what to expect when doing first "fine dinning" trail in NYC

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by elliot782, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. elliot782


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    I am a line cook working in new jersey. i was originally a dishwasher and now i have been cooking for about 7 months now. i have progressed really well and i feel very confident in my abilities at my current place. i work garmo (salad), fryer, and iv'e done a little bit of the Entremetier station too.

    i want to move to nyc and work in the city. i'm hungry to work my way up. i want to be a chef some day, i simply want to make amazing food. im currently thinking of applying to some good restaurants in the city the only thing is a lot of them ask for "1 year of fine dinning experience" though i feel like if i talked to them and showed them i want to learn and i can learn fast they would give me a shot. what kind of tests might a chef put me through when i come into trail? what should i expect? what should i focus on to show him that i can hold things down if he hires me? I feel pretty confident in working fast and being able to handle being in the weeds but i am just a bit worried that my raw skills wont be enough to have the food at a high enough level.
    thank you, any advice would be appreciated.
  2. chefwriter


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    Professional Cook
    I think one year of fine dining experience could be translated as one year of keeping your mouth shut, working very hard while doing what you are told, Exactly how you are told, over and over again. Fine dining is very precise work, no variations from the chef's vision are allowed. When you are told you did it wrong, you don't argue, you do it over.
    If you can demonstrate that you can take the heat, you should be fine.
  3. chefross


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    Former Chef
    In addition may I add also that upscale dining Chefs will be looking at you.
    Your knife skills, your hygiene, your organizational habits will be on display.
    Even if Chef puts you on cleaning and stringing an entire case of green beans, you must show how professional and organized you are.
    You must show Chef that you are better than the hundreds of other applicants he/ she gets on a weekly basis
  4. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Professional Chef
    I have to echo what the others have said. If you get a chance to come into a place and do a "working interview" the chef is going to be looking at you for some very specific things.
    1. Skills- you need to have great knife skills and solid cooking skills, knowing the basics of sauté, grill, garde manger work, etc.
    2. Organization-how you work, how you keep your area, how you prioritize
    3. Cleanliness and sanitation-from how, you personally, present yourself, to keeping your area clean and using basic sanitation
    4. Interaction-how you interact with the cooks around you, the sous chef, and the head chef. Do you ask pertinent questions, but not questions about too simple things?

    Remember, so chefs like cooks without too much experience-no bad habits they have to deal with and break you of. Often, it is as much about attitude as it is experience. I'd much rather hire someone with little experience that is hungry to learn what I can teach them, over someone with tons of experience who would rather try to do things their way than mine.
  5. chef brah

    chef brah

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    Culinary Student
    i am currently working in fine dining in nyc. just started recently although i had some prior experience.

    for trail..they ll check your taillage/knife skills and ask u to assist in prep work.
    they will tell u about different stations and tell u about tasting menu.

    like others said..fine dining is lot of work...i get done at 1 am at night...we do next days prep after service at night.
    precision is key..even if garnish is not placed at correct angle on the plate..they ll ask u to fix it...every piece of produce has to be prepped right..and cannot be slightly lumpy etc.
  6. Cdp


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    18 years Chef recent promo to Sous
    everything said is 100% correct,

    you will be broken sooner you learn to accept that the better,
    the plate will have 5 moves you will plates in 5 moves -repeat have chef make the plate and show and you use that plate to replicate,
    remember the person came in for the pan seared quail last week loved it and wants it again...they want the same dish as before not a variation.
    ironed uniform and appron-everyday
    you wrap something name date and your initial- you sign it you did it remember not up to par they come for your ass
    no news is good news if your not getting spoken to is a general voice of your doing well.

    job wise doing more 1/2 ass will cause more headaches doing less but doing it 100% is more acceptable as speed will come in time.

    mental note- you will find the in house mother hen who will guide you ..LISTEN to this person this person chef trusts

    don't be be bitter-be better