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This is seriously scaring me!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have recently been accepted to LCB Miami for a 15 month culinary program. Its gonna cost me the upwards of 40k. I have graduated high school with low grades and attended a comunity college for 2 semesters. I earned 0 credits at my college and wasted a year of my life and about 3k. I would like to make a name for myself in the culinary world but dont really know anything about it. I dont want to waste another year or so and now 40k going to a culinary school if its not going to help me in the long run. I want to save money and get a good background in food so i can get hired in a high end resteraunt or hotel. I guess what my problem is is that i think i cant get accepted to a decent school and im going to jump to this oppertunity only to be royaly screwed.

Does anyone have any advice for me?
post #2 of 14
Get a job!! Seriously, get a job in food service at the highest level that will hire you based on what knowledge and abilities you do have. While working there learn all that you can and be diligent about it.

At this point you have "proven" to a human resources person or other person making hiring decisions that you aren't academically motivated. What you have to do now is "prove" to somebody that you have a strong willingness to work, follow instructions and improve your level of skill and knowledge.

Formal academics is not for everybody. Some people just learn better by seeing and doing. This may be the case with you. There can be a lot of book learning with cooking to really understand the science of it all but the bigger part of cooking and baking is about the hands on skills. Learning when things are done by sight, smell and feel. Before commiting yourself to a huge debt load on school I would suggest you get some hands on experience in a food service environment.

Best of luck in your endeavors!!
post #3 of 14
Here's the cynic's view...
You've been accepted into a 40K tuition program.
What's really been accepted is either your credit report, or your ability to secure financing towards that 15 month program.
Short story = The school gets their's (money) and you're left to make the most out of what they present to you, education wise...
As JBD suggests, I'd recommend that you gain employment in the food service industry, develop some skills "in place" (working in a restaurant/catering firm/cafeteria), and then decide if the exended debt load of a more formal education is what you're willing to take on.
And if you're at this point not entirely sure of your motivations and desires, the time spent actually working in the food service industry should help you make that determination.

Best of luck!!!
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
post #4 of 14
so let me get this straight... you're gunna spend 40k to go through a culinary program, but you don't know anything about the culinary world?
coupling that with your track record, i gotta tell ya, unless you are gung ho on this, it sounds like a recipie for failure.

if you want a good introduction to the world of culinary arts, get a job as a prep cook at a busy country club, or resturant that does private parties and ala carte service at the same time.
work some 14-16 hour days witout sitting down.
take in as much as you can mentally while you're at it.
THEN think about that 40k for a culinary program.
I don't want to discourage you by any means, but i think that going into a program like that when you don't really know the biz, might be a bad idea.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
So far its been such a pain to get my foot in the door at any resteraunts in my area. The economy in Michigan (home state), as well as the rest of the United States is horrible. I don't have any connections to get myself started. I have been applying for reseraunt jobs for the past 4 months in all positions, including dishwasher... Im 19 and worked with produce/fresh herbs for 3 years before quitting. Maybe they won't hire me because im young and allready had a previous job? I'm so lost, and my parents are no help at all to me!
post #6 of 14
Okay, stop, and remember to BREATHE!!! :)
A "previous job" is not a bad mark on your permanent record. Especially if you were at the same place for three years (and at 19, that would be considered a remarkable feat for kids nowadays).
I don't know what size of a village/town/city you live in or near, but I hope you're not limiting your applications to either just chain restaurants, or to only Mom & Pop places, or avoiding "resorts"/Elks Lodges/cafeterias/other places that serve food. Hit 'em all...
Granted the economy is in the cr a pper in some spots, and you're about to compete with all the other highschool grads for summer jobs, but keep plugging along. Something is likely to open up.
If there is some place that really strikes your fancy, and you'd desparately love to work there, be somewhat persistent in contacting them (preferrably not during a bizzy service time).
Don't go "stalker" on them. A personal visit to begin with, and then a follow up phone call every two to three weeks...
Anyway, I'd still say scratch the 40K debt until you know that the hospitality indistry is definitely for you...

