How to Get an Apprenticeship in a NYC Restaurant

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If you dream of becoming a respected and sought-after chef, working in food preparation, creating tantalizing pastries or serving up fine drinks, one route toward achieving your goal is becoming a NYC restaurant apprentice. Apprenticeships can take from one to three years to complete, so consider it part of your continuing education and as an investment in your future since the pay will be low and your cost of living will be high in NYC.

Attend a school with a program that will give you the basics of whatever role you want to perform in a NYC restaurant. Seek out the specific culinary program through a specialized culinary school, vocational school, or a community or technical college that will give you the most education to give you a leg up when restaurant owners review your resume and portfolio.

Work in local and smaller-scale restaurants throughout your education to gain practical experience. It's never too soon to start gaining practical restaurant experience and learn about the general environment of a kitchen.

Prepare your resume and portfolio, which should include sample recipes you have created or photographs of artful meals you have prepared. Send these to prospective restaurants where you would like to become an apprentice. The American Culinary Federation accredits more than 200 formal academic training programs and sponsors apprenticeship programs around the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Contact restaurants and formal apprenticeship programs to express your interest in becoming an apprentice in a NYC restaurant. Check with your culinary school to see whether it offers an accredited program that works in conjunction with your educational requirements and will help pair you with a NYC restaurant to give you practical training.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice good listening skills. You will be working in a busy environment, so you will need to become an excellent listener to ensure you hear the chef's and staff's directions in a noisy and chaotic environment.
  • Be a good communicator. You need to speak up if you have a question or a problem since your goal will be to learn in a real environment.
  • Always work to maintain a clean and safe kitchen.

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