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Old 04-03-2009, 12:02 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Wanting to become a chef

Hi.

I am new to the forum and love cooking (even though I am fussy), but I am posting not for me but for a friend.

I have a friend who is looking to become a chef, she turns 18 this month, is home schooled and has a big interest in cooking, her desire is to become a chef, not for the money but for her love of cooking.

Paying to further her education is not an option as it is too expensive, she has been looking into the navy she as relatives in the mil, as she need s to be earning money while training.

so my question is how easy is it to come out of the navy and walk into a chef position, I am trying to find real information, so I can give her lots of information before she joins up and ends up not in the place where she wants to be.

What are some must do steps to become a chef if you cant afford school?

Thanks for the help

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Old 04-03-2009, 12:14 AM   #2
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Hi, Rache1. Welcome to DC.

Well...as to your friend going into a chef's position directly out of the navy, I would have to say that is unlikely, unless she was trained in food service, etc. there. Even then, she would have to have some additional training.

However, if she's really determined to be a chef, she should look into apprenticeships or additional training that would allow her to achieve her goal.

Since $$$ may be an issue, she may also get funding through the military to allow her to attend culinary school.

Not being a professional chef myself, that's just my take on the situation. If cooking is a passion, I wish her the best. I hope she can follow her dream.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:34 AM   #3
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I am currently attending a culinary school at a community college; they offer an associate's, teachers are CIA trained chefs that have years of real-world experience, same courses but for a LOT less $$$. There are student loans/grants available. (With tuition, food, apartment, and other expenses, about $10,000/2 semesters)
As for the navy, what can I say? I'm a proud mom; my son is on his way back from his second deployment. It has been a great thing for him.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:44 AM   #4
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If she is into the military, that's as good as anything else. She will get training and funding for education both during and after. The military does need cooks etc. Several CMC (certified master chef) have come from military background, the self discipline is great and that is needed in a chef. She may well want or need more training after her service, but comcol or even CIA programs are available and so is funding.

Go for it!
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:58 AM   #5
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In NYC most of the kitchens are staffed with
untrained immigrant laborers who work their way
from the most menial jobs (peeling veges etc)
learning by observing, working up to more skilled
jobs and becoming line cooks etc.

Anthony Bourdain once said he would rather
have these people in his kitchen than any 'schooled' chef.

Perhaps she could follow a similar path.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:25 AM   #6
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If she's interested in the military, the Navy has a training program, called Culinary Specialist A-School, located at its training center in Great Lakes, IL near Chicago. It's not one of their larger schools/career fields and graduates less than 1,500 trainees a year. Here's a link to basic info: Navy Relocates Culinary Specialist A-School

One cautionary note is that if she enlists because she wants to be a cook, be certain she gets a guaranteed enlistment agreement that she will go to CS school. The military is infamous for making promises of certain types of training without giving written guaranties, and then not honoring them. Because culinary specialist training is a very small program, if she doesn't have a written enlistment guaranty for CS school, there's no way she'll get in after the fact.

If she decides against the military, there are plenty of other options for her. Before taking a low paid kitchen helper job in a restaurant, where she may or may not learn anything depending on the chef she works for, I'd suggest that she at least consider a little basic training through a low-cost community college culinary program. It may make a big difference in the types of jobs she'll be offered and her future opportunities for advancement. Financial aid is usually available.

When people say they can't afford formal training and education, it's usually an excuse.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Thank you very much for the info, i will send her the link, I think that stuff about the navy program is extremely helpful Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FincaPerlitas View Post
One cautionary note is that if she enlists because she wants to be a cook, be certain she gets a guaranteed enlistment agreement that she will go to CS school. The military is infamous for making promises of certain types of training without giving written guaranties, and then not honoring them.
Read that again. WRITTEN guaranteed enlistment agreement. Very good post.
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