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Where should double CIA grad work?


Lonnie
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Our son is about to graduate from the CIA for the second time, so he'll pop out with a culinary degree and a baking and pastry degree. He's been working in restaurants since he was 14 and has been employed at American Bounty on the CIA campus for a total of about a year (externships have intervened).

He's recently decided not to return to Napa where he did an externship. Now he's looking for a job in New York. This may work out for him, but I know housing can be even more expensive and difficult to find than in Boston. I think Boston is a fabulous city and offers much of what New York offers without being quite so intensely difficult.

Got any ideas for a job search in Boston? He's a very hard worker, very down-to-earth (a graduate of Job Corps, not Phillips Academy) and passionately in love with food. He also loves front-of-the-house work and is experienced at training newbies in American Bounty.

Lonnie

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers." --James Thurber

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I can't speak for Boston, but there are several fine restaurants in Providence that would be great starts, and I know that many of them are always on the lookout for eager new folks. (Sadly, the reputation for Johnson and Wales grads here in town is not very strong.) I can't name names, but I'd encourage him to cold call some of the top places in town to set up interviews, demos, and stages.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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CIA placement office should be able to help him greatly. suggestions:

whether it's boston or nyc,get names of area chefs who are both cia grads and exec chef/owners or owners. research the restaurants- look at their websites to get a feel for the place and the chef. Call the chef around 3pm, explain you're a double cia grad, brand new to the city, a hard worker and looking for work. if they have no jobs but are friendly, ask if you can come in and talk with them for 15 minutes only- just for informational advice. at that meeting,get names of other chefs from them. if no luck lining up meetings, find out what good restnts have open kitchens,go into the restnt in late aftnoon- 4 maybe, before front of house arrives, and approach a souschef or line cook or whomever- to ask if they've heard of anyone looking for help.

include the boston AREA (including suburbs like newton, brookline, needham) in your search and maybe, if it appeals, look in other new eng small cities that have good restaurants and might not have a lot of cia grads approaching them for work ie: portland me., portsmouth n.h., burlington vt., hartford and new haven ct.,

providence r.i.- all of which are charming cities that have a burgeoning fine dining scene. and sometimes it's easier and a faster learning curve, if one is a big fish in a little pond. I.e. a small restnt in portland me. would likely have your son working on a very small team, so he'd learn a lot very quickly from the head chef; alot faster education and career climb than those gained from working in a large kitchen w large staff.

bostonchefs.com has a joblisting that's updated.

gayot.com is great resource for restnt reviews to lead one to names of places to research. also gourmet mag's 'top restaurants in u.s., by city' yearly issue.

also opentable.com which can link you to gayot reviews and has a search box so you can enter a city name and find out what good restnts are there.while opentable is a reservation service, most fine restaurants work through them for online reservations, so you can find them through that route.

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Thanks for all the great tips and information! I've passed them along to the young one. There's a job fair at the CIA on Tuesday, so we'll see what he learns from that.

I see the Grotto is looking for a sous chef. What's your take on that place?

Lonnie

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers." --James Thurber

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  • 1 month later...

Well, he ended up going to New York. He's at Eleven Madison Park doing the mignardises. It's tough getting used to that amount of repetitive work, but he's determined to stay and learn. Still.... where in Portland should he go if he opts out of New York at some point?

Lonnie

"It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all of the answers." --James Thurber

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