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Is tendonitis a severe limitation?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
In the whirling mists of possibilities lies that of choosing to go to culinary school. While fitting such a change into a somewhat cramped agenda won't be easy, age itself is not a personal consideration. I shall age regardless of whether or not I do the course, it's simply that one way I should have completed a target, and by failing to follow this path I shall not. I don't seek a career in catering, so much as I'd value the education and experience that would come from taking the course. Saying that, I would look for those opportunities that might be suited and enjoy the challenge.

However, I have for many years suffered from tendonitis of the wrists, trigger finger etc. I particularly struggle with stuff like whisking, beating etc that involves the holding of hand tools. and although I do manage for short periods without falling back on the use of a machine (unless it's something extended like a foaming sponge) - it is not always an easy thing.

While common sense tells me this would be a serious impediment, in which case I shall adjust my sights and seek less structured avenues of learning, I would however be interested to hear the viewpoints of those of you with experience of such courses.

Am I holed below the waterline before I sail?
post #2 of 10
Two comments, Andy.

First off, why a full culinary school if you don't intend going into the industry? That's an expensive route. You'd be better off, I think, taking individual classes (either at a culinary school or from private instructors) that meet your needs. There are numerous 1-3 day classes available that might make more sense for you.

As to your specific question, the answer is yes, that sort of tendenitis would be a serious handicap. Another reason to just take short classes that interest you, one at a time. You can then adapt, if necessary, what you learn to machines.

While I appreciate your desire to learn as much as you can about techniques and proceedures, keep in mind that cooking is supposed to be fun. If you're suffering then it sort of defeats the purpose.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi KYH :)

Thanks for the reply.

I don't know quite how these things are financed in the UK for us slightly older folks - maybe some kind of education loan. Of the two problems - that's potentially the easier thing to overcome.

I've been thinking about it for a year, and starting Michael Rhulman's 'The Making of a Chef' has brought an additional focus.

I think I've reached the point of not wanting to be second guessing the option all the time. I guess it's easier to go forward and concentrate on less intensive options, once I've accepted that as being the better course of action.

The aching while not fun, isn't so much a problem - it's the seizing up that's inconvenient.

Rather than not ask, I hoped maybe there was the possibility that someone would post and say don't worry you can opt to choose a parallel path using machines.... so I thought I'd check - I hoped the basics would be the same on this side of the pond as they are yours.
post #4 of 10
Hey Andy,
I would think the UK schools would certainly consider you. But I agree with KYH. why bother if you're not going into the industry?
If you want to learn, we'll teach you. Just imagine the think tank you've got here. Seriously. You've got educators, chefs, caterers, home cooks and therefore, a bottomless pit of experience

Take it from me, UK colleges are veering very much towards theory and cutting practical to a bare minimum.You'll hardly ever be in whites.

Come spring, visit me for a couple of days if you like in Dundee. You can help me perfect my teacher/ pupil skills before classes start. Open invitation.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #5 of 10
Andy, all I can say is: If you don't accept Bughut's invitation, shame on you. That's exactly the kind of cooking education that you need.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #6 of 10
Tendinitis can become more serious if you push it. Take it easy--your body is giving you pain signals for a reason.

Ibuprofen helps, not only by easing your pain but also by reducing inflammation, which could otherwise cause more injury. You have to do your part. Reduce the stress that is causing the pain. Sometimes a simple change in method or utensils/tools can make a lot of difference. Maybe do some research on ergonomics.

You don't want to limit yourself more. Take care of yourself.

-Andy G
post #7 of 10

re

tendinitis (also known as tendonitis) is an inflammation of a tendon (a band of fibrous tissue connecting muscle to bone) that causes pain, tenderness and occasionally, restricted movement of the muscle attached to the affected tendon

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ooh, what a fantastic offer bughut - thanks. I'd certainly be a test for your teaching skills and I'd love to follow up on the invitation next year. :cool:

Seems like a shame that a culinary course would distance itself from focusing on hands on practice. While I value the science, and appreciate the need to learn about food hygiene, H&S, etc. I'd assumed that cooking is something that a trainee chef should hope to be immersed in, rather than mostly reading about.

you're right of course bughut, there's lots to be gained from CT members and I do very much enjoy learning from people here. One of the values of a course to me, is that I presently cook in a complete vacuum. I have no idea what other people think of as a good sauce or even what the perfect mashed potatoes is etc. it would be great to add that level of interaction and feedback to my cooking.

Thanks for the thought Andy, I've experienced it for many years and it's not something I worry about most of the time - unless I'm doing something more intense like home building stuff. In the home kitchen environment so far it's manageable. As you suggest, as it kicks in I listen to myself and adjust pace etc. accordingly. I'm not sure how realistic that would be in a more competitive environment though.
post #9 of 10
I have tendonitis. Im in the kitchen 6 days a week, 12hr days.. When it gets bad, i take ibuprofen, rub some voltaren emugel and wrap it with medical tape. seems to do the trick... although we will have to talk in a few years!
post #10 of 10
Andydude
I've been on many (too many, says my husband!) courses in the UK and Europe. Some courses were just a day, some 2-3 days and some a week (one, many years ago was 6 weeks!) I've cooked with many, many well-known chefs - including Mosimann, Novelli, Stein, Blanc, Sean Hill. The Ballymaloe cookery school in Ireland also have some wonderful courses. All courses have been very 'hands-on' - the chef demonstrates a dish and we then cooked it.

I'd bite Bughut's hand off, and take her up on her offer!
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