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girlcook

Stages in England with Rooms

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Don´t know if anyone will have the answers I am looking for but what better place to look than egullet? Currently I am staging at a 3 star in San Sebastian, Spain and am looking to head to the UK for my next stage. I am a cook from the states and my preference is to find a place that offers a room in exchange for the stage or is in a town with affordable housing. If anyone has any thoughts on the matter or suggestions for restaurants that don´t have habitations but are worth spending the money on housing I would really appreciate it. At the same time my preference is to stay within the world of 2 and 3 star restaurants but am not bound by that preference.

Also in the States it is not that difficult to find restaurant work, without papers, that pays, I was wondering if the situation was similar in the UK for cooks. While I can afford to stage without pay for awhile I would be able to stay longer and sample more of what the UK has to offer if I had a bit of income. Thanks for any and all advice.

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It will certainly narrow down your choice if you stick to 2 or 3 star restaurants as there are a total of 12 in the entire country. I'll list them all later today when I have more time, but for starters you are looking at London (no live in accomodation) and Bray on Thames amongst others (not sure if there is accomodation at The Waterside for staff but I doubt it and I'm sure there isn't at Fat Duck. Bray is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK but is minutes way from Maidenhead which would be affordable).

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Bray is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK but is minutes way from Maidenhead which would be affordable.....

.....and a complete hole :laugh:


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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It´s not a snobbery thing so much as I also have to think about my CV when I present it back in the states. I am trying to stick to well known restaurants that the chefs I work for have some frame of reference for. In my experience a lot of times 3 and 2 don´t have all that much on the 1 stars and sometimes nothing but I do have a mutitude of considerations for my restaurant choices.

I have reesigned myself to the fact that I will have to be paying for housing more or less. Any thoughts on personal favorites for restaurants food-wise that I would want to stage at. ANd any thoughts as to my question regarding finding wages regardless of how meager they may be. Thanks for the early responses.

-girlcook

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Again, I'll provide a full list later (bit busy at work at the moment) but your best bet for accomodation would I guess be The Capital in Kinightsbridge (2 Star chef Eric Chavot), Le Manoir Aux Quat Saison just outside Oxford (2 Star chef Raymond Blanc), Winteringham Fields outside Hull (2 Star chef Gwermain Schwab) or Gidleigh Park in Devon (2 Stars chef Michael Caines). All are either hotels, restaurants with rooms or remote enough to be likely to offer rooms to staff. I really have no idea if they will pay or not.

Being based in London would give you the potential opportunity to move around a few restaurants as all the head chefs know each other. Shane Osborne at Pied a Terre (2 stars) is getting good word of mouth at the moment, although its a small restaurant (hence the name) and so I would guess is the kitchen. Philip Howard at the The Square (2 stars) is a personal favourite of mine and he is a highly regarded chef in the business at least (views on the restaurant vary). Osborne trained with Howard, although their styles are very different indeed.

Ramsay (3 stars) would probably be the most recognisable name to have on your CV, but I dont know how much he is actually in the kitchen these days. You would more likely be working with chef deb cuisine Mark Askew.

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girlcook, I would strongly advise you against taking up any paid employment in the UK which is not covered by a work permit.

When you say that you are looking for work "without papers" for which you will be paid, you really mean that you may be planning to break UK law - that you will falsely make a declaration on arrival in the UK that you will not be undertaking any paid employment, when you fully intend to do so. When you ask others on egullet to suggest possible employers, you are asking them to join with you in this.

Should anyone feel that I am being unkind in pointing this out, I would add that if you work in the illegal economy, you are thieving from the state. You won't be paying tax or national insurance on anything you earn - why should a "legit" employee suffer these deductions when you don't plan to ? Also, any restaurant which has "slush funds" from which to pay you cash in hand almost certainly only has that cash because it is itself under-declaring its takings, thus also stealing from the wider public. If you injure yourself when working illegally, will you expect a UK hospital, which you are failing to support by paying taxes, to treat you ? Or will you sit and quietly bleed, without treatment, because you weren't prepared to contribute ?

I would add that it may be cheaper for a restaurant to employ "illegals", and not pay tax or NI on their wages - but what that really means is that someone with "legal" status is being denied that job.

