90% of a stage is showing up on time and prepared. Some chefs argue that being unprepared is even worse then a no-call no-show. To make sure you are set up for success, we asked these experts their preparation advice! (The key takeaway: Know. The. Menu.)
Look clean and sharp and know about the restaurant at which you are staging.
- Josh Evan, Executive Chef, Partner at Tosca Cafe SF
Study the menu items in advance and know the correct terms in the kitchen.
- Nicole Selvig and team at Ichi Sushi
Look at the menu ahead of time. Most stages are spent doing basic knife skills and straightforward techniques. If you go into a stage having some idea about the menu you will be able to look at what all the chefs around you are doing, put it in the context of the menu and ask good questions.
- Michelle Carter, Executive Chef, BL Gruppo
Follow the direction of the establishment you are interviewing at. Study the restaurant before arriving so you have an idea of the menu, philosophy and style of restaurant. Bring what is required. Arrive prepared 10 minutes early. If you want the job, show the passion for it, ask questions, get involved, and listen.
- David Hands, Chef de Cuisine, Bouchon Beverly Hills
Do some simple research - First and foremost we live in the 21st century where Google has provided any answer we need to know at the tip of our fingers, virtually available anywhere on the planet. Don’t respond to my email about setting up a stage with a question like “where is the restaurant located” because to me that says you didn’t give enough of a shit to actually look up information about the restaurant. Again, ATTENTION TO DETAILS. Know the menu, study it a little, anticipate what you’ll be walking into so that it at least seems like you want to work there.
- Scott Calhoun, Chef de Cuisine, Lo Spiedo