Dear Chef Dan,
I was just interested in finding out how you established yourself as a raw food
chef? I eat in your restaurant at least once every two weeks and am always
impressed with the dishes that come out of the kitchen. I have worked in several
restaurants and my Dad is a CIA Graduate so I have been surrounded by food my
entire life. I have wanted to be a chef since before I can remember and Raw food
has only enhanced my desire and motivation. Is it important to have
"certified raw food chef" in your title? Right now I live in NYC and
am looking to get involved in anything having to do with raw food prep or just
learning about the business of owning a raw food restaurant. Do you have any
suggestions? Thanks so much! I understand if I don't hear from you for a
while as I am sure you are busy.
Well As far as certification goes, there really is no such thing. People say they can certify you but who are they? There is no universal standard or criteria for a raw chef Certification; it's all pretty much BS. The only Certification that would mean anything to anyone would be a course from a professional chef who's had real world experience, who has developed, managed and ran a raw food restaurant kitchen. There are only about 10 of those in the whole country of which I am the only one (I know of) teaching certification courses. Most are too busy running a professional kitchen. The rest of those teachers are students, who learned from students, who learned from students, who learned from some housewife or yoga teacher who got really into raw foods 2 years ago. Non of them have even a clue what it is like or what is necessary to work in a real kitchen. Non of them have the training or the pallet for being a restaurant chef.
So who do you want to learn from. Most people really just want to know how to make raw foods. If that is what you want, don't pay anyone --- just go on YouTube and witch the videoa; they are all there, the housewives, the yoga teachers, the models and some are pretty darn good. Their health or nutritional information is not always correct but they can show you how to make food.
As for my start --- Well there were no other restaurants when I started so I made it all up myself and still do to this day. Quintessence developed kitchen routines and protocol never before needed, system that served a new need and new business platform. And of course we had to pioneer the raw food recipes that people actually liked and would pay restaurant prices for. I've been ripped off pretty much from there.
I hire for my kitchen it is usually Mexicans and I train them in-house
to do the job from scratch. No bad habits yet I need to break.
I tried Raw food "Chefs" but they can't handle restaurant speed and hrs. I'll take a hard working Mexican over a Certified Raw Food Chef any day!
In reality, there are only a few raw food businesses in the whole country and they are usually based around a chef or at least a wannabe chef so the chances of you nudging your why in will be slim to none.
Cafe Gratitude CA. may need people from time to time and Pure Food and Wine NYC (though not really raw or 100% organic) does internships. You will need to pass a "Trial Period" with them though.
Most people who want to do raw foods for a living just start their own business.
Good Luck Keep me posted