Neal Fraser

Neal Fraser

Executive Chef and Owner at Redbird and Vibiana

I am continually inspired to become a better cook, a better mentor, and a better chef and entrepreneur. I constantly strive to be better than the day before.

The best advice I ever received from a mentor was a chef telling me to wait as long as possible to make any real money. Learn as long as you can making as little money as possible in the best restaurant you can. Be in it to expand your knowledge because once you become a Sous Chef its hard to go back to being a Line Cook.
I got lucky and ended up doing it my Internship with Thomas Keller. Not sure how I found him but doing it was super challenging... we went through a hurdle together and that enabled him to be a good teacher. You have to challenge yourself as much as possible - try to shoot for the stars.
Perseverance is vital. We are not curing cancer. Anyone can be a good Line Cook if you apply yourself. It is all about how much you are willing to invest. Sometimes it takes 6 months and sometimes it takes 2 years. I have someone who started off with me at Redbird, and he is just starting to come into his own and he is moving up the ladder now and enjoying it. Everyone learns at their own pace but if you stick it out long enough you will be successful.
Surround yourself with good people, travel, eat out, and read a lot a books. Realize that you never stop learning. If you have that attitude it is better than feeling like you learned everything.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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