Which is better in the long run- sous title, or more fine dining experience?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by cakelady5291, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. cakelady5291

    cakelady5291

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    My husband has cooked in various places for 15 years and is currently a line cook at a fine dining restaurant. The menu rotates weekly so he has learned more in the 1.5 years working there than all other jobs combined. An old coworker Is now exec at a new place and wants him to be the sous.

    He's managed kitchens here and there, although he was never officially promoted or paid for it, so I know he can do the job very well. He's a little on the quiet, nice side for a chef (no offense!), but I am confident that he will rise to the occasion.

    Here's the thing: the new restaurant is not fine dining. To me the menu is a chain restaurant's with the addition of quinoa and rack of lamb. I want some opinions on whether this would be a good move or not. He has had a lot of experience thus far, and does want to be a sous, but is it worth going back to cooking run of the mill food to get that title on his resume? Will the title mean anything if he gained it in that setting?

    For years, he has gone back and forth between being passionate about food and wanting to be a chef, and just cooking because his years of experience get him better pay than something else would. Dealing with his current Chef's mood swings right now puts a damper on his enthusiasm a lot of the time. I'm sure he'll have the freedom to create specials at the new place, but the owner wants a static menu so that's about it. He gets along really well with the Chef of the new place, so that would be a welcome change.

    He would make more money at the new place, but it's probably salary so his hours will increase as well. I would also go in while he's not working to do desserts, giving us some extra money.

    I'm sure there's more detail I should include, and my post could be more organized. Sorry about that. I'm posting from my phone while two toddlers vie for my attention. I'll be happy to clarify or add any information. Thanks in advance for your opinions!
     
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    Titles are just that. They are a name. Many place have no clue what the word "SOUS" means. They throw out the word so as to sooth the ego and make the person feel important.

    The Sous has all the qualities that the Chef does. They are closer than most marriages. The Sous is in charge while the Chef is not in the kitchen.  When I hear that so and so restaurant made a 19 year old college intern the Sous Chef, I roll my eyes and know that it isn't right.

    Your husband, from what you tell us, could possibly be a Sous.

    The menu is irrelevant.

    The job duties are what makes the title, not the food.

    If fine dining is more important to your husband then "a chain restaurant's with the addition of quinoa and rack of lamb."  then he has to decide what he wants.

    Just my $.02
     
  3. cakelady5291

    cakelady5291

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    Thanks for your input chefross. Yes, this is a real sous chef position; his duties will primarily be managerial, although I am sure he and the exec will be working chefs since they both enjoy bein on the line.

    My husband is in his 30's so it is definitely not like the 19 year old exec situation. Although he does really love cooking in fine dining restaurants, he really does want to work toward being an executive chef one day so we are in agreement that taking this job is a step in the right direction. Once he has a few years of managing a kitchen on his resume, then he can work on getting back into nicer restaurants.

    I'll make sure to introduce him to this forum, and I'm sure he'll be on in the future. I've enjoyed the posts I've read and really appreciate the time you all put into helping each other out.
     
  4. hautesaute

    hautesaute

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    my advice should be taken with a grain of salt (or a spoonful). i'm not the best or most ambitious cook in the world, but i do have my pride. and i was telling myself this same thing today...i could never work somewhere (again) that i wasn't proud to tell people i worked there. i don't think anyone in the kitchen should consider themselves the best. we all have much to learn and should appreciate that. if you know everything then it's time for retirement. 
     
  5. squirrelrj

    squirrelrj Banned

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    I think everyone in the kitchen should consider themselves the best, all the while not letting that mentality get to their head or give them a "i'm better than that attitude"

    You can consider yourself the best while still learning every single day.
     
  6. hautesaute

    hautesaute

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    i disagree. "stay humble, stay hungry" is my motto. when i think i am the best in my particular kitchen i move on to a new one. 
     
  7. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Ms. Cakelady .35 years ago I went from fine dining to Volume banquet catering and non fine dining sports complexes.. I am glad I did. Why?because of the $ factor., and looking out into a dining room after feeding 2000 guest and seeing smiling faces makes me happy. . Plus prestige and ego does not buy me a new car everyyear or send my kids thru college.

        Granted I was glad I had the background I did as it always came in and still does come in handy. Almost all of this fast and new food concepts come down from the old classic basics in one form or another. He will have more of a knowlege of what goes with what and purchasing specs then these new places think they do,if  he does not take the shot now he never will. Go for it  and good luck  

    I commend you on your looking out for him.  ejb.

    PS I still learn everyday and I am semi retired, but I am also a realist

    The owner of the place is going for the bucks  as is corporate so then why shouln't he?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  8. robo

    robo

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    do what you love to do best, money will follow.
     
  9. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    This is golden advice! My path changed very similar to chefedb and it allowed me to raise my family in a much better way. Look at your children and think about what is best for there future.

    It also sound as if your hubby could be in a great situation for future jobs by taking this Sous position.Good luck on his decision...........