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OfflineChopperDave
member
Registered: 08/10/03
Posts: 177
Last seen: 13 years, 6 months
Any Professional Chefs out there?
    #2042725 - 10/25/03 08:39 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Its the middle of my junior year in highschool, and I need to start deciding on what I want to do. I was looking into being a programmer or something with computers, but then Pennsylvania Culinary came to our school, and I'm kinda interested in that now. If your a chef, what school did you go to? Do you enjoy your job? And if you dont mind answering these, where do you work, how long have you worked there, and how much do you make? The last question are optional, if you wish to keep confidentiality :smile:


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InvisiblePsiloKitten
Ganja Goddess

Registered: 02/13/99
Posts: 1,617
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: ChopperDave]
    #2043765 - 10/26/03 02:57 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Okay, Im not a chef.. Im in the computer industry. I strongly advise you to be a chef and not go into the computer industry if you wish to have a job when you get out of college.


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InvisibleWizzang
Deviant

Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 142
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: ChopperDave]
    #2045851 - 10/26/03 11:37 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

perhaps not prefessional yet but in a few years hopefully, once I finish school for it. Personally, I would advise you to not look at salary benefits and choose a career in something you enjoy doing and love. As they say, money can't buy happiness. My personal hell would be working at a job for the rest of my life that I hated.


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I was once a man I used to know
He changed into a man I have been
And became the man I am today


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Offlineeve69
--=..Did Adam and ...?=--
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Registered: 04/30/03
Posts: 3,871
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: Wizzang]
    #2078445 - 11/06/03 10:19 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I'm a professional chef. The career sucks even though cooking itself is an art and fairly satisfying. There's too much competition for the bleak hourly paying jobs and therefore an extreme amount of backstabbing. You can really trust noone. It's all politics and avoiding the shit hitting the fan. Old school chefs are the worst sort of assholes with ego complexes like Hitler that you will ever meet. It's insanely hard to keep your nose down and stay out of trouble because the whole profession always pushes you past your limits of tolerance and so everyone will crack and become an asshole. Therefore you wont have the righteousness of the pure to protect you when you fall. Your employers will keep a record of all your misdeeds and plague you with it when you get on their nerves. If you are a great cook the mediocre that surround you will get scared and sabotage you. You will be losing favor with the bosses for no discrenable reason and then you'll find out that a clique of old school cooks stabbed you in the back and fabricated stories to get rid of you. You really can't win. If you are the boss, the chef, then you still have the owners playing mental and emotional games with you who will try to work you until you die. You will have to contend with critics, drugged out ex-cons who threaten your life when you tell them to clean something up. In a kitchen of six, four persons will be on their cell phones the whole shift, and two of them constantly stepping out to sell dope to support their gambling habit and/or family. And they will be your better cooks. The bad cooks will fuck up croutons, and can't even toss salad without dropping half of it, and they will try to still serve it after it falls in the floor drain. You will have to watch them like a halk. Maybe you're a cool guy. You can't be a cool guy and a chef because you're training the hopeless morons of the world. And everyone on earth thinks they know fuck all about cooking because everyone has a mother or father who used to cook. Try to explain that it's your menu and you want some consistency and the guy who you trained for six months who felt that finally he knew a better shortcut will get pissed and walk out when your restaurant is in the midst of the push at 8 pm. You'll have to cook two stations and expidite and also wash dishes when they all run out because your pot washer is taking his mid evening blunt break.

But if your young, then give it a shot. On the other hand, maybe go fight in Iraq. Same difference.


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...or something







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Invisibledaussaulit
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Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 2,894
Loc: Earth
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: eve69]
    #2079062 - 11/07/03 01:12 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I'm thinking about being a professional chef. I've heard horror stories about long hours, shady things going on, and mediocre pay. Also I heard owning a restaurant was like hell. My friend compared it to "Shawshank Redemption". The part when Morgan Freeman gets out of jail near the end and he's free. After he closed the restaurant he was 100k in debt, but happy and finally free. I'm still doing it.


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InvisibleA3eyedfish
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Registered: 05/07/99
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: daussaulit]
    #2107952 - 11/15/03 12:22 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

You missed a few.....

