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I doubt myself.

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I like to cook and want to go to culinary school,but I'm upset my teacher gave me a C in cooking class in high school my group is always done first our food always comes out great and we are the most creative group I have a passion for food,but when my teacher gives me a c in class it makes me doubt myself. on top of that someone that hasnt even tried anything i ate said i wasn't a good cook just because he was mad about something. How do I stop doubting myself?
post #2 of 30
get over it.  I had teachers give me bad grades, not because my work wasn't good but because I could have done better in their eyes. While it was unfair, it's also right.. Some advice,  before you get into culinary school, go work in a real kitchen. You think your teacher made you doubt yourself? Heh, wait till the real world shows you what you don't know. It doesn't get any easier then High School my friend.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #3 of 30
Remember, a "grade" is a measure of how well you "met the standards", not necessarily a measure of hard you worked nor how well you did what you did.
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Spear View Post

I like to cook and want to go to culinary school,but I'm upset my teacher gave me a C in cooking class in high school my group is always done first our food always comes out great and we are the most creative group I have a passion for food,but when my teacher gives me a c in class it makes me doubt myself. on top of that someone that hasnt even tried anything i ate said i wasn't a good cook just because he was mad about something. How do I stop doubting myself?


Maybe you did a perfect job on something that wasn't what he was looking for.

Maybe you did a bad job on what he was looking for.

Maybe he just didn't like what you made. I sent back what may have been a perfectly cooked piece of duck because it was raw inside. Raw poultry just grosses me out. The cook swore it was perfect. I don't know. Maybe it was. The last duck I had was roasted with crispy skin and a nice orange sauce and it certainly wasn't bleeding. Maybe it was bad, maybe not, in any case I knew I didn't like it.

And I also know that the cook didn't go home that night worried about whether he was any good or not just because I didn't like my dinner.


yummysushi1.jpg

Some people think this is heaven on a plate, other people think it's bait.

If lots of people think you suck, you might actually want to look into finding out what you need to improve. If you ran into one person who didn't like it, just ignore it and move on.

Terry
post #5 of 30
Grades in high school may or may not reflect the work you actually did.

I had a friend who barely squeeked through drama class, for various reasons. He's since been in several broadway plays. Which shows that a director (the real judge) saw his talent, while his high school teacher did not.

The questions you have to ask yourself:

1. Was I satisfied that this is the very best version of X I could produce?
2. Why did I get a C? Was it a fair judgement of the dish, or did it reflect bias on the part of the teacher?
3. Do I have a real passion for cooking----enough to make a career out of it? Or is it something I'd rather do as a hobby?

BTW, if you let somebody who hasn't tasted your food affect your self-worth you need some help. That person's opinion---good or bad---doesn't count. How can he possibly know whether you're a good cook or not?

One of the best things you can do is take Gunnar's advice about working in a commercial kitchen before making a decision. Culinary schools are expensive, and you really want some first-hand experience before making a life-decision like that.

Just out of curiosity, would you be willing to post what you made that earned that C, including the recipe?
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 30

Travis to answer your question "How do I stop doubting myself" Answer 'Stop doubting yourself" It's the things in life that were there all along that we so seldom realize. Gunnar is right ...work in a kitchen first you will pretty much know right away ...You either love it or hate it. I grew up in a kitchen. My family owned a steak house . I am the oldest of 5 kids and the only one to have any interest in the kitchen! My brothers and sisters still don't get it...

 

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 

Well its just a Culinary arts class in highschool
The teacher (She) isnt a culinary intructor she went to school for Consumer science.  There are 6 kitchens they look like small normal house kitchens and there are 5 groups of 4 my group has 3 people.  We take test on what we learn like we learnt about cheese and stuff,but Labs are when we cook we do labs almost everyday.  She just finds a recipe and gives it for all the groups to follow then we eat it she doesnt taste what we make I guess she grades us on group work.  I'm always the chef and we only have 45 minutes so I keep my group  running smooth and effiecent. We are always done first and we have a kitchen leaned up before we eat.  I got a C for my marking Period Grade  and i dont know how she grades my group works well together all the other people dont even know how to hold a knife properly.  I think I'm a great cook  the teacher tells me she wants me to enter some competitions but if she thinks i'm good why did she give me a C she doesnt just grade Labs she grades out notes and that day my notebook was in my locker,but I atleast deserve a B someone in another group got a B and there not nearly as passonate in cooking as I am ,and we all make the same thing every day and she doesnt taste the food so how would she grade us?

post #8 of 30
When I was in culinary school, I got a little bent out of shape over a grade. I went to the director of the culinary program to talk to him about it. He told me to worry less about grades and more about whether I thought I was learning and developing. That said, I think the only way for you to come to any amount of understanding in your situation is to ask your teacher why you received the grade you did and what you can do to improve in the future.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Spear View Post

Well its just a Culinary arts class in highschool...

Hm, something is "not right here", your avatar says "Professional Chef" yet you are in a culinary class in high school?

Second, no one "deserves" a grade, whether in high school, culinary school, or college, one EARNS a grade, somehow you must not be satisfying the teacher's expectations.

Remember, the "teacher" has met the standards to be licensed and hired as a teacher. How s/he goes about the job is NOT your choice, how YOU go about satisfying the teacher IS your choice.
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
Well I changed my title I think it comes up automatically.

She is not a culinary instructor she has never been to culinary school.
this is just an elective that i take in highschool she gives us recipes to follow and we make the food and the we eat it she doesnt taste what we make she just sees how we work together,and my group works together fine.  I want to go to culinary school when I graduate in 2011.  I took this class because I enjoy food,but I dontknow why she gave me  C when she doesnt even taste the food she tells me that I should join Cooking competitions so obviously she thinks I have potential.
post #11 of 30
If US is anything like UK. Cookery class is a farce!  Very enjoyable, but pelease! dont judge me on what the instructer knows.  Seriously. My 16 going on 17 year old had to choose a menu from a country for his final exam. he chose Thai, cos we cook a lot of it at home and he's used to working with the ingedients
We pay through the nose each year for the Academy to provide ingredients. yet they give him a ripe mango for papaya salad. No lemon grass, no galangal, no kafir lime leaves.  So I had to fork out at the local chinese grocer at the last minute, £5 for agreen papaya and send him to school with the rest of the ingredients from my freezer. (which are readily available at said grocers)

Now, All this aside, when it came to marking the 3 course meal, All  the adjudicators admitted they knew very little of Thai food. Their knowledge wasnt enough to judge Gregors menu and they simply scored him on his taste/presentation/ and overall performance.     He got an A???

My advice would be to listen to the advice of the others above. If you truly want to work in this business, get some real experience. My no.2 son went from dishwasher to head chef in 2 years. The fact that he drives a truck now is beside the point. (Check out theads on burn out)

I suppose what I'm trying to say is...there are no rules. If you want it bad enough, you'll get there

I wish you the very best of luck with your chosen path.
"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 #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Spear View Post

Well I changed my title I think it comes up automatically.

She is not a culinary instructor she has never been to culinary school.
this is just an elective that i take in highschool she gives us recipes to follow and we make the food and the we eat it she doesnt taste what we make she just sees how we work together,and my group works together fine.  I want to go to culinary school when I graduate in 2011.  I took this class because I enjoy food,but I dontknow why she gave me  C when she doesnt even taste the food she tells me that I should join Cooking competitions so obviously she thinks I have potential.

Hi Travis - I am slightly confused  amd bemused that she does not taste the the results of what you cook,  surely this is the main purpose of cooking - to make somethomg that tastes well., is well cooked and seasoned,
 and hopefully, looks presentable.  But the taste is foremost.  I really do not see how she can grade you on somthing she hasn't tasted.  That is just plain ridiculous.  And unfair to you and your team.  I don't know what type of opportunity/avenues you have to approach this silly state of affairs at your school, but I woulld look into it.  If you are having problems with the teacher, maybe others are tool

My son, whose great love is music, is ready to give that up as a subject at College because of his teacher.  So is most of the class.  She sounds like a real shocker, always destructive criticism.  Never anything positive.

