Thursday, November 03, 2005
Ritz-Carlton, here I come!
After about three months of interviews, phone calls, resume rewrites, and follow ups, I'm finally starting a new job tomorrow. With an 8 AM start time, I am due to meet at the Human Resources office at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Chicago. I am going to be working in the kitchen as a Cook 2 in the Garde Manger department. Garde Manger prepares pretty much anything cold, ranging from dressings and sandwiches to pates and salads. I have to say I really don't know a lot about what I'm getting into, which doesn't make me nervous, but defintiely curious and excited. I do know that I had to cancel my Thanksgiving plans for this year, as well as a highly anticipated vacation with my husband and in-laws to Palm Springs in December.
After I was offered the position, I mentioned that I had some trips already planned. The Director of HR, with a condescendingly polite tone mentioned, "Although we'd love to bring you on board, if you feel that you need to take that time off, we are unable to offer this position to you."
I did a little soul searching before accepting this job. From my understanding, the basic gist is that I'll be a work horse in a hotel kitchen, preparing food for the 435 guests rooms, along with the four restaurants and however many banquet and reception halls there are. I have to work all holidays and probably 5-6 days a week without a day off in quite some time.
But the positives of this opportunity definitely outweighed the negatives and I have eagerly accepted. So after I passed my drug test, background check, and stage (an exercise where I was asked to make a mayonnaise, a vinaigrete, and performs some other culinary tasks), I received a call this morning asking me to start tomorrow.
My husband and I recently moved to Chicago in September. He is studying for his MBA at the University of Chicago. Needless to say, he doesn't have much free time on his hands as he's resigned to being a book worm for the next two years. So, I figured this is the perfect time to be overworked (and of course, underpaid) myself!
So I'd like to invited you all along for the ride. I figure my experience will be more real than anything you can find on the Food Network these days and perhaps this 28 year old can give you some culinary tricks of the trade along the way (or at least some good stories about what really goes on in a luxury hotel's kitchen).
Posted by Amy Kohen