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Science student considering a culinary career, need advice

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi. Please hear my situation and give me some advice. I am 20, have been studying biology and health at a public university. I want to travel and experience new cultures and I have been trying to get into the Global Health field.

However, I have really been considering a career in cooking. I could travel, learn learn languages, learn to make food(which I really love), and experience new things. I would love to learn Asian culinary techniques and specialize in Far Eastern cuisine.

However, I am not sure if I can afford culinary school or what I should do. I've already completed two years of undergraduate work and am 2 years from graduating. I am not sure if I did pursue a culinary career if I should withdraw out of college or what I should do. Please some advice here is really needed because I've never rethoughr about going to college and studying what I study up until now.

Thank you

Paul
post #2 of 11
Paul,

Besides the travel and enjoyment of cooking, why are you looking to get out of biology and science?

I will give you my opinion after I hear a little more about your situation.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am not actually trying to get out of it. It is a very interesting field and it would be really cool having a job as some sort of epidemiologist or public health advocate.

But, in the last year I've had an Asian girlfriend, so I've been eating more Asian food, I've been more aware of the varities of Asian cooking, and I love watching cooking shows from that area of the world. Everywhere from Japan to Thailand, I find they have amazing cuisine and I have been thinking everyday how I could be a part of that and make this great food and be around it and live it.
post #4 of 11
If you aren't trying to get out of it, then finish your Bachelor's and while you are doing that, take a job as a dishwasher or doing prep in a kitchen.

A science background can be a huge benefit to you in the food industry.

Where do you live?
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post #5 of 11
Your only 2 years from graduation get that degree. If you want take a job pt in a food service place. If I were you I would go the food science route as the future dictates everything will be made in a factory or lab. Chefs will be experimental chefs and recipe development directors.Food shelf life will be stressed and developing foods that are not subject to any type of bacteria or spoilage. Your car will come equiped as an option, a microwave oven where the glove compartment is now. There will be kiosk on the street where you can put money in and get food that you can heat in the car. All of this will come to pass, make sure your part of it.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I live in NY state. My college is in northern/central NY but my summer and winter home for vacations is NYC.

So since I am 2 years away I should finish that degree right?

Also, I don't think there's any culinary insitute near my college, so it will be hard for me to attend that while I am in college. Is there any kind of online courses or something that I can do?

And finally, do you guys recommend me going to a culinary institute as soon as I graduate or what should my plan be?

Thanks for all the great feedback so far. Pleas ekeep it coming
post #7 of 11
While you are finishing your degree, get a job in a restaurant, even if it is as a dishwasher, work hard, eyes open, mouth shut, say "Yes Chef", and find out what the "game is all about".

You'll figure out when it is time to go to "Culinary school"...
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
So do you guys think I can take my health and biology degree and incorporate that maybe into the Nutrition field and eventually transition into some kind of cooking field? Or at least be a part of it or learn the trade somehow?

I did plan to get my specalty in disease but I can just as easily study nutrition if that would help me in the cooking field.
post #9 of 11
Yes, study nutrition.

Do you not see how a degree in nutrition would be beneficial to you? It's a no-brainer if you did some research.

If you want to make serious money and cook, you aren't going to do it as a line cook. Having a Nutrition degree and culinary on top of it will give you a great advantage.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. When you mean "culinary" on top of it, do you sugget studying at some professional institution? I am just figuring out time in my life when and were I can attend.

Yeah I have been looking at getting an MPH(Masters of Public Health) in disease but I can just as easily do it in Nutrition, which I've recently been looking into.
post #11 of 11
Nutrition would be a better fit for culinary in my opinion. And yes, get culinary on top of it. Whether it is a degree or certificate, it doesnt matter as much. It just depends on what you want to get out of your education vs learning in the field.

Lastly, our school (Kendall College) hosted about 10 industry professionals to judge our Culinary Innovation class. Students worked in teams to design, create, and pitch a plan for a new product to the panelists who all worked in areas like R+D, Nutrition, Business Innovation, Marketing, etc. Without going into specific detail, the product was designed for kids and nutrition. Students had a good grasp on the nutrition but as a Nutritionist, I am sure they would have a major advantage.

If you wanted to work in a kitchen and be a chef, you can do so with some proper training, guidance, and education. With nutrition as well, it opens up the doors to coveted Research and Development jobs, hospitals, food service programs, consulting, etc.
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