For sure, working in a pro kitchen will soon sort out if the kitchen life is for you.  If it is, go with it.  If the pro life  is not for you, don't let it discourage you from cooking for the sheer joy of it  Keep going with it, home cooking can be great.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken View Post



Hm, something is "not right here", your avatar says "Professional Chef" yet you are in a culinary class in high school?

Second, no one "deserves" a grade, whether in high school, culinary school, or college, one EARNS a grade, somehow you must not be satisfying the teacher's expectations.

Remember, the "teacher" has met the standards to be licensed and hired as a teacher. How s/he goes about the job is NOT your choice, how YOU go about satisfying the teacher IS your choice.

 

Pete - this teacher is not even tasting the food.....
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks for understanding my fustrations its not even a culinary class its my second year taking this class. Last year i took Foods Basics,and now this class is like food funamentals,and next year as a senior in highschool I will be taking culinary Arts honors.
This grade (C) is making me doubt myself.  I am almost certain that i want to go in the culinary feild i like cooking and even in this class I help my group run efficent and smooth and when we get done before any o the other groups it makes me happy that we used time managment skills to get our plates out on our tables before the end of the period.  I just don't know what she is grading if she isnt tasting our food.  alls she does is give us a recipe and we follow it and make it,and then eat it.
 
I want to go to one of the Arts institutes for Culinary managment or Johnson ,and wales.
post #15 of 30
Travis, more and more I'm convinced you have to just get through the class, but generally ignore this so-called teacher. She doesn't have the requisite skills to teach such a class (not an unusual thing with electives), and is just winging it with grades.

I know how frustrated it can be for you, with that C. But there is, unfortunately, not much you can do about it.

But, from everything you say, it is certainly not the result of anything you did or did not do. So, while you surely have the right to fume about it, don't let it effect how you view yourself.
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 #16 of 30
I took a course like that in high school, and was pretty mediocre, and then was at the top of my class when I took baking at college. It just depends on exactly what they're looking for.

I think you said that she's happy with your cooking, so you really need to ask her what she's grading you on if you're not sure. It could be that she's taking points off if you're always taking the lead and not letting the other members of your group be the manager, or something like that. From what I remember from that class, it was all about teamwork, sharing responsibilities, staying calm all of the time, and being a really fair wth everyone.
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Want to see what I'm getting up to at college and in my spare time? Check out my blog or feel free to recommend one you think I might like!
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post #17 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Travis, more and more I'm convinced you have to just get through the class, but generally ignore this so-called teacher. She doesn't have the requisite skills to teach such a class (not an unusual thing with electives), and is just winging it with grades.

I know how frustrated it can be for you, with that C. But there is, unfortunately, not much you can do about it.

But, from everything you say, it is certainly not the result of anything you did or did not do. So, while you surely have the right to fume about it, don't let it effect how you view yourself.


Thanks that makes me feel much better

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaKulbaba View Post


I took a course like that in high school, and was pretty mediocre, and then was at the top of my class when I took baking at college. It just depends on exactly what they're looking for.

I think you said that she's happy with your cooking, so you really need to ask her what she's grading you on if you're not sure. It could be that she's taking points off if you're always taking the lead and not letting the other members of your group be the manager, or something like that. From what I remember from that class, it was all about teamwork, sharing responsibilities, staying calm all of the time, and being a really fair wth everyone.
 
I think you are right i always take the leader ship role,but no one else knows how to even when I let them take the role they end up asking me a question and i end up having to do it.  They are afraid to get there hands dirty with the food and I always just roll up my sleves and work with the food because that what i enjoy if i give the rest of my group a leadership role as (Chef) they would end up asking me a question.

.
Edited by rocktrns - 4/20/10 at 2:07pm
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Spear View Post

I think you are right i always take the leader ship role,but no one else knows how to even when I let them take the role they end up asking me a question and i end up having to do it.  They are afraid to get there hands dirty with the food and I always just roll up my sleves and work with the food because that what i enjoy if i give the rest of my group a leadership role as (Chef) they would end up asking me a question.

