Hi everyone. Signed up to the forums for a little advice. I'm currently finishing up my Honours Bachelor's Degree in Computing. I hate it but have been able to grind through 4 years, including one placement year, and will hopefully come out the end of a tunnel with a good degree.
For the past year or 2 I have wanted to study cooking, learn about the industry and advanced cooking techniques. I have no experience in the industry at all. The only cooking experience I have is producing meals at home for myself, family and friends. Cooking is probably the one thing in my life I have always enjoyed doing since I started at the age of 16 ( I am now 21). I find my self spending hours of my spare time looking at 100s of different recipes, watching cooking shows, watching youtube videos of chopping techniques, different ways to cook certain foods etc. This stuff really interests, and I think it is something I am passionate about, and with more experience, I could grow to love.
The kind of advice I am looking for is where is the best place to start. Unfortunately the last 4 years of my life seem like a waste, gaining a degree in something that has nothing to do with the field I am really interested in. I have some experience in customer services but not much.
I have applied for entrance into the City and Guilds Level 2 Proffesional Cookery diploma at my local college for the following academic year. Is this a good start? Or would it be best for me to look to getting a job in a restaurant, bar or cafe first? I'm completely willing to start at cleaning dishes just to get a taste of how kitchens are run and the job each chef has. The only knowledge I really have of professional kitchens are from shows like Hell's Kitchen, so I want to see first hand of what the environment is really like.
And before people begin to fire questions on whether I have really looked into what it takes to become a chef, the answer is yes. I know being a chef has enormous time restrictions, having to work in a stressful environment with constant strict deadlines, not being able to take any days off, no holidays, probably not good pay; however, I think it is completely worth it to do something you truly love to do, how many people can say that? How many people say they are in a job they really love? I don't know if this is definitely something I will absolutely adore, but the only way to find out is to try it, right?
Sorry for waffling a bit. Any adice would be greatly appreciated.