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Summer Internships for Culinary Students


FunnyJohn
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A friend of mine is looking for a kitchen internship this summer for his daughter who is completing her first semester at Johnson Wales (North Carolina campus). Anyone care to offer some advice on how she should go about this other than the obvious way of knocking on restaurant doors and handing out her resume. How much value do interns who make up for in enthusiam what they may lack in practical experience add to a busy restaurant kitchen?

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A friend of mine is looking for a kitchen internship this summer for his daughter who is completing her first semester at Johnson Wales (North Carolina campus). Anyone care to offer some advice on how she should go about this other than the obvious way of knocking on restaurant doors and handing out her resume. How much value do interns who make up for in enthusiam what they may lack in practical experience add to a busy restaurant kitchen?
Back in the 90's, when I did my internships and externships, I got the most out of the kitchens where I was able to prep one day and work the line on others. Both are totally different types of cooking and together, they offer the ability to see all of the raw product come in the back door, get prepped, ordered, plated and sent out. She'll be able to see how every corner of the kitchen is run ultimately.

I had one externship where I was only a line cook and it felt as though I was just cheap labor for the restaurant, sweating out my shifts and not learning too much after the first week.

I also had one where I was a prep cook, making stocks, sauces, prepping vegetables, etc. and I found myself always wondering how the final product looked when it was put on the plate and sent out to the customer.

She can be picky in the kitchen where she is offered an externship. I would have her type out questions she has regarding the education she would be receiving and get them answered to her satisfaction. Concerns should be the chef's background and training, cleaning & sanitation practices, type of cuisine and the restaurant's ability to bolster her young resume.

Hope this helps!

ETA: Oh, as far as submitting her application, she should call and set up an appointment with the chef. No better way than a face-to-face meeting on the chef's free time. She should try to dine there first, though.

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