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Food & Fine Dining Hungry? Come on down to Wings - Fun, Food and Drinks.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:25 AM   #26
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Chained restaurants like Cactus, Earls, Joeys, etc., they are a good stepping stone towards the culinary field, as you learn the fundamentals of cooking. Since most of the stuff(meat cut already, sauce made, etc.) is done for you, all you gotta do is just heat it up and put it together. You do learn quite a bit from working there. I did nearly 5yrs at Cactus and learned a handful. But you got to remember, in every kitchen, there is only so much you can learn. Especially at chained restaurants where the menu rarely changes, its hard to get your hands on something else.

I did the 1yr program at VCC and even some of the instructors said; if they had 2 guys applying for a 1st cook position. One guy did his apprenticeship at Hotel Vancouver and one guy did it at some chained restaurant. He would no doubt take the guy who did it at a hotel. Because of the name and exp.
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i'd say its a bear... from what i've learned from winnie the pooh. you should be able to lure it with some honey.. and it'll be your friend for life!! then you'll meet his friends.. that crazy owl!! and that lazy ass donkey.. whats his name.. Eore or something.. if you meet his llitte piggy friend.. roast him and eat some ribs!! hahahaha.. wtf am i on!! hahaha i'm going nuts over here!!!
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:40 AM   #27
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Thanks man! Your advice really helps!
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #28
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Like Sentinel mentioned, chain restaurants are great stepping stones. Especially if you are a fast learner, you can move up to learn what they have to teach you pretty fast. I've only been working at the keg for just over 2 years now, but I've learned basically every component that I could learn from their kitchen within the first year. It's helped me apply that to the restaurant i'm at right now and even then, it's completely different going from a chain where everything is prepped, you just heat and go, to a restaurant that makes their product from scratch.

I'm assuming you're around my age so my advice is just don't put too much emphasis on where to go to as long as you have you foot through the door. You have plenty of time to get to somewhere better, but thats only if you can learn, and hone that knowledge. And like i mentioned before, offering a chef to do a stage, will really help you learn more, but potentially landing you a job
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:54 PM   #29
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if you want to learn how to cook, don't do it at a chain restaurant. having said that, its not a bad thing to work at chain restaurants though. it'll teach you line skills, knife skill and basic cooking abilities plus you'll find out fast if restaurant life is for you or not but you'll just be a robot.
even working in hotels isn't all sunshine either. sure the pay is good, but even the skill level there can be quite bad as well.
but as scottsman has said earlier, don't put too much emphasis on getting your red seal. it is a joke! the restaurant i work at now, the brigade is only about 10 cooks, but these are cooks from france, england, states and asia yet not one of them has a red seal or cares about getting one. if you want to really learn how to cook, go work abroad and go work in standalone restaurants. i'be been doing this for too long, and seen quite a bit and if i was around your age now, i'd take off to europe or asia.
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