No Matter how hard you work & how good you do, the waitresses make 2 or 3 times what you make, and drive new cars & own their homes, most cooks ride bikes to work.
You have to work on holidays.
You will become an alcoholic & have the best weed connections.
You will not have a traditional relationship, just bring chicks home from work or the bar you all went to after work.
You will most likely have to work at night, so you will become a night person & begin to hang out with all the cooks in town, after a few years you cycle around the area & know most of them.
You will have to wash dishes too, never assume a chef doesn't wash dishes, it is common to have to do all the pots & dishes before the d/w arrives because they walk out if they come in & there ia a pile there.


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Offlineeve69
--=..Did Adam and ...?=--
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: A3eyedfish]
    #2108684 - 11/15/03 10:13 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

lol, yeah, pretty true...


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...or something







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OfflineAnnoA
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Registered: 06/18/99
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: eve69]
    #2108854 - 11/15/03 01:01 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Sounds like a very rewarding job


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InvisibleChef_Tony
Rock n Chop

Registered: 11/15/03
Posts: 3
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: ChopperDave]
    #2109427 - 11/15/03 05:42 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Even if you get a great set of knives and a job that
lets you wear a fancy hat, your 9-5 friends will never
take you seriously.

Take me for example, I'M ON TELEVISION FOR CRYING OUT
LOUD and I still can't get any respect.

I should have just been a used car salesman.


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InvisibleA3eyedfish
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: Chef_Tony]
    #2113697 - 11/17/03 01:04 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Yeah but if you are on t.v., dude you have to be close to making what the waitresses do? Prolly got that fountain in front & the pool out back, just like the girls. I always like crashing at a servers place, always comfortable.


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Offlinekristina420
kronickrissy
Registered: 03/06/03
Posts: 97
Loc: Alberta
Last seen: 13 years, 24 days
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: A3eyedfish]
    #2121398 - 11/19/03 01:07 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

ok, there IS a difference between a chef and a cook.


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Offlineeve69
--=..Did Adam and ...?=--
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: kristina420]
    #2122026 - 11/19/03 09:08 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

not really, not regarding food knowledge and cooking techniques, as the best chefs are really really fine cooks. Of course you can say that a chef IS the recipe while cooks just follow recipes. But I know chefs who are lousy cooks. And others who follow the book and have no creativity. And others who freak out the second the shit hits the fan because they have no organization. In reality the titles chef and cook are just labels like Oreo, and chocolate cream filled cookie.


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...or something







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OfflineRaadt
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Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 2,104
Loc: azurescending
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: ChopperDave]
    #2122456 - 11/19/03 12:52 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I work in a restaurant, and am in culinary school at the moment. PM me if you have any questions.


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Raadt

-- The information I provide is only information from readings, growing of gourmet mushrooms, and second hand stories--


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OfflineRaadt
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: eve69]
    #2122475 - 11/19/03 12:59 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

By any chance do you work in a prison? this doesn't sound remotely like the fine dining kitchen i'm working in.

Rule #1 is dishwashers are your best friend, they take care of the shit you wouldn't want to do for ANYTHING, and they get paid jack shit for it. Generally speaking they are so well taken care of that they don't complain, because everyone knows that's the shittiest job in the kitchen, and they're getting paid the least. Not to mention if they take a 20 minute break, it shouldn't matter. Our stay far enough ahead, that the pile up is fairly minimal.

I guess it depends on the kitchen though.

However, you're very correct in the ego sense. Chefs are assholes, they've dealt with more bullshit, and more ego's than nearly anyone has, to get where they are. Every now and then you'll find someone so on top of their game that they don't need to be assholes, but for the most part... yes.. if you fuck up, expect a foot in the ass, if you do something phenomenal, don't expect any thanks, they notice, but you don't get shit for it. Always downs, never ups. The ups come when they've noticed enough and give you that sous chef position. Or your job when they leave.


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Raadt

-- The information I provide is only information from readings, growing of gourmet mushrooms, and second hand stories--


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OfflineRaadt
nicht

Registered: 06/07/02
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: daussaulit]
    #2122486 - 11/19/03 01:03 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

The horror stories are true, if you want to be a Chef, and not a cook. Expect 16 hour days, no vacation, no weekends, 6am saturdays, etc..

