Sunday, 17 January 2010

Job Wanted - Chef De Partie in Progressive Fine Dining Restaurant

ENTHUSIASTIC young professional chef seeks post as chef de partie. 3-year Professional Chef Diploma from top college plus two years' experience in Michelin 1* and 2* kitchens in Spain, one full year as chef de partie running starters and desserts sections (cuarto frio and postres), plus experience on meat and fish sections. Willing to travel. Fluent English, Spanish & Portuguese, some French. Excellent references. Salary level not key issue - finding the right kitchen with strong philosophy, good teamwork and bright future far more important.

Maybe, in the words of Michael Pritchard and Frank E. Wright, it was simply "too much, too soon". But having progressed from Comerç 24 to Lasarte and Ferrero, I simply don't want to go backwards. I'm now no longer comfortable cooking at a level below that associated with Michelin 2*, whereas my two years in the professional kitchen don't easily earn me the right to a paid job at that level. Add into the mix the huge problems brought about in the hospitality industry by the economic crisis and the fragility of rural and seaside restaurants during the winter - and it makes the job-hunting task even more difficult.

Mind you, none of that merits what happened to me over the past few days. For a restaurant to invite me for interview knowing I had to fly 1,100km and drive a further 500km and then to have an HR officer who knew diddly-squat about cooking interview me not for the job I'd applied for but for one in a tapas bar they were opening nearby, was absolutely inexcusable. More so as they postponed my interview 24 hours while I was in transit, insisted on a trial shift which continued until all the banks had closed for the weekend and then refused to loan me €50 for petrol to get home after I was caught out with no plastic. I won't name them, but shame on one of the Basque Country's leading Michelin-starred restaurants.

All I want to do is get back in charge of my own section, with my own team of chefs, and turn out the best food I can possibly produce. If anyone can help me do that, I'd love to hear.

21 comments:

The Boston Foodie said...

Wow. Even in this economy that was beyond arrogant. Wasn't two years in Michelen restaurants with references enough of a "trial"? I hate theses administrative types and lackeys who make themselves feel important by holding the hoops higher for us to jump through.

Mardel Weststal said...

I think the original post is more arrogant...
yes, ok what happened with the unnamed restaurant in spain is appaling

but

how can you publish on the internet you are "no longer comfortable cooking at a level below that associated with Michelin 2*"
if thats not arrogant what is?

surely its for others (i.e. chef/owner/crew) of a kitchen to decide if your good enough to work their

Wendy said...

What a nightmare. No wonder you're pissed off. Hope something perfect comes along soon.

And I didn't find the post at all arrogant. Just honest. You know what you want - fair doos. (sp?!)

Happy New Year to you too, Trig.

James said...

Tried the joys of fb or twitter? So good at connecting people.

James said...

@Mardel Weststal - Maybe you mistook arrogant for confident? Interviews should be a 2 way thing.

neil said...

That sucks mate. I hate people wasting my time. Especially since we don't have much time to waste these days out of the kitchen.

Well if you ever want to return to these shores and open a restaurant give me a shout.

Trig said...

My comment about 2* cooking certainly wasn't meant to be arrogant. Professional fine dining chefs will know that this statement was about the kitchen environment, rather than any assertion of superiority as a chef. It implies a high level of kitchen discipline and structure, which in turn means that far fewer errors of execution occur. In this context, 3* means errors are totally unacceptable at all times. I've got used to a high level of discipline now and all I was saying was that I wouldn't be comfortable returning to a less disciplined environment. Just to add to the confusion, it doesn't mean I need to work in a Michelin 2* restaurant either. My last place of employment had no stars, but the kitchen operated at a 2* level and my next employer may well be the same.

Foodloveitloveitloveitloveitloveitifookinloveit said...

Fat Duck?

ChrisR said...

I'm with Mardel Weststal
You sound right up your own arse.

The amount of time and money i've wasted over the years applying for various jobs, get over it, you're not the only one.

Just because you're pissed off dosn't mean you should parade your attitude all over the internet. It takes 2 minutes for someone holding your CV to type your name in google, read this post and your CV is in the bin. If you get desperate in the coming months with the other hundreds of thousands unemployed, god forbid you may apply to a 1* restuarant and why would they want to hire someone who thinks hes too good to work there.

Trig said...

ChrisR - this is a personal blog about the training and development of a young chef, warts and all, from college to professional life. That's why I'm writing about my current situation - it's what this blog is for. I'm not arrogant, but I don't suffer from the opposite problem of low self-esteem. And I'm not angry, either. Carrying a chip on my shoulder really would be a barrier to securing a decent job.

foodloveitloveitloveitloveitloveitfookinloveit said...

Fat Duck?

sasquatchianlover said...

Have you thought about going to the Fat Duck?

lio said...

Bonjour,
Look @ www.limewood.co.uk,
They will be the best of the best in a few years. They open 2 months ago.
Look for to read about you in the next few years. Do not give up on your dream, your passion, your believe.
All the best.
LIO

Trig said...

Foodloveit, sasquatchianlover: I'm still in Spain and hoping to work here for another year or two before heading anywhere else. I'm flattered by the suggestions of The Fat Duck, but with my experience I wouldn't expect to get a commis chef job there, let alone a cdp post. Right now I want to work somewhere more classical, consolidating my strengths and gaining more line management experience.

lio: Lime Wood looks really great and I'm sure I'd love eating there, just as I enjoyed eating at The Star in Harome recently. But it's not really the sort of food I like cooking.

Dan Crawford said...

Any chance of a review of The Star at Harome (its in my neck of the woods I would be interested to hear what you thought!) - never been myself but hear nothing but praise for it.

Trig said...

I made a Flickr set of the photos I took while I was at The Star at Harome but, as my note says, "I didn't take many photos - it's not fine dining and I came to enjoy lunch rather than study it". So sorry, but no chance of a blog post but I certainly enjoyed my lunch there.

Cindylovestoeat said...

Why do you call yourself Trig?
Is it your middle name?

Trig said...

A self-deprecating moniker dating back many years to my childhood - Trig.

Sophie said...

How rubbish. That's shocking behaviour on the part of this establishment and I admire your restraint in not 'naming and shaming'.

Best of luck finding somewhere at a suitable level but with a nicer attitude towards their staff

Pete said...

Trig, I thought you'd be jumping at the bit to go work with Nuno at Viajante?

Trig said...

Pete - email me.


Blog tools

Directory of Food/drink BlogsBritish Blog DirectoryChefs BlogsFood & Drink Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog DirectoryBloghubBlogBibThe Foodie ListBlogrankingsBest Of The WebBlogSweetBlog UniverseLink With Us - Web Directory
My ZimbioToday.comFood BuzzAdd to Technorati Favorites