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Hello There!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm recently graduated from college, and just now realized that working in a kitchen is what I want to do. So far I've seen lots of good discussion around here and I'll be sure to be picking all your brains.:)
post #2 of 5
Hello, Gene, and welcome to Chef Talk. Can you tell us what was the "AHA!" moment that steered you into the culinary world? What do you enjoy cooking?

I hope you take some time to explore all the great stuff here: photo gallery, cooking articles, recipes, blogs.... and a search tool to help you locate topics.

Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey Mezzaluna, thanks for the welcome, you usually don't actually get that at most forums! Really appreciated.

It's sort of funny that it didn't occur to me to jump into the culinary world. My dorm room was covered in pictures of pastries, seafood, sashimi, assorted dairy products (I am a bit of a strange bird, I admit), i get into all sorts of rows with people about my dislike for vegans haha (i keed, i keed)...all my friends were obsessed with cooking and eating, my favorite bits of books and film all involved food. I don't know why i was so dense about the whole thing.

I guess I was instinctively intimidated by the whole biz, I always heard horror stories from waistaff etc about customers and the high stress in kitchens, abusive chefs, you know the gamut.

I started realizing I might want to be a chef when i was nearing graduation when that inevitable fear of "what the **** am i going to do now?" kicked in, but the deal was sealed after i finished my last final and after handing it in my professor asked me about my plans and i told him "i don't like that question", although I'd been thinking for some time seriously about going to the CIA, (but i didn't tell him this, though he'd think i was an idiot)

Amazingly he told me that he'd been in the same position after undergrad and then said, it'd been one of his dreams to become an executive chef and attend CIA...this man who i respected for four years as an academic and as a mentor...although he ultimately became a prof, obviously, he told me he would be just as happy being a chef, and in some ways regrets not doing it. I knew then it was kismet. :D

It wasn't just him though, I think of my immigrant grandmother and parents and their culinary tradition, and my roommate who was an aspiring chef, and the joy it brings me to break bread with another human being, and talk and critique food...and especially eat (goes without saying, really). All of these things have informed my culinary journey.

Sadly, I have no experience working in restaurants, about the only thing i know how to do is work hard and be passionate. I'm starting from square one and am sending my resume and calling every place that will take me on for free (and pay me a little, one hopes). But i don't mind at all. I just want to soak up everything there is to know.

Sorry bout the long and disinteresting post, s'posed it can't be helped. :talk:
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
darn, i think my rather longwinded reply post was lost, so much for making a charming first impression.

anyway, thanks for the welcome mezzaluna, really appreciated:)

I guess it's really strange that working in the culinary world didn't occur to me until the very end of my undergraduate studies. I've been surrounded and been in love with food for as long as can remember. My favorite bits of books and films are always the food (eat drink man woman anybody?)...my dorm walls were covered with posters of dairy, sashimi, pastries...I'm a bit of a strange bird, i admit haha...I spend my days arguing and making fun of vegans (i kid, i kid)

the 'what the ****?' do i do with my life question really kicked in when i was a senior, and one day it sort of just leapt into my mind that i spent a great deal of my life thinking and being obsessed with food. it was only a half step to realize that i should work in the kitchen. Part of me wishes that i'd known this before i spent a load of money on undergrad studies at a private college, but i do feel that i have gained skills and perspective i would not have otherwise.

strangely enough, it was on the day of my last final, after i handed it in, that my prof asked me about my plans, and i answered "I don't like that question" and he proceeded to tell me that when he graduated college, he wanted to go off to CIA and become an executive chef. This is a man i respected intellectually and personally for over four years and i never knew this about him. Although he obviously became a prof, he said he somewhat regrets not cheffing and that either way he'd have been happy. It was kismet. I thought he was going to laugh at me when i told him i wanted to become a chef.

I think i was always intimidated by the business, from what i've heard from waitstaff about customers and abusive chefs, you know the gamut.

But it wasn't just him, I think of my immigrant grandmother and my parents and the culinary tradition they've given me, and my friends and the joy that talking and critiquing food, cooking food, and of course eating food gives me (as if this was in question!). All of these things, i would say, have informed my culinary journey.

Unfortunately for me, i have no experience in a kitchen, it seems all i know how to do is work hard and be passionate. i know it's going to be a lot of hard work, but i wouldn't have it another way. I only learn through doing, and i want to soak up all i can about this industry. This site so far looks like a great resource, a lot of honesty and support. Glad to find this place, definately.
post #5 of 5
I'm new here as well. Nice to meet you...
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