It's not fun, but if it's what you love, it propels you through it. I wake up at 6:45 everyday and get home at midnight. Sleep is non-existant. Not to mention my relationship with my girlfriend, which I must maintain.

If you choose the culinary career route, just make sure it's what you love, because it's very unforgiving. And realistically, doesn't pay that well. Executive chefs in top restaurants make maybe 150-350k/yr, that's about as high as you can realistically shoot for. If you somehow become the next emeril, and are lucky enough to stream into the revenue production service known as the food network, then those numbers are not even a resemblance, if you don't bust your ass every minute of every day, expect to make 35k for the rest of your career.


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Raadt

-- The information I provide is only information from readings, growing of gourmet mushrooms, and second hand stories--


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InvisibleA3eyedfish
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: Raadt]
    #2127402 - 11/21/03 02:37 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Raadt, do you work in a union controlled place?


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OfflineRaadt
nicht

Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 2,104
Loc: azurescending
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Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: A3eyedfish]
    #2127507 - 11/21/03 03:26 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

No way.


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Raadt

-- The information I provide is only information from readings, growing of gourmet mushrooms, and second hand stories--


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Invisiblesoochi
Chef
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Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 2,420
Loc: The Richest County
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: ChopperDave]
    #2133386 - 11/24/03 09:55 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I'm a chef (a commis actually), I've worked in the food service industry since I was 16. I now currently attend a major culinary school in the U.S. (any guesses???) anyway, I love food. I live food, I breathe food, I appreciate it for more than its sustainance. My passion for food is immense, Yes, my taste is expensive but that's the section of the industry that excites and interest me. You need this passion to survive in this field no matter what aspect of this career intrest you. Pretty much everything that eve said, I have experienced or dealt with first hand or know friends who have. But don't let that discourage you, it's a very rewarding job and I love doing it everyday. It's a lot of work, you work those days that everyone else has off (restaurants don't take "breaks") because that's when everyone wants to eat out. You work early and leave late, most of your fellow line cooks are drug addicts or alcoholics to some degree (usually the high degree) and your chef boss will be an asshole.


My best advice for you is to first spend some decent cash and go to a really nice restaurant (one which serves courses) and experience the food, service, atmoshphere, etc. then try to get a job anywhere that will hire you. If it still tickles your fancy, then go for it. I truly see food and cooking as an art, not enough people appreciate that fact.

Raadt, you go to cooking school, you still beleive if you bust your ass you'll only make 35K a year???? The whole point of me going to school was so I wouldn't have to start at the bottom (and I didn't)
but again that's the diffrence between the people that are culinary artists and know food and those who work the fry station at Legal Seafoods and take whatever they can.

pm me if you have any Q's but I'll have to ask you for the 6 mother sauces before answering your question :grin:

peace :tongue:


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Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!


Edited by soochi (11/24/03 10:07 PM)


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Invisiblesoochi
Chef
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Registered: 08/13/02
Posts: 2,420
Loc: The Richest County
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: PsiloKitten]
    #2133407 - 11/24/03 10:05 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

That's probably the best advice I've heard all day.


--------------------
Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!


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OfflineRaadt
nicht

Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 2,104
Loc: azurescending
Last seen: 9 years, 8 months
Re: Any Professional Chefs out there? [Re: soochi]
    #2135569 - 11/25/03 07:28 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

A sous chef at some 5 star's don't make much over 35k. I believe that if you bust your ass you'll make more than 35k, but if you go in without the driving motivation to do everything perfect, and not putting forth any extra effort, as you can easily get by with in the computer industry. Don't expect to make much.

It's difficult to make good money as a chef, from my experience. The ones who do, work their asses off.

If you're prepared to work your ass off, the world is at your fingertips... look at wolfgang puck, or emeril - empires of sorts.

Though that's not what i'm looking for in my life, i'd prefer to be executive chef at maybe one of the joachim splichal restaurants.

And yes, alcoholics are PLENTIFUL.


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Raadt

-- The information I provide is only information from readings, growing of gourmet mushrooms, and second hand stories--


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