Best of luck...
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
post #7 of 14
It may be time to look outside your home state if you can.
The local community college has one of the top rated programs in the nation.
They pull in students from all over the country. The cost of living is moderate and their are plenty of jobs for cooks and apprentice's. In fact I am looking for two -three apprentice chefs right now.
post #8 of 14
I'm attending culinary arts school at Scottsdale Community College, Arizona. It's awesome! I learn so much from there. We run restuarant, so we start cooking the second day of school. Basically you swim or you sink. The best part is, it's only $4400 for the 9 mo program. That includes knives, uniforms, books, lab fee, etc. Plus the program is ACF cerfi. Awesome awesome chefs too.

If you are looking into becoming a chef. I do recommand you go work at a restuarant first to see how you like it. Cuz as soon as I'm done with this program, I'll probably only get hired as a line cook (If I'm lucky) getting paid $11/hr. You have to work your way up no matter how much school you've gone to. Most places only care about your cooking experience. And that just my own personal opinion. :)

Good Luck.
post #9 of 14
Maybe you should think about the other options, like military. OK, I am not a recruiter, however, I am currently enlisted in the military. It may sound suck right now, but you can get a job as a cook as easy as pass the ASVAB test with minimum score. If you want to participate in a good military culinary program, join either the army, or the navy. Trust me, I compete with those guys, and they can cook. A lot of them are ACF Certified chefs, some (like my buddies) Certified executive or master chefs. Then you have the best of both world, 1, have a job security you will get pay way more than just get a job in a civilian sectors, 2, you work side-by-side with some of the best chef in the military, 3, you have chance cook in the pentagon, and white house as long as you keep your tail clean. 4, you have a lot more chance to study with the certified chefs.
Don't get me wrong, the down side is as much as the upside if not more, you will have to go to war(that's right, you have to "orbit the orders of the officer appoint over you"), and you have to carry a gun to defend yourself, and others (sometimes), you will deploy (with current situation, that is a guarantee) 6-15 month at a time which you will have work 12-16 hour days, depend on where you will assign to.
But after you get out the military, you will have the skill to present for your employers, the experiences they asking for (if not more than they ask, i.e. if you get a special duty in the white house, of pentagon), and the money to go to school if you don't want to get a job right-away. While you in the service, you can get ACF certification, and compete on the national level as well, those are just extra credits on your resume.
I suggest you think about this, join the military, but don't by any means retire in the military, cause that is too much BS you have to deal with.
By the way, I am getting out this year after 8 years in the USAF as a cook, and going to attend a cooking school.
hope I can help you.
post #10 of 14
I may have to argue with the army part of this comment.....I spent 10 years in the army and honestly some of the cooks may have been good, but the food in general was typical run of the mill greasy spoon, heartburn diner quality. The airforce on the other hand....every time I had the opportunity to visit an airforce base and eat at their chow hall I jumped on it....Now I never went near the water so I can't speak to navy food, but quality of life in the airforce is MUCH better than the army, and that includes the food they eat.
post #11 of 14
Well, I think the general army dinning hall have different mission than the competition team. A dinning hall have a budget requirement, even the best chef will have a hard time put out high quality food. If you ever have a chance to visit the military competition at fort lee, and fort bragg, then I believe you will see the difference.
post #12 of 14
HAHAHA, I didn't even know the army had a competition cooking team...geeze learn something new everyday.....But I think I'll stand by my "quality of life" comment in the previous post......My neighbor was paid a substandard housing allowance for an identical house to mine, and only because he was in the air force...
post #13 of 14
The Air Force spends a large percentage of their personnel funds on quality of life.
The other armed forces spend that money elsewhere.
That's why you enjoyed the AF chow so much.

I thought all Chefs carried firearms, regardless of whether they were military or not.
I always tell people I have the most dangerous job in the world. :D
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
post #14 of 14

Find a place to work and learn

I went to the LCB school in Orlando earlier this year. They want your money and don't care about grades. That's not a slam. They're owned by a corporation. The instructors are great. They have fantastic resumes. But is school right for you or do you learn by doing? They are relentless in their approach to teaching. 5 hours a day 5 days a week. I ate it up until I had to quit.
You're young. Go to work. Work your way up. I was changing careers and I probably have 20 years on you. I was looking to get a leg up. Stay away from the military. They get all my respect as I was raised around the army,but now is not the time. Get into the industry and apply yourself. You'll know pretty quickly if you want to pursue it and you can go to school later. Good luck
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