Hi, I've been browsing this message board for a few weeks now, decided to join and would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Peter, I am a 30 year old married father of one. For quite some time I have been considering changing to a career in the culinary arts. For the past ten years I've been working a miserable dead end job in an office and If I know one thing for sure, it's that I don't want to be doing this for another ten years. I've always had a passion for food and cooking(especially hot & spicy foods hence the name :) ) and honestly think that I could be happy becoming a cook or chef. I have researched a few culinary arts programs here in NYC and right now I'm leaning towards the Institute of Culinary Education(Formerly Peter Kump cooking school) I will be visiting the school for the first time tomorrow morning to speak with an admissions advisor. However, from the posts that I've been reading here and another culinary message board, I must admit that I am frightened to death about the meager job and salary prospects upon graduation. I only make around 35k now which is more often than not barely enough to support myself, my wife and child. The prospect of starting out making $7-$8 an hour without any benifits is a major factor in my starting to have cold feet and truthfully it's causing me to second guess my decision to attend culinary school. Especially since I'd most likely be taking on a student loan for the 20 grand it costs to attend ICE. At this point in my life ruining my sterling credit by defaulting on a student loan is not something I want to experience. I understand that any positive change requires a modicum of risk but the risk that I am anticipating seems so overwhelming. Now I don't live in a dream world and don't expect to come out of culinary school, become the next Emeril and make a fortune right off the bat, but I at least need to be able to make enough to pay the ever skyrocketing cost of living here in NYC.The other negative aspects of becoming a chef that I've been reading about such as the long hours and hard physical labor dont really concern me as I am confident in my ability to put my nose to the grindstone and tough it out. I would appreciate any thougts, input or advice that anybody could offer in helping me to make my decision.
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1/23/04 at 8:34am