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Meet Vernon: Experienced Sous Chef and Shiftgig Specialist


In a recent poll, we found that the majority (74.3%) of Shiftgig Specialists have experience in the foodservice industry, but a far fewer number of those Specialists have a sous chef skill set.

Vernon Williams is one of those unique Specialists.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, and one of five children, Vernon learned from an early age the value of a strict work ethic. “I watched my parents work hard to make life easier for us all,” he told Shiftgig. “I was continually inspired by them, especially when they moved us to a beautiful home in Queens.” Today, Vernon is motivated by his own family, particularly his son, who he claims is, “the reason I breathe.”

After a lifelong career in foodservice, Vernon found Shiftgig in late 2015 through one of his chef connections at the Chicago-based hospitality company, the Altamarea Group. Since being accepted as a Shiftgig Specialist, Vernon has worked an incredible 291 shifts as a line cook, prep cook, sous chef, chef manager and more. “Foodservice is a ‘who you know’, not ‘what you know’ industry,” Vernon explained. “I like Shiftgig because it has given me access to a lot of great companies and great chefs.”

Vernon has has filled shifts at places including the US Open, the Barclays Center and the Columbia University Law School. “If I had to choose my favorite place to work, I’d have to say New York Presbyterian Hospital,” he explained. “They were in need of someone who could help run the day-to-day operation of the kitchen, patient meals, cafeteria and catering events, so I jumped at the opportunity!”

The sheer number of shifts Vernon has worked is not nearly as impressive as the quality of work he consistently brings to the table. “Vernon has been one of our best cooks for a long time now,” said Samuel Martens, Shiftgig New York’s Community Operations Specialist. “He's one of the only Specialists with our sous chef skillset and has been ‘all-starred’ by five clients!”

One of Vernon’s best pieces of advice is to research a company and its menus to learn as much as you can. That way, when you walk into a shift, you’re prepared for anything that comes your way. “The only other advice I would have for other Specialists,” Vernon concluded,
“is to know your craft and take pride in your work and yourself!”

Looking to get to work, like Vernon? Apply to Shiftgig.

January 26, 2017 | Kelly Hickey