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A question about culinary school

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this post deserves its own thread, and if not, sorry to the admins.

I'll start by saying that I'm a 24 year old college student majoring in business. I've been seriously considering undertaking a complete career change and going for a career in food. I'm sure lots of people have posted something similar to this and I'm not the first, but I am sure about what I feel, and anyone that knows me would know it is very unlike me to be so impulsive about something thats possibly so life-altering. I would really appreciate any advice you guys can give me.

Also, I was wondering if there is some kind of an unspoken minimum standard of knowledge that is expected out of someone applying for culinary school? I have never worked in a kitchen or restaurant before in my life (unless you count fast food). I would really appreciate any general advice...
post #2 of 5
before jumping to culinary school iwould work and get some kitchen expeince before you can the job you had. Alot of places if you explain to them that you jsut want to see the ay to day and see if its for you and tell them youll even work for free will be fast to take you in.

I did it and I was in your same spot except. Full tiem career big a big company and blah blah blah and spent the year working and going to school and doing my extern now while still full time and will continue to do 2 jobs until my pay rates even out.

as for knowledge. you should know some stuff but everyone hasa different backround and if you have the passion and desire that is all you need. you can learn what you need to know but the passion and desire has to come from within and be there to succeed
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know what a good first job might be to starting off for a person with no previous experience? I've started looking for jobs online, but don't even know where to start. I'm assuming place like chili's or tgi fridays wouldn't even think about hiring someone that doesn't even know how to use a deep fryer?
post #4 of 5
My first job was at TGIF, and I had no idea how to saute or deep fry anything (so they stuck me on the salad station, and I learned the rest by watching). Their training is fool-proof. They train you how to use the equipment, and they give you a recipe book with all their standardized recipes. All you have to do is convince them that you are going to put forth the effort it takes to deal with the volume they do. Filling out an application never hurts anybody.

Don't look down on working for a chain restaurant either, the guy in charge of the kitchen at the TGIF I worked at is making around 80k. Not too shabby.

Best of luck!
post #5 of 5
I agree with RAS1187 about this. The chains have highly refined the techniques and/or the processes to produce their products. They have also kept in mind that they are highly reliant on an unskilled labor pool i.e. many of their employees will be young people just getting into the work force with little to non existent culinary knowledge.

Just realized you had mentioned working in fast food. Depending on what you did, that may well have been a start. If it was cooking, reflect back on that experience and recall what you learned about cooking the products of that kitchen.
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