 


I am going to sound like a giant b!t@h, and I'm genuinely not trying to, but it isn't your problem the other kids don't know how to lead, it's theirs. And the teachers'. If they have problems or questions they should be asking the teacher, because that's what she's there for. If the person who's leading asks you a question, you can always just play dumb and make them ask the teacher.

When I was in that course I also had three people in my group, and every class we had a different person be the chef, the worker, and the dishwasher. Yes, we were all helping each other all of the time, but everyone had one main job, and you went along with whatever the 'chef' said, because they were in charge (and if they weren't too sure we forced them to go talk to the teacher)

(Sorry, I don't mean to come across as rude, just having a bit of a bad day, so it might)
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Want to see what I'm getting up to at college and in my spare time? Check out my blog or feel free to recommend one you think I might like!
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post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
Lol there was nothing mean about that post I understand,but its just so hard not to help when I already know how to do it.

If I may ask did any of you go to culinary school if so did what type of degree did you get?
post #20 of 30
 I had teachers give me a bad grade. I fooled around a lot. But as I got older and matured I got a scholarship and graduated. After graduating I went back and HIRED some of these teachers to help me in my catering business!!!!!

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Well i talked to the teacher about my grade and she told me that I did ok with my labs it wa just my quiz's and notbook test tha messed me up,she also said that she took points off because cabinents in my group kitchen were open and we didnt clean good enough and she also took point off from me because i used a spoon besides a table spoon to stuff crepes.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Spear View Post

Well i talked to the teacher about my grade and she told me that I did ok with my labs it wa just my quiz's and notbook test tha messed me up,she also said that she took points off because cabinents in my group kitchen were open and we didnt clean good enough and she also took point off from me because i used a spoon besides a table spoon to stuff crepes.
So now you know, right?
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
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post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 
Yep know I know what to improve on
post #24 of 30
I'm glad you spoke to her and now you know why you earned that C.  I know a C is a hard one to accept... I always had high standards for myself in school and was just devastated at getting a C (well except for phys ed.. I hated that and was pleased to get a C!) 

You have been given lots of good advice here and the best one is.. get a job in a kitchen.. even if you start by washing dishes.. you will see what goes on and will know pretty fast if this is for you.
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks
Well today someone asked me what i wanted to be and I told them I want to work in to culinary world,and be a chef,and they Responded "you dont look like you can cook"  What is that suppose to mean how do I not look like I can cook that really bothers me.
post #26 of 30

sounds to me like you need to learn to take criticism better and have some confidence in yourself.

as a cook, you just have to learn two words, "yes chef!" and do whatever you can to appease them. it wont likely be as bad as hell's kitchen, but you will get criticism and have to take it and get the job done. as a chef, you often times have stupid people who know nothing about good food criticize you and you have to take it with a smile. such is life...


if someone questioned my ability to cook without any real basis, i would simply laugh and tell them they are wrong. if someone said my food was bad, i would question it as well because i don't serve bad food. of course, people have different tastes... the same plate of food may be salty to someone and not salty enough to someone else. such is life...

if you can't handle this, pick a new career. a hobby does not always translate to a career and it may even ruin that hobby for you.

post #27 of 30
A lot of good advice has been given already, and I'm glad you did end up talking to the teacher, but I just want to comment on a couple of thoughts I had.

Huy Bui above really hits the nail on the head. It's a blunt response, but it's a blunt field, and you'll have to get used to that. Keep this in mind: you will never please everyone. But you know what? That's absolutely fine. You don't have to, and that brings me to my second point: the culinary world is incredibly subjective.

To get an idea, turn on any of the competitive cooking shows on the Food Network. Cooks and chefs are constantly ripped to shreds by judges who come off as very inconsistent. Ever see the show Chopped? A judge there will berate one chef for using too many onions and then praise another for "the lovely balance that the onions add in." It just shows how subjective it all is. So, to a degree, you have to let go of the criticism.

