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Old 08-28-2006, 09:14 PM   #21
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OK, I've recovered sufficiently from the weekend to post an update!

I had a lot going on this weekend: my monthly meal for the Shelter on Sat. for one thing. I didn't have much help this time. Anyway, that's neither here nor there but it kept me busy from the time I got up, almost until the time I needed to be at the Club.

I arrived at the Yacht Club on time on Sat. afternoon dressed in black trousers & a red Weskit top - thanks to DCer's advice. I honestly thought I was there to "observe" but I had a Chef's Jacket on within 5 minutes & I was there to participate as much as I could. Put the jacket & apron on, clipped up my hair & got going!

The Chef was fine to work with - no tantrums or yelling - decent guy. (I really think it helped that my BIL (Jed) graduated from Johnson & Wales & worked at a few private clubs with the General Manager of the Yacht Club. Jed lived with the G.M. in GA - for the Augusta National. My BIL is good. It's kind of a shame that he's doing carpentry/construction now. He's very good at that, too, & he seems to be happy with what he's doing so that's good enough for me.)

The Sous Chefs/Line Cooks were great. I really, really liked them. The guy who trained me for Pantry was also very nice - he's going back to college at the end of this week. That's why they're looking for a replacement.

As I'm doing my research, applying at different places & picking DCer's brains, I'm learning that there are a lot of different areas when it comes to cooking for a living. All of this is helping me to better focus on what I want to do. Some time ago I came across a web site that gave descriptions of the different positions: Pantry, Sous Chef, etc. I can't find it now but I would love to be able to look at it again to brush up on the terminology!

I can handle the pressure of a restaurant kitchen - where orders are coming in - but that's not really where I fit best. I'm best suited for a place where I can do prep work, I guess you call it: soups, sauces, dressings, individual portions of whatever the cooks need to prepare quickly. That kind of thing - I'm not sure what that job would be. So I'm now looking for a position with a catering company or a cafeteria/buffet type place. The nursing home where I am interviewing tomorrow will probably fit the bill, too. I'm guessing it means preparing mass quantities of food - to be doled out in individual portions.

What an adventure this is - I so appreciate all of your input - whether I like what you have to say or not.

Corinne: Shane's Mom
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Old 08-29-2006, 12:22 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinne
I'm not asking to be coddled - just to be treated as a fellow human & given a fair shot.
Well I was just recently hired as a pantry chef, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt. If it's a fair chance you want, then you will have to do some very long and hard searching to find a hiring chef who will hire, as someone said, a clean slate. I may have just been hired, but I went to a LOT of interviews before finding my current employer. Some chefs weren't interested, some wanted to start me washing dishes ( be careful of these, b/c many say you can work your way up, and you CAN, but it's not likely to be in their plans for you to do so), and some were downright mean. I was all but hired at a national chain restaurant which shall remain nameless, but I very purposefully neglected to return the head chef's phone calls after I saw how she treated her staff. In my very limited experience, I have found that the places who alway seem to be hiring are doing so for a specific reason. Lots of kitchens are hostile environments, and that's all there is to it.

Eventually I struck gold, and got hired at a very "frou-frou" type of place, as you describe it, where dinner for 2 can easily reach beyond $200. The head chef there was very outgoing, and while slightly disappointed at my lack of experience, he was very excited about my enthusiasm. He made it clear that it was a fast-paced environment, and there would be alot to learn very quickly. So I dove right in and I'm loving it! The place I work is not the sort of place I would ever choose to dine at myself, but I must say, the work they do there is amazing. If this is something you want to do, keep up the search. My work environment is very friendly and is all about having fun with the people you work with, and having fun making incredible food. I happen to love the rush of 7PM on Friday evening with lines out the door, but it's not for everyone.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:30 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinne
The photo is of my beloved only child, Shane. He died 2 1/2 years ago.
http://www.truerwords.net/shane/memorial.html
Oh, Corinne ... I'm so very sorry! I had no idea, of course -- I'm a relative newbie here and never think to research people's ID's. As a mum myself, you have my most heartfelt condolences. Please forgive.
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Old 08-29-2006, 10:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinne
Some time ago I came across a web site that gave descriptions of the different positions: Pantry, Sous Chef, etc. I can't find it now but I would love to be able to look at it again to brush up on the terminology!
Corinne, Here is an article I had on my website last week, is this like something you are looking for? http://cookingspot.com/articles/staff.aspx
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Old 08-29-2006, 03:09 PM   #25
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I'm not a chef, so I really have no advice to give other than try reading "Heat" by Bill Buford. He wanted to know what kind of a cook he could be if he worked in a professional kitchen. He gets "hired" (free) on at Babbo, Mario Batali's three-star New York restaurant.
quite enlightening read - don't think I could handle that kind of pressure, but I would like to learn to cook better.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:55 PM   #26
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Look into Food Service

Corrine, you might find you are happier working for a Food Service corporation rather than a restaurant.
Try Sodexho, Compass, Aramark, Flick, Chartwells. They all have accounts nationwide, and Sodexho is worldwide, from Antarctica to Stonehenge. They all have websites and all the sites list openings that might be available in any accounts.

These companies are prepared to hire with little or no experience and train from within. Many of them are daytime hours only, especially if you look in the corporate or campus divisions.

Corporate - Think of a large office building that has an employee dining room.
Campus - College and University campuses
Independent Schools - private schools, usually K-12
Healthcare - Hospitals and nursing homes
Facilities - groundskeeping

The operative word when you look in the want ads or on line is Foodservice, and not restaurant.

Good luck. I'd love to hear how you make out.
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Old 08-29-2006, 07:15 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton
Oh, Corinne ... I'm so very sorry! I had no idea, of course -- I'm a relative newbie here and never think to research people's ID's. As a mum myself, you have my most heartfelt condolences. Please forgive.
Ayrton, there is no need to apologize. Of course you didn't know! And don't feel badly for bringing it up. I love the opportunity to talk about him or just say his name. That doesn't happen a whole lot anymore so, thank you!

Corinne
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Old 08-29-2006, 07:15 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Jimmy
Corinne, Here is an article I had on my website last week, is this like something you are looking for? http://cookingspot.com/articles/staff.aspx
That is *exactly* what I was looking for. Thank you so much!
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Old 08-29-2006, 07:17 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue
Corrine, you might find you are happier working for a Food Service corporation rather than a restaurant.
Vera - you hit the nail on the head. I want Food Service - not restaurant cooking. I just needed to find out the right terms, etc., for what I want to do. Thank you so much for the names of all those companies. I will definitely check them out.
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:25 PM   #30
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Corrine, needing the names of professtional kitchen staff

Hello Corrine's Mother, The web site you need for ''The Kitchen Brigade". The names of each position in a professional kitchen can be found at the cookingspot.com/artic/staff.aspx I hope this helps, good luck!! P.S the position that fits what you are looking for is "prep cook". Good Luck........MJohnson
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