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Seeking advice from the professionals

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ever since i was 9 years old, i've wanted to become a chef. I used to spend my summers cooking in my kitchen and inviting all my friends and family over to try my dishes.

In a year i'm going to have to start attending some sort of culinary school but i just don't know which one to go to. I've been looking around and the DCT Culinary intitute in Switzerland looks like a pretty good school.

So basically what i'm asking is what school will teach me what i need to know to get into the culinary world and what would a future employer be looking for in a prospective sous chef
Thanks a bunch!
post #2 of 4
Congrats on your choice to enter the culinary field!! It can be a very difficult life, but also a rewarding one, as many here will testify to. A couple of questions first before trying to help with answers to your questions: do you have any experience in the restaurant industry? If not, I would highly suggest you spend the next year working at a restaurant or two to "get your feet wet" and learn a little about this industry and to see if you really do like it. I don't know how many times I have said that the love of food and cooking does not always translate into a love for working in the restaurant world. So spend some time working before you drop any money for culinary school. It also helps with schooling, if you have some experience first. Second question: where do you live? In the States or somewhere else? I can't really recommend any schools in Europe as I am not that familiar with them, but I can say that there are a number of great schools here in the US. CIA, J&W, and NECI (New England Culinary Institute) to name a few. There are also a few really good schools in NYC also.

As to your question about what employers are looking for in prospective sous chefs, well, I think you are jumping the gun a little there. A culinary education is just the beginning of a long road. Very few people are willing to hire someone as a chef or sous chef right out of school. And those people who do take those jobs right out of school usually tend to regret it. There is just no school out there that can teach you everything you need to know to become a "chef". It takes years of studying, learning and working to gain enough knowledge to do justice to being a chef, of any rank. Most chefs I know spent from 3 to 10 years as cooks before leaping into the realm of kitchen management (ie. being a chef). That is above and beyond any culinary schooling they recieved. Believe me it is time well spent. Best of luck in the start of your career and keep us all informed of the decisions you make along the way!
post #3 of 4
Pete said it all there.

Also the Arts Institute Schools of Culinary Arts are dandy!

I was hired as Chef in a prestigious hotel restaurant upon graduation from culinary school. But this was because I had 17 years restaurant experience and 2 of them were as leadcook/sous at the very same restaurant while I was attending school. They apreciated my drive and passion. You have to have that if you are going to carry a 3.8 with 40 hours of school and 50 to 60 hours at a fine dining restaurant weekly.

Others fresh out of school, no matter which one, ussualy and realy should get jobs as cooks and work their way up.
Good luck in pursuing your dream! It's a wild but fulfilling ride!
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks for the advice, it was very helpful!
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