After reading many posts I have taken the advice of all and found a part time cooking job under a great young Chef (CIA grad, 18 years in the biz). Actually it was dumb luck, I moved in with a person who is friends with the Chef. I had no idea of her connection when I moved in. I am planning on attending culinary school this fall or next summer, depending on how this opportunity pans out. Having zero kitchen experience, I listened to those who said "Get a kitchen job first so you know this is what you want to do." I cannot stress enough (even after one night)how important it is to get a restaurant job before going to culinary school, if you have no prior experience. It's one thing to watch FoodTV and talk about becoming a Chef, but it is something different to slice and dice vegetables for 4+ hours, along with all the other physical work. I was fortunate enough to saute and make salmon cakes as well as the slicing and dicing. After one night I can say I have already learned something new, earned a blister and can't wait to get back in for more. Find a Chef that is willing to take you "under his/her wing" and go with it. I am quite fortunate to have landed this opportunity and plan on taking full advantage of it. Thanks to all for your career advice.
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