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Old 01-22-2010, 12:44 AM   #31
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3
If you want to make career in Culinary Art then you must find best place for this. A cooking job like restaurant Manager, Chefs are good for earning. But you need to learn Cooking ethics, Cooking Style and More which you can learn in Culinary Schools.

Best Of luck for your career..

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Old 01-23-2010, 10:47 AM   #32
Senior Cook
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: japan
Posts: 462
hi there,

i'm no longer cheffing, but i put about 20 years in the industry, starting out washing dishes at 16 and eventually working my way up to sous chef and executive chef positions.

what you get from a good culinary school is a fairly well-rounded basic knowledge of all the important aspects of the culinary field. i'd stress the basic part, as you will still not be an expert at anything. better programs will also provide you with job opportunities and connections.

the difference between going to a culinary school and working your way up the ranks is that to build up the same general all-around experience and connections will take many more years. in the meantime, though, you will be becoming proficient at some aspects.

of all the people i ever hired, i don't think i ever based a decision on whether or not someone had graduated from a cooking. amount of experience and checking up on recommendations is what mattered. and the fact that some had a degree from a culinary program certainly never saved someone who just wasn't working out from getting fired.

you may (or may not) be able to get a job as a line cook directly out of culinary school. it would probably take several years longer to work your way up to that position otherwise. but not necessarily, if you have a strong work ethic, are a quick study, and make yourself available when the chef is in a pinch because someone is sick or doesn't show up.

you will not be making what many might consider "real" money as a line chef. not until you can land a position at a really fine establishment. and your pay will not be based on having a degree or not, but based on the position you are hired for and your experience. you don't really make decent money until you become a sous chef or executive chef, at which point you will be on salary and pretty much kissing your personal life good-bye due to the hours.

it may seem that i'm coming across with a somewhat negative attitude, but that's not what i want to convey. if you enoy cooking, it's definitely rewarding. 95% of it is simply a job, like any other. but you do get to be creative; more and more so as you gain in experience. and there's a lot of comeraderie. but the bottom line is that you have to sell a product. and the restaurant business is and always has been cut-throat.

in the short-term, what you need to decide is if it's worth several 10's of thousands of dollars to distill say 5 or 10 years of exerience into 2 years or not. and remember that in repaying a loan, you are actually repaying about half again what you borrowed. i'd ask mark what he thinks about this in today's market.

as a middle way, another option would be to start workng your way up in a good establishment and taking occasional courses at a junior college or somewhere to expand your horizons, especially on basics like learning how to make a good brown sauce, etc. in this respect, a culinary school is the way to go, as most average restaurants use a lot of commercial products, and it can be hard to pick up these skills on your own until you can get jobs in a better class establishment. that said, there are a lot of chefs who are willing to take promising aspirants under the wing, so to speak. but it's kind of the luck of the draw on this point.

well, i could probably babble on for years, but i hope some of the perhaps contrary infomation/opinions help you.

let me make sure that wine's ok before i use it.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:21 PM   #33
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA
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Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
And if that the case you better really love what you are doing, because cooking is a hard, hard work. Much harder than a programer.
I understand what you are saying: Cooking is a lot of physical work and long hours. My friend, who once worked as a programmer at Lockheed Martan, also had long hours in a cubicle as she poured over pages upon pages of code. She preferred working in a restaurant cooking because (1) she could tell when something was spoiled and (2) a mistake may miff the customer, but would not send a rocket into an orphanage or whatever.

Cooking is a different kind of hard, but personally, I'd rather cook for 12 hours in hustle and bustle even with a raging boss than sit in a cube quietly for the same amount of time and wonder if my decimal is off in a code. You know?

My advice for anyone looking for work or considering a job change is to love what you do. If you love it, hard work isn't so bad. I don't work in foods or in programming, but I have a job I love that I would not wish on anyone. And most people would not do it on a bet. *grins*

To give a quote from the movie American Dreamer: "The important thing, kid, is that you are doing something that makes you happy."

A little bit Ginger. A little bit Mary Ann.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #34
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Find a job you love, and you'll never work a day in your life.

Ravings of an Amateur Foodie
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