I'm new to the forum and in search of a bit of advice regarding selecting a culinary school.
I fell in love with food after reading Anthony Bourdain's kitchen confidential as a teenager and following that begun working washing pots at my local Italian restaurant at the age of 14. Since then I have held a number of positions as a commis chef at a couple of bar/restaurants and a four AA star hotel. I also briefly ran a pub kitchen for a few weeks last summer, shortly before the company was liquidized (not in any part my doing). Food and professional cookery has been a major passion of mine since I was young, but for whatever reason I ended up doing a Law degree. I'm now coming to the end of my course and have made the decision after much deliberation that I want to follow my ambition and become a professional chef.
I'm aware that it is possible to take NVQs and college based apprenticeships, but having spent a lot of time working in kitchens with chefs in their 30s and 40s who have spent their lives working in a small restaurant, I'm worried about ending up after a brief college course only being able to get a job heating up crap in a Weatherspoons. I relies this is a bit of an exaggeration and I mean no disrespect to anyone, but this is what I want to do and I want to do well in it.
At the same time, having been a student for the past few years, I am in no position to pay out £20,000 plus fees for some of the more prestigious catering schools.
I have a lot determination to succeed, as this decision has been seven years in the making and I believe I have a good estimation of what it takes to make it in the business, though not the level of skill, just yet.
With a budget of around £5,000, can anyone give me any suggestions as to what the best route for me to take is?
Apologies in advance for the long post and thanks for your time.