Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by SevenEightOh

  1. If you really want ANYTHING, you'll do whatever you can for it. I don't think that this kid should think of himself as having to jump into it so quickly. There's a bad habit in the US to think that right out of high school you must know everything about yourself and everything that you want to be/do in life. The sad fact is, though, that the majority of people don't learn who they are and what they want to do until they're 23-27years old. That's the period where we go through the most change. Yeah, it helps that you have an idea that you want to get into the food industry now, but it is hard, and it is for a select group of people to excel (just like accounting is for a select group to excel, or carpentry, or any career out there). If you want to be better than simply good at something, then pursue what you like. If you don't know what you like, then try something (say cooking) and if that doesn't work out, then try something else. I'd suggest the time off in between high school and Uni for that fact. It'll give you that extra year to figure out what you like and if cooking is REALLY what you want to get into. You don't have to enter this business at such a young age because regardless of how old/young you are, there will ALWAYS be someone younger and better than you. . . that's just a fact of life. That being said, it helps to have the speed and wits of youth about you to get yourself moving up the ladder quickly. I guess what I'm trying to say is relax, enjoy your last few years as a kid, and don't let people who don't even know you tell you where your passions lie. Let yourself figure that out. I sound like a hippy, don't I? In truth, I'm just some young kid who dropped out of University after two years and ended up in kitchens because it was what I wanted to do, and I haven't looked back since.
  2. My suggestion, then, is to tell these people that you will return right after your birthday and keep in contact with them. Make sure that they have a position available for you right when the law gets out of your way. For now, then, keep up with your orchestra and have fun for the last few months you've got until you enter this world. . . which is its own sort of dedicated fun. Hell, you're not even 18 and you're trying to decide who and what you want to be for the rest of your life. Relax. Enjoy yourself.
  3. I recently moved to Barcelona, and have scoured around searching for shop selling artisan oils and vinegars in the city, only to find very little. Is there specialty store in the city for this kind of thing, or perhaps it's at a dry-foods store at one of the markets? Also, artisan dairy products, do they exist in town? Fresh local butters and milks? I've found eggs at the market, so that's getting close, but I'm missing my dairy. Thanks for your help.
  4. I would agree with most people here. . .. Go to university. It'll open more doors for you, and you'll be able to then decide which path you want to follow in life. You could even do some part-time kitchen or restaurant work while studying to see if it's the kind of business that you're really interested in being involved. Or, better yet, maybe get a kitchen post during your time between high-school and uni. Maybe take a year off in between and learn the basics of kitchen-work in that time. Usually, you can defer acceptance to a later year, giving you the chance to "find yourself" or whatever. This might help you make your decision before you pump the thousands of dollars into university OR culinary school. But yes, especially if you're set on the food science route, you best education bet would be university before (or maybe even in place of) culinary school, and do some time in a kitchen during said period. Good luck
  5. Totally. My first restaurant job was at a Joey Tomato's, and they told me that they were preening me to take the Red Seal test. Knowing what I know now in kitchens, and being as far as I am now, I see the Red Seal in a more realistic light (realistic as to how it reflects in REAL kitchens), and I've just got to say that the Red Seal is utter crap. And this is from someone from Alberta. If you've taken the SAT or the Stat 9s, then you'll be alright for a T/F Red Seal test.
  6. Maybe it's a union thing. Perhaps the teamsters worked it out so that nobody could be promoted above them or into their crew without formal training as part of their contract with the hotel/institution. But then again, I don't know much about unions.
  7. ← Wouldn't someone with ten years in banquet and large functions with an excellent resume and references be qualified for this job as well? What does the culinary degree that he/she earned a decade earlier have anything to do with current performance?
  8. Oh yeah, not line cooks. But, I'm still surprised that mystery baskets still exist. I haven't heard of them for a long while, but I suppose that's because my city is a fairly tightly knit community, and if you're getting a new sous-chef or chef, chances are you know him through a friend or another restaurant whom you trust.
  9. Do restaurants really do mystery baskets, still? I thought that the love-affair with competition style cooking had gone to Bravo, Food Network, and Miami.
  10. Ah, to be in a position where "mommy and daddy" could pay for such things!! It sounds like school worked out for you, then. Great! I've got friends who are thinking of changing careers now into this one, and the last thing that I want to do is completely crap all over their plans to study at a culinary institution.
  11. Now, I guess that what I'm wondering about is all those restaurant job postings that you see up that require someone to have had culinary school experience (often just CIA), and not just kitchen experience. I mean, these aren't really places where I would work, but a curiosity. What does it change after you've been in this business for 5 years, 10 years, whatever? Can you really remember that cumberland sauce recipe from five years ago if you haven't had to make it for work in the interim? If two applicants had the same amount of time in restaurants, but one had a degree from CIA and the other one worked positions of more responsibility at better restaurants, wouldn't you hire the latter? My parents keep asking me if I'd like to go to culinary school in the future, and if I feel like I'm missing something from having not attended. I used to think that I'd go if I decided to try pastry out, but then I did a stage at a bakery and a chocolaterie, and realized that I could supplement a formal education that way. At this point, school's probably out of the picture.
