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Need an Opinion on.........

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Getting a CERTIFICATE in Culinary Arts and an Associates Degree in Business administration? would that be a better route to take if i want to be an executive chef in the future?......and yes i know it takes years to work on cooking to be a good chef ;)
post #2 of 9
I would get my culinary arts certificate and than just work my *** off/up. Than....just hire someone to do the buissness end that has their degree. After all your going to be the exect. chef and running the kitchen so.
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
post #3 of 9
I'd take the business. It will open opportunities for you. For me the business side is the only reason to go to school.
post #4 of 9
Most culinary programs incorporate at least some form of restaurant operation classes into their programs now.

I agree with whoever said to go to school and then work your *** off. My experience has showed me that Chefs have so much business work to do now, they are more then willing to teach a loyal cook how to do it because it means less work for them.

That is actually what im im the process of doing now.
post #5 of 9
Cooking is only part of it. Chef in French means chief. You are the one in the kitchen that others look to for help and guidance. You must be a great organizer with the ability to multi task. Diplomacy is another feature you must have. The ability to communicate with dishwashers as well as owners, on both their levels. You must be both lenient yet strict. Last I feel you should never say I cannot do it, as this is simply giving up.School will teach you all the basics but the rest comes with experience and different exposures
post #6 of 9
It can never hurt to know and understand business. Such knowledge will only save, and hopefully gain you money. Also, it's not uncommon to find financial partners that rip the executive chef off because they don't see or understand the books. While attending a two year associates business program you can still work full time at a restaurant. I go to Rutgers University on scholarship and quickly drive to work to catch the lunch rush after class then work dinner. I wanted to go to culinary school first, but my father who is a chef made a deal with me, which was when I finish my two or four year program he'll send me to the CIA.
post #7 of 9
Well, looking at your predicament, I too am facing a similar challenge.

I am fresh out of high school and am considering the following:

Do professional culinary and pastry (1 year Diploma)

1 year work experience

Follow it up with hospitality management (4 year As. Degree)

The whole idea behind this strategy is accreditation!

A lot of plausable employers in this world weigh decisions heavily on paper!
Thats right! A lot of employers really look for more qualified over more experienced candidates.

They would most rather look to Degree holders for high flying positions, as opposed to a good chef courtesy of experience.

Just my opinion.

Another way of looking at things, from an employers standpoint;
If you are a good chef, an employer may not want to promote you to a higher level (not necessarily exec chef, maybe the restaurant manager)
simply because he values your talent and expertiese, and so will want you linger on as a heavy loaded kitchen staff to keep quality up.

Just a thought, but hey... Hope I helped you out.
post #8 of 9
well if i am a employer and i looked at some one with all those papers with no years of work experience prior id let you peel my shrimp and clean out the grease traps then you could work your way up and help the cooks with their prep work for service ill also start you out at 8.50 a hour sound good ?.

Its never made sense to me in this industry to have all these degrees. Find good mentors and learn from each place you work at their is no secret code to make you get to the top faster. So go work get a diploma and bust your *** until you get to were you want to be. Also you need to be experienced to be qualified so experience means everything in this industry.
post #9 of 9
Again, a relative argument. It would be wise to realise that an executive chef normally, even if employed, runs his/her own kitchen. It is their domain, and it is vital that they are aware of the loopholes involved in running it.

To help you understand a bit better. You have 2 chefs working at the same restaurant.
One has his culinary ed sorted out, the other has both culinary and a management course (not necessarily a degree, just any certification).
Both chefs are very good, and are working their way up in the kitchen hiearchy.
A time comes, when these 2, almost equally matched chefs are both considered for a promotion to the exec level.

Any employer, taking into consideration both factors, would notice the following:

Both are good chefs.
Only one has proven and documented managerial skills (his degree)
It would only be rational to pick the more qualified one.

It is just a perspective.
Some advice, if you will.
You have the freedom of choice... Use it!

It all boils down to what you are more comfortable with.

More advice:

Consider a 2 year Diploma in hospitality management, on a Part time basis.

Once you have completed your culinary certificate, jump into the job market, start cranking up those experience points! At the same time, while you build your hands on aspects, sit the part time program.

2 years later, you will have both (assuming you pass and graduate) a fancy and, may I add, Credible piece of paper, as well as a decent exposure to the line of work.

The management aspects also open a lot of doors, outside the kitchen.
If you should ever get tired of cooking, and wish to delve further into the industry, the management course will grant you the skills and attributes needed to enter an ownership class, where you can run your own establishments etc.

It certainly is something I consider to be very useful.
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