In the food industry, there is a hiring process that all line cooks and chef’s will encounter, called a trail. A trail is basically an audition, where the cook is trying out in the hopes of working in that specific restaurant. While the tasks vary from job to job, all restaurants take this opportunity to meet potential employees and see if they have what it takes to work as a chef in their kitchen.
From my personal experience, I have learned a lot about trailing at restaurants. Trails can be both nerve racking and exciting, so here’s a list of tips to help you land your next kitchen job!
1) Come Prepared
Do some research on the restaurant you are trailing at. Do not go into any kitchen without knowing what type of food they prepare, who the executive chef is, and so on. Knowledge is always a plus!
2) Bring a Knife
Not only come prepared with knowledge, but also come with basic cooking equipment. Most restaurants will not have knives for you to use on your trail, so coming with one chef’s knife is a good way to be prepared for any tasks you may be asked to complete.
3) Act Professional
Show up on time, don’t leave early, respect the chef and other line cooks, and thank the chef for the opportunity. For any job, always be professional.
4) Don’t Limit Yourself
One of the most important things I’ve learned is to keep your options open! Trail at a lot of different restaurants, and don’t just accept a job at the first place you trail. See what restaurant and kitchen you fit into and enjoy because believe me, you will be spending a lot of time there!
5) Be Yourself
During your trail, remember to be yourself! You want the chef to notice your cooking knowledge and talent, and you won’t be able to show this if your nervous and out of sorts. Take a deep breath and enjoy the trail!