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Please, please, please help me, please read this

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Alright, now that i got your attention from the title of the thread, i need a little help. My name is Chris and I am 27 years old. I live in denton tx which is about thirty miles north of dallas. I just had a baby boy born two months ago. My problem is that i really want to attend culinary school , there is an Arts Institute in Dallas and a LCB school there too. I really want to attend the LCB school but right now they are only offering a certificate and when i look online at the jobs i would want sometime in the future most of them require an associates degree. Now the arts institute offers an associates degree, at kinda a high price, but they offer one none the less. So my question to those of you that have passed this point in your life, what should I do. I have read some threads that talk about a school is a school and after that experience is what gets you far. I am new to all of this and I am sure that this has already been answered by someone somewhere but if I get my associates at the AI instead of a big name school like LCB do I have a chance at making a profitable career as a chef. Now realize i do know you start at the bottom, i have done some homework for god sake. Thank you to everyone that replies, i am in diar need of help.

Chris
post #2 of 12
I know Denton Texas, Smith Bros. roping supplies is in that town. I order all my contest ropes from them.

I would get the certificate from the least expensive place you can. Then get the degree in business management. You will have a lot more options that way.
I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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post #3 of 12
Go with Bbally's advice.

One thing for you to consider though: You seem fixated on degrees and diplomas. For many other trades and professions this would be a normal, intelligent thing to to focus on. However, cooking and baking trades are not recognised as trades. There are no State or National standards or benchmarks. How does a school design a curriculum and subsequent degree or diploma with no standards to follow?
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
thank you sir for your comment, see that is the thing, i do not know what i need to do. I see you have some years experience and i was hoping someone who knew what they were talking about would answer my thread. thank you i am thinking now that the diploma may just be as good as the associates, in me finding a good job, thank u
post #5 of 12
I just finished up my Certificate at AI of NYC (Formerly the NY Resturant School)

My advice is to check out the local community colleges to see if they have the management program. I know here on Long Island (NY) our community college offers it. a buddy of mine is doing it that way and is now saving himself about $20000.
post #6 of 12
I hate to bring this up, but have you considered the impact that pursuing a food service career will have on your family? The difficulty of raising a baby coupled with the overtime hours required to advance in this industry is daunting to say the least.
I know what I'm talking about here-formerly single Mom, exec. pastry chef for Hyatt, exec chef for various other specialty food retail and restaurant operations. Working for Hyatt, I averaged 110 hours per week-others, well over 60. (I had to leave my daughter with my parents for well over a year so that I could do the Hyatt job.) Consider as well the fact that the majority of food service operations do not offer health insurance benefits for you or your child.
The plain and simple fact is that you will have to sacrifice a considerable amount of time with your son so that you can take advantage of the opportunities to advance in food service. Remember that your hours will include weekends, nights and holidays-all of which will be your busiest and most demanding times. Consider how you will handle parent-teacher conferences, holiday concerts and school events, not to mention when your 2 year old has an ear infection with 102 fever on Valentine's Day (or Mother's Day) and you have reservations for 3 table turns that night. Food Service is generally not a particularly "family friendly" business.

I don't mean to throw cold water on your dreams, just to inject a little reality to them. Make absolutely sure, before you give a bunch of your money to a school, that you have a solid support system set up to care for your sweet little boy while you are pursuing your career. Be ready to accept the fact that you will very likely miss many of his significant milestones while you are at work.

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
no need to apologize, that is something that is setting in the back of my head, i dont know if i want to be apart from my boy for that long of a time. My prob is that i am twenty seven years old, i messed around too long in my life and truth be told i should have done this right out of high school instead of taking a "break". All of you have been really helpful, any more advice will be appreciated too, thanks guys and gals.
post #8 of 12
For God's sake please do not pay big money to go to a school like LCB or AI. You have a kid and believe me you do not want to have to pay off those huge student loans. Go to a community college and try to find a job in a very exclusive country club.

Better yet, get a nursing degree.
post #9 of 12
I am currently a student at AI Colorado. I agree that it is crazy expensive but the thing is that you cannot put a price on your future. If you resacearch it, people that get the management experience and education and actually learn from experienced chefs have a higher rate of success in their field. I also appreciate the fact that all the chefs at the school come from different backgrounds. (fine dining, organic, european, etc.) I would suggest doing your general education requirements at a community college and transfering them over to AI but finish up your degree at AI to get the education.
post #10 of 12
Anyone that tells you that you have to attend a pricey culinary school to be successful is just plain wrong. I went to a community college for my culinary training and now am Executive Chef of a hotel casino in Las vegas. I like to think I do pretty well for myself. Your success is defined by you. Hard work, knowledge, honesty, professionalism and creativity will take you anywhere you want to go in our field.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #11 of 12
The education part is now an important part to this career. The schools name sometimes gets you the job but without the heart, dedication, and passion you won't last long. I dropped out of school after 6 months and I can tell you it took alot of time to prove that education isn't everything to most of the chefs I worked for. I can say only a small amount of people make it big in this career and I guarantee, if you could ask the ones how made it how they made it they wouldn't mention the school they attended. They would say hardwork and dedication.

Check out my website chefbyvideo.com and good luck with this decision.
post #12 of 12
Long before I went to culinary school, I heard a very wise quote:

The school from which you graduate only counts for your first job, after that, it is up to you. After that, it is how well you did your last job that gets you anywhere.

I agree with foodnfoto, there is a great deal to sacrifice when starting in this industry. Take that into account and make sure you have support available when a challenge arises.

I also agree with Montelago. Culinary school was helpful, and because I was going at a time when I was focused like a laser, it gave me an advantage. I was also lucky that I could pay for it as I attended. I wouldn't ever consider going to a fancy name school for the amount that would need to be repaid if I were to borrow the money. It's not worth it. You don't need to go to culinary school to be successful, you just have to make time to learn the things that no one has the time to teach you on the job.

Community colleges will help you with a basic understanding of fundamentals, and are typically staffed by instructors in the industry, lending itself to entry level work.

Be aware, unless you have your own business or have driven your way to an upper management level in a large operation, this industry is not known for extravagant paychecks. You work a lot and never really get paid a whole lot, and unless you're working for a corporation, you can forget about insurance.

Last year I remember seeing a list of the 5 jobs which were on the lower end of the payscale and being a chef was one of them.

Also, cooking professionally is much different from cooking at home.

Don't be too discouraged by my post, I've worked very hard and make a decent living. I've had many an individual extol their willingness to learn and work hard, not many have made it. It's rewarding, but like anything, if you want to get anywhere, hard work is required.
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