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need some advice

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I want to know if its worth it i already work as a cook i worked myself up from the dishwasher to be here. I read a lot of books to learn more about my trade i make about 9.50 a hour so lets say i work 40 hours a week even though i work more then that lets just say thats 380 a week after taxes about 330 thats 1300 a month. But i am starting to feel like i need some validation like a diploma. I would like to go to ICE since it seems the cheapest but could i still make a living wile paying off a 28k private loan. I have herd so many horror stories about culinary students defaulting on there payments and being lied to on what there monthly payments would be. If there is any cooks out there right now that went to culinary school how did you do it and what was your monthly payments like.
post #2 of 10
I am sure you wil hear a flurry of advice, both pro and con as it relates to school, but one underlying truth is that you have to constantly, relentlessly work, work, work your way up, degree or not. Yes, there can be limitations without a degree. Yes, there can be opportunities without a degree. In the end, you payoff is the equity you invest in yourself; hard work, responsibility and dilligence.
I wish you the best.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

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post #3 of 10
School will only fill in the basics. You might know already or you may not. It doesnt say how long you been a line cook in you post but a degree or certificate wont really make that much difference, at least that would be my guess. im making 10 and hour and finished culinary school so its not that much more, and im working in a hotel which will proably pay a little more than a restaurant.
post #4 of 10
Check out the Community colleges in your area, these are usually affordable and usually well run. The C.C's are not privately run which means they don't employ recruiters.

Schools, any kind of schools are kinda like eating at a buffet: Everything is offered and a lot more is available if you ask, but you can only eat what you yourself put on your plate--no one will spoon feed you. A lot of culinary students don't get this concept, however....

Many cooks that I know of have 2 or 3 jobs....
...."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 #5 of 10
Many communities have vocational/technical schools managed and administered under the community college system. They are an excellent starting point for your vocation and reasonably priced. They also will assist you in getting exposure to many areas of the culinary world.
post #6 of 10
A lot of good comments already. Will just add that if you need some validation of your skills/knowledge maybe you should consider preparing for and taking the certification tests by Home ?

The CIA has a similar testing program that is I believe is co-sponsored with ACF. The Culinary Institute of America Presents CIAprochef.com
post #7 of 10

Work

Sickem
I went to school. But I made myself by working, ah...... working and did I mention working. I tasted succes, knew what I wanted and fought, pushed myself through the kitchen to get. That my friend is the only way to really "get" this industry. Any school can teach you but so can a book. Embrace, surround and emerge yourself. Absorb all the information from all the best. if you want it, work at it, you'll get. I did it only in two years..... and I am not stopping. Just keep reading, working and more working!
Determination is going after Moby Dick in a row boat and bringing the tarter sauce!!!!......NICE!
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Determination is going after Moby Dick in a row boat and bringing the tarter sauce!!!!......NICE!
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post #8 of 10
Hey buddy, hang in there, we live in a mocrowave world these days. School is good to get the basics, like was mentioned, you may already have them. I didn't go to school, but I would like to have done so. The loans you hear about being defaulted on by student is probably those who think they'll be like surgeons or something, go to school, pay a tuition, and voila! instant cash. When they see that it's not as they may've bee told, not making six digit figures, they freak out and leave the biz, you gotta work, work, and work some more, been at this 32 years myself, I never will learn it all but I keep trying. After a while you'll start making better money, it'll be worth it in the end, like a good wine, it only increases in value with age...
La bonne cuisine est la base du veritable bonheur
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La bonne cuisine est la base du veritable bonheur
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post #9 of 10

apprentice

Find and apprenticeship at an ACF certified resort. It's the same degree as culinary school but you get paid to do it instead of paying to do it. Find me a negative in that.
post #10 of 10
If your in it for the money, chose a different path.
Cooking requires a special breed of soul to endure long hot hours, little to no time off, pay?? hahaha..it has taken me many many many years of hard work switching jobs and moving around the US to get to my present job that while it is still taxing and hard, pays me what i am worth ( which is a lot of money)

You really don't need a degree though it does help to get your foot in the door . But that door can close pretty fast if you don't know what you're doing.

Find the best restaurant in town that follows your cooking style. Beg the executive or head chef to take you on as an apprentice or prep cook/line cook. Thats how most of us that are older in the business learned. Started from the bottom and moved up.

Above all, if you have a true passion for it then never stop learning. Remember all chefs have different styles of teaching. Some are yellers, some are hands on, and others just tell you and expect you to sort of figure it out. All of a place..You just need to find which fits best for your learning capability. Me , you could yell at me till your blue in the face, makes no difference( i find it amusing actually) I am a figure it out myself kind of cook.


Good Luck.. and remember ...we don't CHEF for a living; we cook.:bounce:
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