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Q:Hello Bob,
I have my cooking certificate from CHIC in Chicago. I have worked at several restaurants for short times. My resume is spotty. I followed my girlfriend to Virginia and found a job as a Executive Chef in a small town of Blacksburg. I am gaining plenty of experience in management and cooking, I set specials and might be given the opportunity to change the menu. But the ceiling is already reached for learning and I know I have an enormous amount to learn for what I want to do. Our lease is up in August.We plan to move to a city where I can get a job as a line cook in a fancy restaurant to train under a world class chef. I don't know the best way to line that kind of position up? Would a four star restaurant hire a line cook who has a spotty resume and has been a executive chef at a joke fine dining restaurant? I really want to learn from the best. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks and Happy New Year

Philip ,
Blacksburg, Va.

You may need to work hard to get the job that best suits your needs but I am sure, if you are willing to start at the bottom, you will get one. Do as much networking and research as you can ahead of time, before you move.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:Hi Bob-

I am a Culinary Student in NYC and I am half way through the program. I am currently unemployeed and would like to start working part time in a restaurant ASAP. I am looking for your basic prep positions, is it possible that restaurants don\'t ususally advertise for these positions?
Also, when submitting my resume with cover letter should I go in and hand it to the manager or chef instead of emailing it?
One more question...Because I am looking for just a prep position is it likely that this position is unpaid?

Manhattan, NY

You should be able to find a paid prep position. Many restaurants will not advertise because their traffic flow of employees seeking jobs is sufficient to meet their demand. I would definitely bring a cover letter and hand delivery may help!

Good Luck.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:Do you know of any restaurants in Chicago offering culinary internships?

A:No I do not but I would suggest sending your top 20 choices there letters of introduction and solicit them directly for opportunities.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:I'm hitting a brick wall in my job search and am really feeling like I'm at a standstill. My previous job was as executive chef for independant non-profit organization. I have a bachelor's in culinary supervision and an associate's in professionl cooking and baking. Where do I go next? I've been searching for approximately 4 months, with a number of interviews but no success with a job as yet. HELP!!

A:That is hard for me to answer without knowing more details of your job search. Assuming you are being realistic in your search I would look at your resume and references, perhaps there is something needed there.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:Dear Bob,
I'm doing some extra credit for school on chefs. I was wondering what kind of education you need to become a great chef, and what kind of character qualities you need. I hope you can help me!

Carolyn ,
A:The best education for a chef is experience working in great kitchens with other talented chefs. In addition to that, I think attaining a degree in culinary arts is also very important as part of the foundation to becoming a great chef. From a character standpoint, you need to be organized, professional, passionate, energetic and creative...and I am sure we could all add some more to this list but those are my thoughts.


--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:Dear Bob,
My husband has been working as a
manufactuirng engineer for the past
twenty years.(He's a self taught engineer.) He had been a kitchen
manger for five years in mid-level
restuarant. He has a passion for gour-
met cooking, and he is quite good.
This year he catered two events for
about 100 people, and did very well.
He doesn't think he can make a reasonable living in the food business.
He was earning about $70,0000 in his
present job. I think he can. He's
smart, driven, and very talented.
What are your thoughts?

Joan Balasa,
A:It is certainly nice to be able to love what you do for a career. If salary is the only thing holding him back I would encourage him to make the move. He won't make 70k out of the gate but the potential is there down the road!

Good Luck.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:Where can I find short courses on restaurant ownership and startup?

Samuel Poitras,
Rocky Mount, NC
A:Try your state Restaurant Association.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:Dear Sir,

My question pertains to culinary education. Since my state doesn't offer many options for learning in culinary arts via college, what would be a good alternative to learn this profession?

A:You can stay in state and just get real world, practical experience or you can go to another sate and enroll in a culinary program. It is worth the investment. Try the Johnson & Wales University Campus in Charlotte, NC.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:if i ever been convicted of a misdeaminor like smoking marihuana only once. will it affect me big time to get a management position with a good chef

A:It will if they do detailed background checks.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

Q:Dear Mr. Crowley,

You are doing a great job! I have already asked two questions, and I must say that your answers were very informative, helpful, and prompt. Thank you very much. You are doing a great deed.

I was hoping I wouldn't be asking too much if I were to ask a little bit more of your valuable time by asking another question.

I am currently in the second quarter of a one-year certificate program here in NYC. I have been working at a reputable, two-star, non-French restaurant full time for almost two months, and recently started doing some part-time work as well. Although I am usually dead-tired, I realize that I am getting really valuable experience that I am sure will pay off down the road. I have often heard that experience in reputable French restaurants are almost a must for anyone looking to become a serious chef. So, I guess my question is: how true is this? How much effort should I put forth in getting a job in a French kitchen? Is it a good idea to forgo a better job at a non-French restaurant for a position in a French one? Thank you and sorry for the excess verbiage.



A:Thanks for the kind words John, it is my pleasure!

As for your most recent question, my simple answer is that it seems to me that working in reputable kitchens for chefs with some name recognition is more important than what type of kithcen it is. The days of having to work in a classical french kithcen are over as there are fewer and fewer of them to work in.

Good Luck.

--by Bob Crowley
--Ground Round's parent company, American Hospitality Concepts, Inc.

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