This is coming from a 21 year old cook, who learned the hard way, who needed to succeed to avoid being tossed back to the gutter I came from, but instead rose to the top. Funny, the best cooks I've worked with all came up like me - they needed to be good because if they sucked they'd be back on the streets, making a single mistake wasn't even an option.
You wouldn't believe how sick I am of having to teach these culinary school grads, who've had educations paid for, yet don't seem to have learned a single thing. A CIA grad who can't even bake a cake or make a proper crème anglaise, it's rediculous. Even in book knowledge they're disappointing. Seems the only admission requirement is that you have the money to pay tuition, and everyone gets a passing grade as long as the checks clear.... Everytime we hire a new grad, I hope that they'll show me up just to restore my faith in the system, but it has yet to happen. I almost feel sorry for those who have paid $45K+ for their educations (until I'm forced to teach them the same thing for the 3rd or 4th time because they just don't get it...).