My name is Jason Chao Lin. I participated in the Master Talent Foundation Internship program in July of 2015 under Chef Kobe Desramaults in Restaurant In De Wulf. I am from New York City and have been working in NYC only. Until I decided that I need to see what the world outside looks like. Before staging at In De Wulf, I have also done a few other internships around Europe. All which opened my eye tremendously. I ended my European internship tour with In De Wulf.
My internship was originally for one month only. But mid-way through I asked to extend it by two more weeks.
It must have been the toughest 6 weeks of my professional career. But it was also some of the best and most memorable moments of my life. We worked 5 days a week, Wednesday to Sunday. All the interns were put into different stations to work with Chef de Parties, then rotate. We go forage about 3 to 4 times a week in groups. That was such an eye opening experience. I have never foraged before. There were no where for us to forage in New York. The concept of working with Mother Nature and using what was provided during that season was everything that I wanted.
Which ever station we were appointed to, we help them prep. And when service starts we go to appointed stations and participate with the stations. The service style here is absolutely amazing. Only cooks run the food to the tables. So we get to interact with the guests. It was so different. I really thing that guests to chefs interaction is very important. This lets the kitchen know that we are making great things that all the guests are enjoying. It makes us so happy to see that. I was appointed to Pastry when I first started. During service I was working the snack station. When snacks are all out I help with plating on the main courses. Afterwards, then pastry service starts.
After service ends, the whole kitchen crew breaks down the stations. We clean everything from top to bottom. By the end of it, the kitchen looks brand new. When we finish the clean up, we have a post-service meeting. We talk about what went well during service, what went wrong, and how we can run a smoother/better service next time. The team building/developing at In De Wulf is phenomenal. What Kobe is doing here is nurturing the next generation of chefs. Teaching us all the importance of seasonality, locality and quality of the ingredients.
Out of this internship, I took more than just professional experience. I have also developed friendships that will last a life time with people from all over the world. We all lived in the stage house together. We go to work together, we come home together. So we pretty much see everyone 20 hours a day. It is no wonder that our bonds became so strong. I have recently traveled to Singapore to visit one of the close friends that I have made at In De Wulf.
This internship program was life changing. It made me a way better chef and an even better individual. I urge every aspiring chef out there to take this opportunity to see the world and to develop further as a person and as a chef. I sincerely thank the Master Talent Foundation team for this beyond amazing experience.
Jason Chao Lin