or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What are my options?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm a senior in high school and I have a passion for food. I live in Brooklyn, New York and I need some advice as to where to further my education to become a chef.

 

http://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/academicdepartments/tah/Pages/CulinaryArts.aspx

 

Can some offer me their opinion on this program in this CC? Or recommend me a better one? Maybe I should go straight to culinary school?

post #2 of 10

Have you ever worked in a kitchen?

 

If not my advice would be to save money and continue your research and get a job at a decent kitchen for at least a year.

 

Start out with dishes if you have to but push for prep cook and if you have "the right stuff" you'll be helping on other things in no time.

 

... and don't just go and zombie it like it's just a job - go to observe and learn.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #3 of 10
Agreed. I started out dishwasing 4 years ago as a junior in high school and did that up until my first day of culinary school. After I started school the chef I was working for bumped me to prep cook and I was doing that for three months before being moved to the PM line and I've worked in three of the top 25 country clubs in the US since as a line cook. Just be patient, bust some suds and then if you like the atmosphere go to school.
post #4 of 10

In this day and age, I'd seriously consider skipping culinary school, unless you have access to a local trade school with reasonable tuition. It's not a degree worth carrying that much student debt.

 

Save your financial aid and student loan bucks for a degree that will either be for your Plan B career, or a degree (there are even quite a few collages with hospitality majors like Cornell, UNLV) that will move you up to management.

post #5 of 10

If you are here in NYC, let me know what you're looking for.

 

About school, I say this to everyone that asks me...Why?

 

Not being condescending or anything, but seriously, I think if you're going to spend all that money, you have to have a real reason, why?  What are the goals you hope to achieve?  How will school help?  Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10?  Can you afford it???  

 

Why do you want to cook anyway?  You know it sucks, for the most part, right?

 

Convince me, and I will help you if I can.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I want to become a chef is because I love food and I love to cook. The highlight of my day is when I come home from a day of school and weight-lifting to cook giant portions of meat, rice, etc. This passion became apparent to me when my friends commented that I always have a smile on my face whenever I'm eating. I love cooking for my friends and family. The satisfaction I get from them saying it tastes delicious is like no other. However, my cooking is extremely simple (I barely know how to hold a knife) and so I would be extremely interested in how to learn to be great at this life skill. I would also like to manage my own restaurant as a chef some day. I know it will be stressful and hard, but I would be doing something I love instead of slaving away in an office crunching numbers like most of my friends want to do. I believe having graduated from a culinary school or some culinary program in Community College would be good for my resume, and it would provide me with an internship/job.

 

Money is not a problem. Pursuing my dreams is much more important than money. I can always pay in student loans. I do not know where/how to start on this path. I would appreciate it if you helped me in anyway you can.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIneGentleman View Post

 

Money is not a problem. Pursuing my dreams is much more important than money. I can always pay in student loans.

 

See, that's the problem right there. Most prospective students think "Whatever... I'll get a loan. I'm sure that I'll make enough money to pay it back." 

You didn't answer MichaelGA's question. Have you ever worked in a kitchen before? :-/

 

I say this because most kids who go through culinary school, take on a big loan, end up getting their first job right out of school, realize they hate it and end up in that office right along side their friends. Or, if they don't hate their job, they realize that the $9 an hour they get paid isn't enough to pay off their loan and pay for a studio apartment... and... your co-worker gets paid $11 an hour and he didn't even go to school. 

 

So, I think you need to do more digging to see if you are right for culinary school. Get a job in a kitchen. It'll be the best way to see if you can hang in that environment and if you want to do it the rest of your life. School won't teach you everything. Some people just don't have the skills to be in a kitchen, even with school. It takes a certain mindset not everybody can develop. There's a big difference between enjoying cooking for friends and family and doing it as a profession. 

post #8 of 10

"There's a big difference between enjoying cooking for friends and family and doing it as a profession. "

 

truth

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Cardenas View Post

 

 

 It'll be the best way to see if you can hang in that environment and if you want to do it the rest of your life. School won't teach you everything. Some people just don't have the skills to be in a kitchen, even with school. It takes a certain mindset not everybody can develop. 

Perfectly said.

post #10 of 10

i chose school first before work but had a athletic scholarship  to help pay for school.  then made good grades and entered competitions in cooking school to win some more grant money from food company's.  school taught me the basics and the book learning to pass the canadian red seal test.  not too sure if i would have passed this test on my own without first being introduced to all the classical dishes in school and knowing all components of all the dishes.  so school for me was the good way to go.  but a comment was made earlier about coming out of school and making less then some one that did not go to school but worked a while longer then.  i worked many years for on little money until i could get the experiance so i could do a higher paying job.  at one point early in my career i chose a job for the money but didn't have a clue what i was doing.  i think back on that job some time and laugh at my self thinking wtf?  then went back to jobs that i could learn from.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs