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    1 through 11 of 10 postings.

Q:I am doing a career project for school and i am striving to be a chefwhen i grow up. What are some of the major responsibilities of the position,and what a career path would be for a chef? What do you believe are skills needed tobe a chef? What are schools in the north east are acceptable to being a good chef?

 
A:Dana-fortunately there are a great number of terrific culinary schools in your area. I suggest you look at The School Hot-Links Program on my web site, www.pexc.com. You'll see a lot of information about pursuing a hospitality career and you'll find links to The Culinary Institute of America, The New York Restaurant School and many more. As to skills I believe great hand-to-eye cordination and an appreciation for 3D visual are important. Physical stamina is vital and you'll see it is critical to literally pour yourself into these jobs. Hard work has great rewards.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:Dear Peter, I recently did my first t.v. demo for a television station in New Orleans. I aced it and the profucers want to move forward with the 13 episode show. We are currently looking for sponsors do you have any idea how i should approach potential sponsors?

 
A:Joaquin-not really. I would think the most likely sponsors would be companies which cookware and products you would use during the show. Tabasco and Zattrain, along with other Louisiana companies seemingly make sense.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:I would like to get into the culinary field and am going to culinary school in January. However I?m interested in starting work in the business as soon as possible. How do I go about getting into a kitchen without any formal education? I have a few years of on the job experience.

 
A:Ronny: Apply at a restaurant you select and explain your career interests.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:Hi Peter I emailed you last week- Now I have another queston for you. How do you become a cooking instructor? Can you recommend any resources? Thanks Kindly Elizabeth in To

 
A:Elizabeth-I see cooking instructors at places like Williams Sonoma, Central Markets, Viking Shops, where being a chef is not a requirement. If these are not in your area, a gourmet cooking store is a place to start.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:I am thinking of going to a culinary school. Would you know the top 5 or 10. P.S. I live in San Francisco

 
A:Dan-lots of great ones in your area. Go on my web site, www.pexc.com and click into the School Hot-Links Program. Look at Participating Schools. You can take virtual visits to look at admission requirements, tuition, scholarships, grants, etc. Once you get it down to 2 or 3, you should personally visit. You might also go back in the archives here to look at questions and answers about this same topic. The best school is the one where you'll do your most passionate work!

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:Dear Peter, I am a chef and I continue to have difficulty first of all finding a position and then fitting into the corporate culture. Owners seem to bait and switch Every place I work seems to expect cost control and responsibility without authority. Sanitation and staffing are constant concerns Can you tell me how I can find a better match before i sign on the dotted line

 
A:Elizabeth: You need to find out why jobs are open. Sometimes, as you're finding out, owners have unrealistic expectations that cannot be met because they are unwilling to give control to a chef. If there is a lot of turnover, it's often a sign that the owner is very difficult to work with, not that the chef was incompetent. If you can't find anyone who was happy working for an owner, don't assume you'll be. Interviewing is a two-way street. You can turn people down. Sometimes a large salary is an indicator that something is wrong with the job! Do you ever get a bad feeling in your stomach that something is just too good to be true? Listen to that feeling and move on to another opportunity.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:Yes, Chicago is the greatest, which is why I want to stay, but even the top restaurants offer low pay despite the excellent creative opportunities. Per your question, I do have a degree in the field. My question is not about landing traditional restaurant positions or advancing in them; fortunately that has not been a problem. I am looking for non-traditional ways to apply my skills. Any suggestions?

 
A:Jeannine-Here's another suggestion. Visit my web site and click on The Electronic Mentoring Network. You'll find some 80-90 executives, including numerous chefs and former chefs. Some have their own consulting businesses, others work as chef-instructors at culinary schools, and more. I suggest you request some advice from someone with whom you feel you may have some shared experiences. If you're asking me is there another career you should be pursuing, I simply don't know you well enough to give that kind of advice. With seven years invested, perhaps you didn't choose wisely in terms of companies? Is management an area in which you have an interest? Ownership? Could you be a food stylist? A food critic? How well do you know yourself? Have you considered taking a Birkman or some other instrument that would help you identify where you could potentially succeed and make more money? Do you have specific goals in mind? Without objectives, all paths lead to nowhere. These are questions you must first answer for yourself. A stranger, such as I am, cannot simply provide a silver bullet. Look within before looking without.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:My husband has a chef's apprentice degree, and he has been working for many years as a concert caterer. It's a nice little niche, but the work is not always steady. He also has experience workng as a personal chef for a Grammy-winning musician. He has excellent people skills and is a hard worker. What areas should he look into for steady employment?

 
A:Debra-First order of business is to find out if your husband is ready to work full time as opposed to part time. If he is, he should get reference letters from current and past employers. He should then write a professional resume and post ot with key job listing services, including StarChefs jobfinder. In addition, he should network with other chefs who can possibly point him in the direction of opportunities. He should also maintain his current relationships and give adequate notice upon finding a full time position.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:Do you have any information on styles of table settings? (ie: American, Russian, French) This information is needed for a Hospitality midterm report that is coming up soon. I have tried to no avail to find this information. Can you also suggest other sites that may be able to help me? Thank you~~

 
A:Debby-This information is detailed in a number of catering and banquet books. Tou could check on line. I believe one author is Nancy Loman. Her book lays out all the types of service in an easy read.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com


Q:Dear Mr. Langlois, My name is Connie Lew and I am a consultant in the valuation practice at Deloitte & Touche. I was wondering if you have any reports, research or materials surrounding the issue of general and administrative expenses, specifically for the quick service restaurant (QSR) segment? Thank you so much for your time! I look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely, Connie Lew

 
A:Connie-You can actually get hard facts from thwe National Restaurant Association. They have a publication which identifies standard ratios for all categories of expenses for different kinds of restaurants. Their web site address is www.nra.org. Look through their publication area to find what you seek. Contact info is prominent.

--by Peter Langlois
--www.pexc.com

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