My advice is that you do NOT quit the apprenticeship! Nonetheless, if you do quit the apprenticeship, you could try a community college. The schedule would not be as demanding as an apprenticeship, but you would still be reading textbooks. I also suggest that you work part-time concurrently as you attend school.
If you aspire to become a chef, realize that a "chef" is a boss. A boss needs to know how to run a kitchen. You mentioned that you aspire to own your restaurant/bar. You would then be a business owner. As a business owner, you would have to be proficient at running both the Back Of the House and Front Of the House and managing the books. Otherwise, you better hire someone who is honest to manage your books. Otherwise, you might find yourself out-of-business very soon after.
You would also need to remember that owning and running a restaurant/bar is running a business. It is not like having a party every night. I believe that that is the reason that many inexperienced restaurateurs failed, and continue to fail within months of their grand opening. They fail to realize that owning a restaurant is owning a business, but many of them think that it's a party every night, and they find themselves spending far more than they ever imagined. Their Operating Expenses outweigh their Profits. That's simply my opinion about you quitting the apprenticeship. Don't quit!
You could get a job in the restaurant industry without any degree, but if you ever wanted to work for any corporate restaurants, a degree does help a resume look better. Moreover, you would also gain knowledge in the pursuit of the degree. I have also made friends and gained contacts with others in the trade as I attended school. It is important to have work experience and education.
An apprenticeship gives you work experience, wages, opportunities to develop your skill-set, but you might also consider attending a community college to study "Restaurant Management," or "Food Services Management," or "Culinary Management," or whatever the school calls their program. Good luck.
Edited by TheUnknownCook - 4/19/11 at 10:44am