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Tattoo problems in culinary school? - Page 2

post #31 of 43
This sounds like the mid year intake for the Sydney campus of Le Cordon Bleu Australia. Would this be right?

Two things here. One, is that what you've heard is, well, hearsay. Have you inquired as to what you've heard is true? It may well be it's the students that are having problems with getting used to professional standards.

Two, you are about to hit a culture that is vastly different from your own. Be prepared to be taken out of your comfort zone and encounter things that will be totally alien to you. What is accepted where you are won't be accepted here and vice versa.

What you may have heard is the response elicited by some students with regards to on site presentation. A lot of people are averse to rules. After all, our 'MTV, sex, burger and fries' society teaches us that no rules equals personal freedom. As such, people feel certain rules encroach on their personal rights but fail to pinpoint the fact that with anything in life, there is a modicum of responsibility required too. Others have already mentioned what these are in relation to professional cooking so I won't revisit them.

If that's the way it is in your backyard then that's cool. But you take a walk around Sydney and you'll be hard pressed to find any chef in a half decent restaurant with tattoos that you can see.

The reality in Australia is that things are done very differently here with regards to training. It's not the done thing to skip off to culinary school and expect a career. Bottom line is, mate, people won't give a toss how much you paid for your classes. Domestic students as well as their international counterparts spend just as much as you do going through the apprenticeship system which is very competitive and standards are world class. Culinary school is very much considered the second option. If you don't think you'll be able to hack this then it might be worth considering staying where you are :lips: But if you want a challenge and a very good education then grasp this amazing opportunity, hook in, abide by the rules and you're in for a bloody good time.
Nobody likes being told what to do.
Until they get lost.
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Nobody likes being told what to do.
Until they get lost.
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post #32 of 43
There's an easy solution to this problem. Just cover them up. There's a make up called Dermablend which will work on the neck or face. It can cover up just about anything. For the hands it probably wouldn't be such a good idea as the makeup could rub off, maybe wear gloves...I dunno. Good luck and don't worry too much, maybe its not as bad as you heard.
post #33 of 43
I don't think that you should be discriminated against because of tattoos. People have them all the time now - it doesn't take away from your cooking ability :smoking:
post #34 of 43
I've been in the field over 20 years and I am heavily tattooed. I was not when I started. My collection grew over the years. This should be a sign for you. You're already experiencing problems with your tattoos and you're not even out of school. There will be plenty of places in your life that will not hire you because of your tattoos. Get used to that. The exception is when you are a dazzling chef. But if you're still in school there's no way you are.

Your hands being tattooed at such a young age is a sign of disrespect to tradition. Jeez, isn't that why we get tattooed in the first place. That said, it is possible. I was Ex Chef at a hip local place and the fact that I had exposed tattoos made people curious. I walked through the dining room every night. People liked it. It all depends on where you work and how good your food is. And how good your tattoos are.

If you want to do your own thing then do your own thing. You can open your own place. Be your own boss. But the customer will still have the final say.

Kind of funny after over 20 years in the biz I gave it up. And for what? Now I'm a tattoo artist. I can look how ever I want.
post #35 of 43
Although I'm typically pretty libertarian with regards to what people should do there will be places (like large luxury cruise or hotel chains) that enforce and outline strict dress and grooming codes (like the place I'll be working at), not only for supposed safety reasons but for professional reasons as well. The ban on visible tattoos is just one of them.

As a result it stands to reason that some/most culinary schools would enforce similar dress codes... though really, just because a bank requires one to go to work in a suit doesn't mean they had to go to school wearing a suit.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #36 of 43
New Exec. Chef, he made everyone shave.

I didn't like it, but rules are rules.
post #37 of 43
I am a chef with tattoos myself however none of mine r visible. However I agree that visible tats r unprofessional and that is what really matters the school that I went to taught that talent means nothing if you can't uphold the professionalism of our industry
post #38 of 43
if they're going to take your money, they shouldn't care what you look like.
post #39 of 43
Now that a real funny rule! Never heard of anythin like that here in HK..!
post #40 of 43
This thread started a while back, but I just thought I'd add my 2 cents.

I've heard this mentioned a few times when I read through the replies.
The schools do want you to uphold a certain level of professionalism inside and outside of school. During school (well at mine anyways) you get to do an internship - doing so you are still a student of said school and dressing inappropriately to offend clientele means the school is not teaching appropriate grooming/hygiene applied to the culinary profession. Because of that the school will develop a poor reputation and when employers learn that their interviewee is from said school they will not be looked upon very highly

I have a tattoo... about a 5" lotus on my right forearm. I got it a year ago during my first semester of school. No one even knew I had it until I rolled up my sleeves when washing dishes one day at school. For me... most people absolutely love my tattoo that have had the chance to catch a glimpse of it. I spent a nice deal on the little piece because I knew it would be there for a while and I wanted to enjoy it. But even still I keep it covered up, all of the time. It also really depends on what sort of tattoo it is.... If I am washing dishes I don't have to worry about it being covered up. When I am outside of the kitchen it is covered up though. But when students with grotesque images, nude images or swear words on them are admitted they are admitted based on the fact that they usually agree to cover it up 24/7 with make-up or whatever.

The one thing I did not agree with was the person that said tattoos are gotten to attract attention. I would totally disagree with that line due to the fact I got mine solely as a personal remembrance of a choice I made. If it were meant to attract attention I'd wear my sleeves rolled up 24/7 and everyone would know I have it.


But to get back to the tattoo schpiel in school.
They want you to look "professional". When you wear your uniform you represent your school... and I would think when you graudate later on you would expect the incoming new students to do the same. You don't want to interview with an employer that finds out you come from a school with a huge disregard to personal hygiene and appearance do you? That is just going to make you look bad. When you get out of school they want you to be marketable - as far as being able to go out and find a job.

They are also preparing you and helping you establish good hygiene and appearance habits so you are not thrown into some sort of shock when you start working.


Someone mentioned that when hiring a banker employers don't look at whether or not they wore a suit through school. But, hey! If you look at it this way - wouldn't you rather hire someone that takes their career seriously enough to prepare themselves and develop good person hygiene and appearance skills over someone that did not really care going through school? If you ask me... the people going through other careers where they have no dressing requirements are missing out on developing real life working habits.


Take it or leave it... that is my opinion and hopefully it makes sense.

:bounce:
post #41 of 43
You're right, it is an old thread, and I still stand by what I said.

Last Christmas, I was at a relative's and played a game of chess with my then 6yr old niece. She knew enough to move the pieces and had a good idea of the game, but I caught her cheating--she moved one of my pieces.
She insisted she didn't, and I said maybe the cat moved my bishop. A few moves later and she does it again. Try as I might to convince her that she moved my piece when I was talking to someone, she would not hear of it. About then, everyone else sat down for dinner.

A tattoo is not imaginary, not a mental image, but a physical one, even if it is hidden. It is there, like a ring on a finger--it's sole purpose is to attract attention: Yours only, or whomever you choose to show it to. It's sole purpose is to attract attention--even if you are only washing dishes......
...."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 #42 of 43
Very well stated. I would add 1 thing , in the dining room and on buffet line, Look, Eye Appeal and Presentation are things that count and that impress guest. If you want or have tatoos cover them at work.:bounce:
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CHEFED
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post #43 of 43
As much as I dislike tattoos and piercings, you either have to roll with the times or be crushed by them.

I've sharpened in a kitchen where the place was extremely quiet. But when that same kitchen had their head chef quit without warning, their top sous-chef took over. He liked deafening rock n' roll.

I don't have a single tattoo, which might seem odd to many who have met me. However, my dress and discourse make my views very clear. And, yes, it turns some people off.

But our society has so many strata of political views, forms of dress, ethnic influences and now "ink" that I wonder if the subject carries any weight, at all.

For example, within less than a decade, my guess is that every individual in a kitchen (including some from cordon bleu style culinary schools) will have tattoos, they will be able to twitter with one hand, and will be able to quote chapter and verse all of the cheat codes from 'Halo' and 'Grand Theft Auto.'

This is the way it has always been. The adults freak over the youth, and the youth prove them wrong every time.
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