Trying to start my cooking career :)

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Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
59
alright, in december, ill be turning 16. I have a huge interest in cooking. I LOVE it. Like, ill wake up in the middle of the night and chop an onion for no reason. But thats besides the point!

When i turn 16, i wanna get a cooking-related job. I was thinking either as a dishwasher or working at a small catering-buisness in town... I thought maybe id get to do some more hands-on stuff at a catering place. Could someone help me through this? Are there any better options? What do you suggest? thank you!!! :rolleyes:
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,799
Location
Massachusetts
Your ideas sound good.

Also buy some good cookbooks and start cooking.

Don't neglect your education. There's a lot more to being successful in the food business than slicing and dicing.
 

cjs

Sous Chef
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
893
Location
Straits of Juan de Fuca
A well-rounded education will help you with all aspects of the cooking world!!

And a part time job with a caterer or at a local country club will give you great experience. Good Luck and remember to keep it fun!

Wait till you wake up in the middle of the night and want to run to the kitchen to make a dish you just dreamed about...
 

thumpershere2

Head Chef
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Messages
1,285
Location
USA,Minnesota
You could also try and get a line cooks job and that way you will learn alot. Some places will hire and train. It's a cooks helper. Just a thought and good luck on your cooking adventure.
 

Chef_Jimmy

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
294
you won't walk in a become a line cook, and if the restaurant lets you, than it's probably a place where you wont learn much. Dish washer is where to start.....show interest, and the chef will notice, I had a sous chef that began as a dishwasher.
 

foodfanatic

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Messages
3
Location
Northern Virginia
Starting your career

I teach Culinary Arts I and II to high school juniors and seniors. My advise is to see if there is a program in your school district and see about getting enrolled in the program. If your school district doesn't offer a culinary arts program, I would suggest as others have of getting a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant. The majority of the chefs out there today have started in the pot sink, worked their way up, either graduated from an associates or bachelors degree program in culinary arts or have gone through the American Culinary Federation's certification program. Take pride in every pot you wash, work hard and always offer to help others and request additional work. Any chef that sees someone with this type of work ethic will jump at the chance to take you under their wing. Email me if I can be of help to you.
 

cjs

Sous Chef
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
893
Location
Straits of Juan de Fuca
I was the chair for the ACF Apprenticeship program in my chapter for a few years - you might want to check that out. The program is geared for those who have to work while going to school. You need to be in the cooking field and be 18 and then you're off and running. You go to school for one nite a week for a 3 year program and when you have successfully completed the program, you are a Certified Culinarian - and you can continue upping your certifications as you progress thru the cooking world.
 

marmar

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
158
Location
Chicago, Illinois
I know my high school offers classes geared at culinary careers. There are ones about the foodservice industry that are taken at the community college, and then there are others that have to do with more specific aspects.

I'd say other than getting a job, if it is an option for you, a class could be a good start. My problem is that I have so many history and science electives that I can't figure out how to take a food-related one.
 

Claire

Master Chef
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
7,967
Location
Galena, IL
Once upon a time, many years ago, I thought I'd like to be a chef. I've always, and I do mean always, loved to cook. When I was in the service I messed around a bit in the club kitchen and bar, and enjoyed it. So in that gap between military service and my next employment I took a job as a waitress. This is going to sound stupid, but I learned about the heat in the kitchen. Not just the emotional pressure (that's there too) but the physical heat. I sweat A LOT, period. I learned that I simply cannot take that much heat. I agree with everyone to take the lowest paying job in the kitchen and do that for a summer. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.
 

Sugarcreations

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
Messages
20
Location
South Carolina
Well I work in a bakery and do not have that much of a problem with the heat but Claire is right do it for a summer and see if its for you.

Rgds Sugarcreations
 

Claire

Master Chef
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
7,967
Location
Galena, IL
Working in a bakery takes more muscles than most jobs. You need to be able to push and pull and lift. You need strong arms and a strong back.
 

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