or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Culinary Students › Choosing A Culinary School › Selecting a culinary school or perhaps not?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Selecting a culinary school or perhaps not?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,

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.
 

post #2 of 7
Hello
 
Today I saw your post,
 
Do you know HRC Culinary Academy?
 
I work for them. It is a school located in Bulgaria. With foreign professors of different nationalities. The program is two years with paid internships in four continents, in restaurants and hotels of not less than four stars, some even with  ¨ Mihelin Stars¨
 
For more information this is my email: diana@hrcacademy.com.
post #3 of 7

Education is never a waste of time. However, given the lack of spendable cash, you might look into whether the culinary schools offer classes to employees. Apply for a job doing anything with the school and take classes as you can. Many universities do this. 

I would also pick a hotel or restaurant with food and chef you respect. Ask to see the chef and inquire.  

But whether you go to school or get a job, much of the learning will have to come from you. No restaurant serves every dish or makes every sauce. There are plenty of great cookbooks you can read, many published by cooking schools. And of course practice at home. 

post #4 of 7
I agree with chef writer. I come from a catering background and he is right. He seems to be an expert on all areas of the culinary arts. Listen and follow his advice. He seems to be very experienced and professional in all this. All you have to do is read all his posts.

Best of luck in your career goals.
post #5 of 7

My advice would be to forget culinary school and go back to the kitchen so you can get a taste for what the life is all about again. You are older and your ideas and opinions may have changed. 

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildbill8989 View Post

With a budget of around £5,000, can anyone give me any suggestions as to what the best route for me to take is?

 

Pocket the £5,000 and get a job with a caterer. Commit to a year. After a year, evaluate input from experience and decide on direction.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #7 of 7

After so more thought on your question I think you should really spend some time in the field you chose (law) so that you don't completely waste your degree. It is always good to have a fall back and you can go into food anytime. You could also work part time for a caterer like ChefLayne suggested while your working as an attorney ("barrister" where you come from I believe). If you finish your degree with no practical experience afterward for years to come it would be extremely difficult to come back to it if you wanted to. The reverse would be to have 2-3 years under your belt so that you would know clearly what your getting back into if the culinary does not work out.

 

Also, having a legal background could really give you an edge as a restaurateur/caterer and understanding contracts, law etc.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Choosing A Culinary School
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Culinary Students › Choosing A Culinary School › Selecting a culinary school or perhaps not?