View Full Version : Expat Chef Work

03-06-2005, 04:07
Hi all,

I was curious as to what, if any job prospects there might be for somone like myself; a Canadian male about to graduate culunary school and wanting to move to Moscow after graduation, perhaps to work as a personal Chef..?

Any information would be very helpful... THANKS!

03-06-2005, 08:16

I am a chef with my own small catering company here in Moscow, and my BF is Head Chef for one of the large luxury groups; in my opinion its all about the contacts you have here, more so than in most other countries.

There are numerous expat chefs in Moscow and some are doing very well financially but advertisements for positions as head or private chefs are few and far between on international chef forums or reqruitment sites - there are positions from time to time advertised for the hotels here.

Do you have any contacts here at all or will you be coming over to get a feel for the place prior to moving? Do you have any work experience or is it just culinary school experience?

My two cents, you need to be savvy to this place and the food sector here.

Having said that, if we can help, please let me know. Good luck

03-06-2005, 08:39

Agree with Moondance. I am in the hotel business. There is a calling for decent chefs with experience for the hotels and restaurants here - you'll need contacts or get lucky with a recruiter.

Check ehotelier.com and hcareers.com but you probably know that already.

Then check the HQ's of the major hotel groups present in Moscow (Marriott, Hyatt etc).

I wouldn't know how you'd get in with the private and restaurant sector though.

Maybe someone else has contacts?

Good luck !

03-06-2005, 08:45
Also www.chef2chef.com sometimes has positions posted for here.

Yes, Lled is correct about the hotels, check the career sections on the hotel websites though right now I doubt they are looking.

restaurant sector here, I would save tread carefully & have good contacts you can trust.

03-06-2005, 11:50
I'm a chef here in Russia and i was in Moscow before moving to the provences.
I would never advise anyone to become an expat straight after leaving college.
Firstly, you have very little in the way of work experience to offer any prospective employer. Why should they train you when they can (and should) train a local.
Secondly, you are doing yourself no favours at all. Find a good hotel and/or restaurant in your home country and learn your business. After a few years there consider moving to somewhere like France or Italy (it will be easier once you have experience) for a few years.
Gain experience and learn first.

05-06-2005, 06:09
I just wanted to thank you for the info you've given me so far.. I'll stay in touch with both of you; moondance and Lled.

Cheers.. :)

05-06-2005, 15:32
..could not agree more with trebor, and to add one more thing:learn the local language!

06-06-2005, 07:43
..could not agree more with trebor, and to add one more thing:learn the local language!

Actually guys, I do have intermediate Russian language skills. Thnx.

06-06-2005, 08:50
Actually Benedikt & trebor, I do have intermediate Russian language skills. Thnx.

Actualy Canuck, i didn't mention language skills.
I arrived here without any Russian at all. The company provided me with a translator.
I'm sorry you have taken my advice the wrong way. It was offered in good faith but then i suppose sometimes the truth hurts.
Still, i wish you the best of luck.

06-06-2005, 17:41
Yes, I can now see that you didn't trebor... my bad. Anyway, thnx for the free advice, but your bad vibes are not welcome. If you have nothing constructive to say, I really can't be bothered to look at your posts. Peace.

06-06-2005, 18:03
Yes, I can now see that you didn't trebor... my bad. Anyway, thnx for the free advice, but your bad vibes are not welcome. If you have nothing constructive to say, I really can't be bothered to look at your posts. Peace.

Bad vibes and nothing CONSTRUCTIVE?
let me briefly recap on what i said.
Find a job in your own country in a good restaurant for a couple of years.
Then consider going somewhere like France or Italy for a couple of years.
Learn and get experience.
THEN consider somewhere like Russia.

Assuming you have what it takes to be a chef you will not need to look on the internet for a job. People will come looking for you!
That could turn out to be the most constructive career advice you will ever recieve.

06-06-2005, 18:10
That's nice, Mr. T!

06-06-2005, 19:16
That's nice, Mr. T!

Is that the informed and constructive opinion of someone just passed out of college?

06-06-2005, 19:25
Is that the constructive opinion of someone just passed out of college?

Sure man, whatever. Go do some prep.

06-06-2005, 22:59
I guess canuck just killed any chance he had of getting assistance from anyone on this site. oops.

