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Old 05-18-2006, 12:17 AM   #1
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Job Suggestions

I'm a recent college graduate and the job market is kind of rough right now. I don't anticipate having a job in the near future, but I need something to tide me over in the meantime. Where you fine folks come in is the type of work I'm interested in. I'm looking for just about anything I can find in some sort of food preparation.

Having no experience and no training, I can't exactly apply for a job as even an assistant chef or anything, nor do I expect to. But I'm wondering if there might be something out there, something small that requires no prior experience, that involves some aspect(s) of cooking.

I'm not too familiar with the industry, though, so I don't know what to expect or where to look. For example, do they hire people like myself to do simple things like make the endless supply of salads at Olive Garden? I'd imagine they aren't made on site, of course, but someone has to make them. Or perhaps doing some simple work in bakery or something? I think it'd be fun to learn how to make bread and hone that skill through weeks of practice. Or even just cutting vegetables or something. Anything.

So does anyone have any suggestions as to where to look for a job such as this that requires no experience?


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Old 05-18-2006, 01:10 AM   #2
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You apply as a dishwasher in a restaurant where the dishwashers also assist in food prep. Look for smaller, privately owned restaurants as opposed to chain restaurants such as The Cheesecake Factory, where they are very structured and delegate duties to specific people, such as having prep cooks who handle all the basic prep. Ask the owners/chefs about the types of duties that are expected from the dishwashers that involve food prep. You won't get strictly a food prep position because you'll be expected to know many things such as your knife cuts, emulsifications, conversions, etc., etc. and they will not have time to teach you all of these things. As a dishwasher who assists in food prep, you won't be expected to have exceptional knife skills and you can ease your way into learning and taking on greater tasks once you master what you were given.

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Old 05-18-2006, 03:00 AM   #3
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Well said, IC. Do go search out those small restaurants. They often will give you a wonderful chance.
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:49 AM   #4
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Maybe a line cook where you help out the cook.Check out a place that has a buffet and see if they need help with prep work. FAst food places are always hiring but that is something maybe not so interesting. Alot of places are willing to train.Good Luck
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:18 AM   #5
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Jon market kind of tough? Dude, the economy is on fire! People are hiring like crazy. The food business hires all the time, and right now is the time to get in.
But... a fair warning is in order. As a former restaurant owner let me tell you a thing or two. Do yourself a favor and do not do this unless you are ready to work harder than you ever have. Ready to get dirty, sweaty, under more pressure than you ever have endured before.
Be prepared to end "life as you know it" because that is what is going to happen. You will find yourself getting to work in the afternoon, work at a furious pace till 2 in the morning, then drag your tired a$$ home and plop in bed still smelling of the nights special, or of the steam table, or of the 5 pounds of garlic you processed, or nursing the burns from the fry station.

If this does not appeal to you- do us all a favor, and go to work elsewhere. Those of us who like to eat out will have a better experience if the guy in the kitchen likes what he is doinyou lg...

One more thing. Do this only if you love it. Do not get discouraged. Follow your heart.

Think about it carefully. This should not be your employment choice of last resort....
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:40 AM   #6
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and if you're really interested in the food industry, start taking a few culinary courses. many community colleges offer them. also, look fo rhte mom and pop restaraunt that needs a solid third person...you will "apprentice" . these places still exsist.
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:02 AM   #7
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Dishwasher my first thought even before I read Ironchef’s post. My restaurant is a small privately owned French restaurant and the dishwashers always end up helping prep, I even had one that became a sous chef, no BS. But when he started, he just wanted to learn to cook at work at this particular restaurant, when no job was open, he said I’ll wash dishes then. He turned out to be a success. Not everyone does this. Line cook with no experience with food, not to mention the **** of being on the line on a busy night = you get upset because you get told to get off the Friggin line your screwing up or the confusion of learning to cook while learning to hear orders, to remember what is what and so on. IC knows all about this and anyone else that is a restaurant chef/cook. It is hard and not as glamorous as they make it out to be on TV. Don’t get me wrong, it is very fun, but definitely not easy by any means. So to answer the question, either try to be a dishwasher or go work for someone who does catering, that way, you can learn to prep and cook without the pressure of cooking on a line. By the way, the restaurant stuff I was mentioning above was no to discourage you, but just to make you aware that it is not a walk in the park ESPECIALY in the beginning.
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:42 AM   #8
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I agree with chef Jimmy on looking at a good catering company. There is more time there to teach without the time constraints of getting the food out quickly.
Some days you win Some days you lose Some days you get rained out But you have to put the uniform on everyday and be ready to Play................. Nick
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Old 05-18-2006, 11:09 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I'll give them a try!
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Old 05-18-2006, 11:39 AM   #10
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I'm not familiar with your industry, but if you get a peon job somewhere and demonstrate enthusiasm and desire to do things outside your job description, chances are, someone's going to let you.

You can get some experience that way or maybe move up from there. We've all got to start somewhere.

Good luck

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