  12. When I first started in kitchens, the option to go to culinary school was there, but I never went. Now, with five years in the business, I've managed to leap my way up to a top position in a top restaurant due to personal competence, honour, and loyalty. Occasionally, I wonder if I would have been better off going to CIA or elsewhere, but I have to say that you're all making me very happy to have never gone to culinary school.
  13. I ate there this evening, and to be honest I found nothing to be special about the place except the service staff having a chaotic service behind the bar. It looked like amateur hour. No communication, and confusion abound. The burgers were okay, but "okay" usually doesn't cost $8.75. We tried the fries, sweet potato fries, and onions, but all three had left the kitchen without any sort of seasoning. Monday nights are usually for the B-team, I know, but even B-teams should know how to throw on some salt. Maybe it was an off night. I guess that I'm supposing a burger for $8.75, from a place that is always packed and that people have been raving about on egullet and chow, would be more than just an okay burger. Maybe next time I go to Paryse or L'Anecdote I'll set aside 5% from the price of the meal and give that to the Children's Hospital myself, thereby removing any reason to go back to M:Brgr. Sorry, but this really was a disappointment. Even Carls Jr. and In & Out rank higher than this place.
  14. To save you some trouble: Lee Valley Hardware A list of the stones for sale.
  15. I've got three stones that I use: a 1000 grit, a 4000 grit, and a 8000 grit. All of them were purchased from Lee Valley Hardware in Ontario. The prices are good, they arrive within a few days, and I haven't had any issues with quality. As for my knives, they're Lady Remmington sharp. My suggestion would be that you avoid the "cheap" knives, save up for a bit and read reviews online. Especially if you're on a budget, buying a knife is going to be an investment, so make sure that you know what you're getting and that you're happy with the purchase.
  16. Have you eaten there only twice in the three years that it's been open?
  17. I haven't eaten at either Joe Beef or Liverpool House, so I can't say whether or not the food is good at either of these establishments (except that I hear good things for both), but what you said here is such a lame excuse for not having good items on a menu. It's not like the chef is leaving this up to chance! These are his ideas and his execution of those ideas that he is presenting to the customer at both of these restaurants, so what arrives at the table is hopefully the best example of what he was thinking would be enjoyed by his customers. Would one willingly implement this idea, tell his staff of it, order the product, process all the ingredients, keep it in the limited fridge space (has to be fresh, remember?), and send it out to people paying top-dollar if he didn't have confidence in it being enjoyed? Judge them differently because they try? Praise them for taking risks that don't pan out? Do we have participation ribbons in the restaurant business, now?
  18. N.B. The River Cafe in London is one of the best Italian restaurants in the world. Just because the food has an Italian bent does not mean the name has to have "La Trattoria" in the title ... ← At the same time, a name like "Liverpool House" suggests something different than what is actually served. There's no major issue here other than it's kinda funny. Would you think of finding the best Pad Thai at a place called O'Byrnes Pub and Grill? The River Cafe, too, is a fairly generic name that just suggests that there's a river, and a cafe, not a British city.
  19. I am a Canadian cook/chef moving from Montreal to Australia or New Zealand sometime between September and November of this year for an indeterminate amount of time, and I'm frightfully excited for the adventure. My travels will be a learning experience; to see what people are doing on the other side of the globe and to see something new. However, before I go I wanted to do some research and to get some insight from local professionals and food lovers. If anyone would be willing to help me and to answer a few questions (privately or publicly over these boards), that would be immensely helpful. This is not me looking for a job, per se, but an idea of the food culture and life as a professional. Questions of standard of living, WHERE to live in WHAT cities, restaurants to apply to (that may or may not be in guidebooks), restaurants to avoid (those rarely discussed reputations of chefs being good leaders or not), etc. Feel free to be as opinionated as possible towards anything So far, I'm leaning towards Melbourne and Sydney because that's all we hear of in the Great White North. . . but, I imagine that I've missed something, or many things. Thank you very much in advance!
  20. At L'Express, you can order the chicken with fries instead of the veggies that usually come with it. Still, I was never a big fan of the sauce that gets dumped on top
  21. There's a little place on Mont-Royal that had pretty good and inexpensive sushi called Sushi & Depanneur. The name is a little off-putting, but everytime that I've been there I've been rewarded with decent quality at a great price. Isakaya has some excellent japanese food, and none of the McGill kids living next door seem to have clued in on that. They all attack the sushi when there's some killer stuff in the actual menu! Try the eggplant, the mushrooms, and the spicy tuna plate. All great.
  22. I've always found that Marché Lobo on Parc near Milton has had really good produce. It's small, packed with McGill kids, but they have a good selection with (I think) decent prices. Then again, I haven't had a chance to wander around to many other places like you've listed, but took the recommendations of co-workers. Sorry that I can't give exact price per pound of various items, as I haven't had a chance to get over there since the summer, but it may be worth checking out.
  • Create New...