

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    What the heck is a regular day? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif

    Seriously it's going to vary by a massive amount depending on who you work for and in what setting.

    I certainly won't say I'd universally hire some one who has done an apprenticeship Vs some one who has gone to school. I tend to hire the best person for the job.

    I've seen those who have gone either way and they are so lost it's enough to give you a brain freeze.

    An apprenticeship is only as good as the Chef/establishment you work for and ultimately you get back what you put into any program.

    IMO the best combo by far is doing both even if it takes longer to finish school.

    Dave
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Appreciation and respect  are  earned, not simply by going to some hi priced school.  As the saying goes "I'm from Missouri show me""
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012