That being said, do not simply ignore criticism either. Hear it, give it a bit of thought, and if you feel you're still right, then keep doing what you're doing. Do not, however, fall into the trap that your way is automatically the right way. But don't let criticism hold you back either. Every chef on the planet can learn something new. Every cook out there can do something better. And (almost) every customer should be given a "Thank you for your comments" response even if you don't agree with them.

Cooking is a hard field. Most of us do it because it's something we love. We put ourselves into our work, and that makes it personal, and of course it can sting if something personal to you is attacked or received poorly. We want to share our creations and we want them to be enjoyed. Unfortunately, it'll never happen all of the time. So it really just comes back down to the reason you're in it in the first place. Do you love it? Do you love it enough that you can keep doing it even when others disagree with you? If you think you can, give it an honest attempt. But if you need to have every patron absolutely love your meals, you're setting yourself up for disaster.

I agree with the others about getting some practical kitchen experience. Also, if you work in a kitchen and it's not for you, make an ally out of it. If a particular restaurant's not for you, ask your boss what other options he or she might know about. Some people love full service restaurants. Some people thrive in bistros. Other people get their kicks working in the best damn bakery in town. Catering is another option. There are tons of jobs with different paces and perks, so keep your options open. But, once again, just remember that you can't please them all. Aim high and continually try to learn more, and try to please as many as you can, but don't beat yourself up just because someone doesn't like your work. Remember, the culinary field is just too subjective for that.

(Edited to fix a typo.)
post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that advice it makes me feel more confident,and I will need to get my mental state ready,because I'm confident that I want to work in this feild of work.
I'm going to now start calling restaurants to see if I can get some sort of no pay intern,but I don't know because I'm only 17.
post #29 of 30
Travis, the level of actual thinkers and doers in our American education system is extremely poor. Never allow others to steer your ship through life unless they have demonstrated a superior skill at seamanship. Follow your passions!!! Anyone who follows what they love will usually put them on a path to a successful life!!!   

 

As far as looking for a job, I wouldn’t work for no pay unless you’re being mentored by the caliber of a Jacques Pepin. If you do good work, you should get paid and ethical business owners will want to pay you. I haven’t worked in a restaurant in decades but business is business and sound business basics don’t change no matter what industry.

post #30 of 30
Travis, I'm beginning to get the feeling that you're overly sensitive to criticism---not a good thing in this field. But you also have to learn to consider the source. For instance:

"....and they Responded "you dont look like you can cook" 

I have never in my life heard a more meaningless phrase. I'm a golden ager, and have spent most of those years in and around the industry. I couldn't begin to guess whether or not somebody can cook by what they look like. I would rank that up there with, "you don't look like you can be a boy," or "you don't look like you can graduate high school." The comments, all three, are ridiculous on the face of it.

Obviously, the person who said that hasn't a clue. But the point is not that they said it---the world, after all, is full of hateful people. The question is, why did you let something so inherently stupid bother you?

I also disagree with Venom. Maybe he's such a great cook that only Jaques Pepin has anything to teach him, but the same is not true for most of us.

Staging (which is working for free so you can learn from the chef) has a long and honorable tradition in this industry, and many of our better known chefs have done it---and not always for other famous chefs.

Do you watch Top Chef? Remember the episode where the bonus prize was staging for two weeks at the guest judge's (it might have been Keller, but I misremember exactly who)restaurant? The contestents were all chefs in their own right, with established careers. But they jumped at the chance to spend those two weeks learning. During that whole season it was one of the things that most excited them.

So, if the opportunity is there for you to stage at a restaurant, I would jump on it. Given your age and level of experience, literally everyone in the kitchen will have something to teach you. But, as others have stressed, you want to do this at a real restaurant; not a chain or a fast-food joint. You're ability to learn anything at those places is limited at best.

But anything you can do that gets you involved with a professional kitchen will help you both learn and decide if this is really the career for you. Even if you went to work as a dishwasher, if you keep your mouth closed except to ask questions, your eyes & ears open, and demonstrated by action how ready you are to help out, you will learn plenty.
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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