Why don't you have a look at http://www.workpermit.com/uk/short_term_wo...ntroduction.htm which is a government site which gives details of the 12-month work permit scheme specifically for the Hospitality sector, aimed at people aged 18-30 ? It seems unlikely that you will have the UK NVQ level 2 qualification, so as a chef, this may be a way for you to work legitimately.

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Bearing in mind "retirement beckons" excellent post above and that eGullet would not encourage or condone anyone to seek to work illegaly inthe UK, here are the details of all the 2 & 3 star restaurants in the UK with a few comments for each. These are my opinions and supposition only, but may be of some help in narrowing down your choices :

Pied à Terre

Chef Shane Osbrne

2 Stars

34, Charlotte St

Bloomsbury W1P 1HJ

Telephone: (020) 7636 1178

Fax: (020) 7916 1171

E-mail: p-a-t@dircon.co.uk

Website: http://www.pied.a.terre.co.uk

London restaurant, young aussie chef making his name, rising reputation, small restaurant, accomodation highly unlikely.

The Square

Chef Phil Howard

2 Stars

6-10, Bruton St

Mayfair W1J 6PU

Telephone: (020) 7495 7100

Fax: (020) 7495 7150

E-mail: info@squarerestaurant.com

Website: http://www.squaresrestaurant.com

London, established chef, trained with both Marco Pierre White and Simon Hopkinson, individual approach, intelligent bloke, large very busy restaurant, accomodation highly unlikely.

Le Gavroche

Chef Michel Roux Jr

2 Stars

43, Upper Brook St

Mayfair W1K 7QR

Telephone: (020) 7408 0881 / Fax: (020) 7491 4387

E-mail: bookings@le-gavroche.com

Website: http://www.le-gavroche.co.uk

Legendary address, demoted from 3 to 2 stars when present chef took over, classic cuisine with some contemporary influences, may have a long waiting list for stagiere positions, accomodation unlikely.

Capital

Chef Eric Chavot

2 Stars

22-24, Basil St

Chelsea SW3 1AT

Telephone: (020) 7589 5171 / Fax: (020) 7225 0011

E-mail: reservations@capitalhotel.co.uk

Website: http://www.capitalhotel.co.uk

Part of hotel so accomodation a possibility. Established chef with a strong reputation, modern food, fairly small and possibly not the busiest of restaurants.

Gordon Ramsay

Chef Ramsay/Mark Askew

3 Stars

68-69, Royal Hospital Rd

Chelsea SW3 4HP

Telephone: (020) 7352 4441 / Fax: (020) 7352 3334

Only 3 star in London, internationaly famous, small but packed, accomodation unlikely, named chef may not be in the kitchen that much.

Waterside Inn

Chef Alain Roux

3 Stars

Ferry Rd

Bray-on-Thames SL6 2AT

Telephone: (01628) 620691 / Fax: (01628) 784710

E-mail: reservations@waterside-inn.co.uk

Website: http://www.waterside-inn.co.uk

Another legend, old stager, classic cuisine, accomodation a possibility, reputation is varied depending who you talk to.

Fat Duck

Chef Heston Blumenthal

2 Stars

High St

Bray-on-Thames SL6 2AQ

Telephone: (01628) 580333 / Fax: (01628) 776188

Website: http://www.fatduck.co.uk

Experimental cuisine, tiny, tiny kitchen, menu changes rarely,accomodation unlikely.

Winteringham Fields

Chef Germain Schwab

2 Stars

Silver St

Winteringham DN15 9PF

Telephone: (01724) 733096 / Fax: (01724) 733898

E-mail: wintfields@aol.com

Website: http://www.winteringhamfields.com

Fairly remote northern location, long established chef was looking to retire recently but changed mind, reputation variable depening who you talk to, possibility of accomodation.

Gidleigh Park

Chef Michael Caines

2 Stars

Chagford TQ13 8HH

Telephone: (01647) 432367 / Fax: (01647) 432574

E-mail: gidleighpark@gidleigh.co.uk

Website: http://www.gidleigh.com

Remote South West location, chef has been at hotel for 8-9 years, now has with expanding interests, marked down in new AA guide, variable reports on recent meals, modern food, accomodation a possibility

Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Chef Raymond Blanc

2 Stars

Church Rd

Great Milton OX44 7PD

Telephone: (01844) 278881 / Fax: (01844) 278847

E-mail: lemanoir@blanc.co.uk

Long established and world famous chef, has never achieved 3 stars, wildly variable opinions on the restaurant, great setting, large kitchens, accomodation a possibility.