07-06-2005, 00:32
I guess canuck just killed any chance he had of getting assistance from anyone on this site. oops.

Common, lighten up..

07-06-2005, 10:38
.. i think trebors answer was nothing bad...
that's what WE do in austria / germany / switzerland..
we do a three years apprentice ship. hotelschool / vocational school inbetween.
big examen after 3 years. than work your way around the good hotels and retaurants, also learn foreign languages ( i could speak italian, french and english when i was finished with my 3 years training, this was compulsary at the austrian schools).
than i worked in tyrol, went to south africa, china, usa, greece and now 15 years russia.
but the BASICS that i learned many years back,in many countires, still help me.i still cook my own soup in the kitchen, no powere or cubes. we do all our sauces from scratch, roasting bones, etc... no powder or cubes. i know for a 'non culinarian' this might be boring to read but i bet a whole month salary that most young 'chefs' copming out from ANY institute don't know how to make a demi glace or sauce hollandaise. without the help of maggi/ knorr/ masterfoods ( companies in no given preference...)
i assume, since i never have met trebor, he is also a CHEF of the old guard who sees cooking not a 9-5 job, but something he loves to do.(that does not mean we should slave for mediocre wages 14h / 6 days a week behind the hot stove...)

08-06-2005, 06:02
I like what you have to say benedikt, I share the belief that quality comes first and things should be actually COOKED by hand and not just DE-Frosted from a bag, which is becoming more and more of a problem these days. What other advice would you have for me..? (I must note that I hold dual citizenships: Canadian and UK.) Thnx.

08-06-2005, 10:16
..no he did not kill any chance to get some help fro mthis site. i just wrote / write pm with my opinion.
suppose since i have been around the world and have a few years workded in the kitchen (40 so far...) my opinion will be appreciated, even if not always heeded....

08-06-2005, 10:46
many of the things you wrote i agree with 100%
The importance of getting good training from the outset that will give you a life time of reference.
I started with an apprenticeship in London then worked 2 years in the south of France.
I then went went on to work in the Middle East, (Dubai, Saudi, Bahrain)
Then Indonesia, Carribean (Bermuda, St.Lucia, Barbados)
India and Russia
I also spent sometime in location catering for the film industry.
Thinking about it now, i've been very lucky to do soemthing i realy enjoy, travel and make a good living too.
BUT, you have to start at the bottom and learn first.

08-06-2005, 11:20
Benedikt & Trebor,

just out of curiousity where are you guys working now?
Trebor you are not in Moscow are you?

08-06-2005, 11:50
i was in Moscow for a couple of years. I worked in three restaurants there before moving to the Russian far east, Vladivostok. I am involved with the opening of several restaurants that are part of a new entertainmnet complex.

08-06-2005, 12:35

what type of restaurant are they? I have never been to Vladivostok so am interested to find out
Would you think of coming back to Moscow?
I ask because my boyfriend is a chef here and he is very happy with the level of creativity he is allowed; like you, he has worked all over the world but i think he is content to stay here for quite a long time
The only other place i would like to work in the future would be China; especially Shanghai

08-06-2005, 13:05
We will be opening a modern European restaurant, Asian, featuring mainly Chinese and Thai. Sushi bar and a Summer terrace.
Vladivostok is an interesting place to be right now as it is benefiting from the growth story in the China and the far east.
There is a boom going on. Its a port so import and export are the main drivers of the local economy.
When this project here is completed i will definately return to Moscow. I miss it but the experience of spending time here has been invaluable. My Russian has improved and i've tasted the real Russia, something very difficult to do in the capital.
The owners here are open to a lot of new ideas so i am given a lot of "creative space" I took them to see a geurridon trolley (for flambe) today. The concept of cooking in the restaurant by the chef in front of the customers blew them away. It should be arriving in a couple of months.
I've been to Shanghai but only as a tourist. I had the chance to work in China, Xian, in '89. I turned down the offer to go to the Carribean. Good job i did because a month later was the Tiananmen Sq. fiasco and expats were running for their lives!

09-06-2005, 10:29
..15 years in moscow ( and part of this in siberia. kirov and on ships..)
the latest is a restaurant with austrian cuisine, in the center of town.