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post #1 of 9
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Hi my name is jeff I am 44 starting a new career, I am curently going to La Cordon Bleu in Portland Oregon, I am only in my 4th week out of a 12 month progrom, they are in 6 week mods, and the last twelve weeks is our extership, well today in class the lead insrtuctor/chef, was talking to us about our extership and said we needed to start thinking about it now or real soon, anyways my question to anyone out there is, I have no cooking experience other than this collage, so is anybody out there in that same boat or has been? and how hard is it to get a chef job without the experience other than a good school?


                                                                                                                            thank you

post #2 of 9

Well, you should be congratulated.  You are only in your 4th week and have already discoverd "the problem" with culinary schools.


You know that experience counts.


Somehow the culinary schools have failed to acknowledge this.


How hard is it finding a Chef job with no previous experience?



A prep cook or cold cook?


Not that hard if you know where and how to spread your resume around.  You will have to start at the bottom, and that usually means prep, or salads.  Many start at the dishpit, and that's where I started almost 30 years ago.



God to have you on board, but could you use periods at the end of sentences and capitols at the begining?

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #3 of 9

There are 3 lawsuits going on. Pasadena, Portland and San Francisco. SF has settled for $40M. I graduated a year ago and cannot find a job without the experience. I don't feel like it was much more than a waste of alot of money.

post #4 of 9

At your age, starting in this business is going to be tough physically. You will be working and competing with people half your age that will run circles around you.


Are you prepared for a $10 an hr cooks position after you graduate?


Look at who you will be competing with for that job, a 22 yr old with several years line experience. Guess who I would hire first?

post #5 of 9

Im not even going to lie brother, cool you chose this profession, however, I am 22 just got my first management/chef job. I graduated culinary school in 2009, however, I started in the dishpit about 9 years ago. I hate to sound like a jerk, but, it will be pretty hard for you to find a job especially since your 44. Most definately will not find a chef job right away afterschool. My advice is, get the best externship you can, and take that expierience into your job search. I would extern for what kind of job you want after school. Weather it'd be, line cooking, banquet cooking, catering cooking...ect. Good luck bro.

post #6 of 9

Dude I'm an award winning C.E.C. I live in Seattle now, I have 31 years now....I have been on the food network twice.....Just sharing my heart...Dude ....You have to love people...YOU ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE A TON OF MONEY MAN!!! This is one thing that TOTALLY!!!!!!!!!!!! is PISSING OFF ABOUT CULINARY SCHOOL. !!!!!!!!!!!   THE A.C.F ONCE YOUR OUT...YOUR NOT A CHEF. YOU HOPEFULLY HAVE A GREAT FOUNDATION. ITS ALL ABOUT HOW HARD YOU WORK AND HOW BAD YOU WANT IT.......BOTTOM LINE...HOW BAD DO YOU WANT TO WORK 60 HOURS A WEEK PLUS TO MAKE OTHER PEOPLE HAPPY..YOUR CALL.......

post #7 of 9

dude  been doing this 20 years. When you come out of school you are not a CHEF you must be come a CHEF Master Sauce Making, Soups and BUTCHERING. This will keep you out if a Garde Manger prep woork

post #8 of 9

Set your expectations real real real real low.  I would not try to get an externship in the type of restaurant  that's brimming with pride and passion and has at it's helm a very capable executive chef.  You will start at the bottom there, and very close to the bottom is where you'll end your career.  It's HARD WORK.  It's not worth it.  Unless you say that it is.  To which I ask, why did it take so long for you to figure out that you wanted to "be a chef"?


Your goal, Jeff, should simply be to become a foodservice professional.  I would recommend looking at more corporate environments.  Maybe corporate is the wrong term, but Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Schools and those types of jobs.

post #9 of 9

That was my "nice" answer.

Here's how I really feel:


WTF are you doing dropping $17,000 on a culinary arts degree at a school whose name you can't even spell correctly, and NOW you ask whether you're gonna be able to find a job or not???


Drop out now.  IMMEDIATELY.  Get back whatever tuition that they'll give you, and go to a trade school.  Learn a skill for a lot less in a field that will have you working less and pay you more.


You've NEVER worked in a kitchen but yet, somehow, you were informed enough that made you think you could "be a chef" (effing joke!!).

You're a joke, Jeff.  You don't have the drive, determination, passion, pride, work ethic or time to be a chef.  And it takes all 6 of those traits, and likely more.

It's hard work.  It takes many many years of hard work to become something kindof awesome.


Being a chef has been glorified over the last decade.  Not that it's a bad thing, it's just an unrealistic thing.  


You don't need a "culinary arts degree" to be a low-level cook.


If you really really want to go through with this, try to extern at a supermarket.


And this response is directed, not only to you Jeff, but to probably upwards of 80% of all students in all "culinary arts programs".  


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