Le Champignon Sauvage

Chef David Everitt Matthias

2 Stars

24-26, Suffolk Rd

Cheltenham GL50 2AQ

Telephone: (01242) 573449 / Fax: (01242) 254365

Small kitchen (total of 3 in brigade), may be fairly quiet during the week, talented chef willing to share his knowledge, not a lot of feedback on the restaurant but I have visited recently and was very impressed, accomodation highly unlikely but a very nice part of the country.

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girlcook, I would strongly advise you against taking up any paid employment in the UK which is not covered by a work permit.

When you say that you are looking for work "without papers" for which you will be paid, you really mean that you may be planning to break UK law - that you will falsely make a declaration on arrival in the UK that you will not be undertaking any paid employment, when you fully intend to do so. When you ask others on egullet to suggest possible employers, you are asking them to join with you in this.

Should anyone feel that I am being unkind in pointing this out, I would add that if you work in the illegal economy, you are thieving from the state. You won't be paying tax or national insurance on anything you earn - why should a "legit" employee suffer these deductions when you don't plan to ? Also, any restaurant which has "slush funds" from which to pay you cash in hand almost certainly only has that cash because it is itself under-declaring its takings, thus also stealing from the wider public. If you injure yourself when working illegally, will you expect a UK hospital, which you are failing to support by paying taxes, to treat you ?  Or will you sit and quietly bleed, without treatment, because you weren't prepared to contribute ?

I would add that it may be cheaper for a restaurant to employ "illegals", and not pay tax or NI on their wages - but what that really means is that someone with "legal" status is being denied that job.

Why don't you have a look at http://www.workpermit.com/uk/short_term_wo...ntroduction.htm  which is a government site which gives details of the 12-month work permit scheme specifically for the Hospitality sector, aimed at people aged 18-30 ?  It seems unlikely that you will have the UK NVQ level 2 qualification, so as a chef, this may be a way for you to work legitimately.

What a complete, borish and unnecessary overreaction :angry:


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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A lot of restaurants would go to the wall if they didn't bend the rules a bit.Obviously not mine, i'm squeeky clean me :wink:

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What a complete, borish and unnecessary overreaction  :angry:

Actually Scott I thought most of the points made were good ones. If you disagree so strtongly, perhaps you'd care to provide counter-arguments?

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What a complete, borish and unnecessary overreaction  :angry:

Actually Scott I thought most of the points made were good ones. If you disagree so strtongly, perhaps you'd care to provide counter-arguments?

Well,

perhaps these are well points, and could perhaps they could form the electoral platform for the joyless, petty, curmudgeon party at the next general election.

A dose of reality please, are you aware of what the unemployment rate is at the moment ??? :wacko:

You are not being 'Paid' for stages, at best you get a minor stipend for expenses.

what about the nature of the payment, is it income, capital, re-imbursement?

What if no payment is made, but accommodation and meals are provided. Is that ok? if it's not, a fundamental part of training young chef's is out the window. would that make you happy?

Incidentally, there is no difference between payments in currency, and in kind, other than that this is THE LOWEST priority any of us have to worry about.

Unless, of course you are heading towards retirement :biggrin:

This was probably unfair, and Winot I don't really mean to single you out, but it's the original premise of this blinkered view that works me up.

if you hadn't guessed! :laugh:

As unemployment is so low, and these stages are available to anyone (check any Caterer to see how numerous these offers are), where is the harm?

More frankly, what are they taking OUT of the system? Far as I can see jack shit.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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I appreciate the amount of replies I have recieved as well as the sidebar on my illegal plans. All this leaves me with a few new questions as to what is the usually method in England of approaching chefs? Do people normally go to the restaurant with CV and letter in hand and request a moment of the chefs time at a slow hour or is it more common just to email or fax and follow up with a phone call? Again appreciate all the repies and apologize for getting some people so worked up.

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My experience with UK chefs is that unless you actually speak to them, the request doesn't register. My guess is that you could go direct to the chef with a phone call at Pied a Terre, The Square, Winteringham, Le Champignon and possibly the Capital, but would need to fax or e mail through a CV for the rest which would end up on the desk of a PA in the first instance.

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