Hello. I was recently laid off from my job at a construction company and right now I'm figuring out what to do next. I've always loved the idea of learning to cook but haven't actually gotten around to it for a variety of reasons. Apart from occasionally making omelets, pan searing salmon, and making French toast, I don't really cook for myself very often--mostly due to time constraints on weeknights. I typically cook a lot more on the weekend when I had more time.
One option I'm considering is taking a two year culinary program at a community college in downtown Dallas to try and eventually become a chef. Years of watching and enjoying cooking shows like Top Chef and Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares have me thinking this is a very good idea, that I'd have a passion for cooking, and could succeed in a kitchen. I worked fast food and waited tables at Chili's for a few years in high school/college. Long enough to know fast food isn't the way to go, and neither is being in the front of house. At both restaurants (Subway and Taco Bueno), a lot of the ingredients we used were fresh and prepped that day. Certainly not all, but enough to give me an idea of how it would be in a proper kitchen, and I think I can handle it.
I'm 27 years old and from reading the thread here about Anthony Bourdain's book it seems I may be getting a late start, but not as late as some. I've read on a few threads that it's possible to start out as a dishwasher and work your way up through the ranks, but would that be my best bet this late for me? Would the willingness to start out there, plus a desire to start culinary school, get me noticed enough to eventually (sooner rather than later) move up to being a line cook?