Hi First of all I thank you for your time.
I ve been living in Philadelphia for 12 years , I've been a chef for the last 8 years and partner owner of a restaurant for the last 3 years , business is very challenging , we survive with banquets and that's not I want to do.
I have 2 kids and just when I thought we settled down with a house I am not happy going to work .
Do you think it will be hard to move to Japan and find a decent chef position and if it s going to be difficult for my children i have a 11 year old and a 9 year old. Thanks
Thanks for your note. I am sorry to hear that all is not going in the direction that you would want it to. With the condition of the economy, you are not alone, many chefs are simply having to do what ever they can to stay in business...
My first thought on your situation is a practical one. Review your business and talk with your partners (both at home and at work). Sketch out what is making you unhappy, are these problems that you can all work on as a team to solve, are the driven by economics, at some stage things will get better and maybe you will not be so dependent on your banquet business. I know this is easy for me to say as I am not in your shoes but I think this is the best place to start.
As for Japan. A friend of mine has just finished a contract there. He loved it but he is a single guy. But he will also say that life is hard, cramped, expensive and workdays are long. It would be an adventure for sure but I think you need to decide if this desire is based on your knowledge of Japan or that Japan has become the chefs' Mecca and you need a pilgrimage...
If your desire is based on knowlege of japan, contact a few recruiters, see what they have on their books and what a typical package would be like, and then, take it from there...
Helping to become a chef
I have been in resturant world for many, many years from doing dishes, cleaning, cooking, baking and you name it, I've done it. I have done what most will not do! I had dream of being a chef, but the school is very far and I can not afford it. I have try to save for it, but then something goes wrong, then I go into that savings, I have even tried to see about a loan, well that did not work. I work 6 days a week and 4 nights week. I do get paid, but not much, just mim. wage. My husband works but we do just stay above waters, but not much above. Can you tell me what I can do? Please; I love to cook and bake, Food is my Heart and Soul; I even have a large amount of many cookbooks that I found at yard sales. Please can you help me on what to do??????
Visit this page - http://www.dellscholars.org/public/Criteria.aspx the site has the visuals gauged towards kids, but there is a bunch of links to finacial aid sites, scholarships etc. There is also a link to email them on the same page, I think your story is interesting enough that if you share it with them it might work out - you never know and it can't hurt?
Sorry I can not come up with something more concerete... Good Luck
starting back in the kitchen
I worked along side yourself at THE ROYAL GARDEN when Hywel jones walked in that day. A big scotsman if u can remember me!
I have been out of the kitchen for 15 years now in which time i ran my own haulge company, I sold the company last year.
Do you think its to late in life (39) to get back in the kitchen,and would there be a path to take after all these years
(training, 2nd chances etc).
Enjoy reading your articles and old names popping up now and again.
Look forward to hear from you
All the best
Great to hear from you, I love the fact that people actually read the site!
To answer your question, no it is never to late. The best place to start would be to call you closest catering college and ask them about training, what it would cost if they were aware of any government assistance that might be available - that is the practice part.
I think the question that probably needs more research is do you really want to do it or do you really just like the idea of it? Neither is wrong, but my advice is to go get some work exposure. As you can remember life in the kitchen is fast paced, exciting and creative. But it is also repetitive, stressful and full of characters and managers that you may not want to deal with....
So in short, find out what is out there and available through a cooking school. One or two phone calls should give you a good idea. Also go and work some place for free, see if it is all that you remember and wish to re-embrace.
do you like cooking?
why do instructors questions their students whether they like cooking or not?
several people in school asked me this question... i don't know if i should feel offended. actually, i was very infuriated when asked.
I am going to guess it is because they are just checking in on how you are doing. Some guys start and once they realize the reality of cooking the start to question their own motives, part of being a teacher is to check in on how someone is doing... if that does not sit right with you, why not politely ask the next instructor that asks you?