Originally Posted by PeteMcCracken
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School may be of value, but, in the opinion of many working in the trade, it is not the "end all" for getting hired nor for getting better pay. Industry experience pays a big part.
Many schools, including I believe, CIA & J&W, REQUIRE at least 6 months experience in a commercial kitchen prior to being accepted into school. The average culinary workplace is far different from school conditions.
Fill out your FAFSA. Get a job, even if it is as a dishwasher, in a restaurant, school kitchen, hotel, anything EXCEPT fast food chains, then apply to all the culinary schools you can.
Take a long and hard look at your local community college(s) that offer culinary skills, they teach exactly the same fundamentals as any good private school and they are FAR less expensive, as much as a 90% discount.
Most chefs care more about what you can do than where you learned to do it.
Yep agreed with Pete , luckily in my country we have culinary courses (short period ones that can teach the fundamentals ) that count in a resume.
You could always do what i did , and go searching for job and end up finding someone willing to teach you , i ended up finding a chef willing to teach me everything she knows.
She is a LCB graduate along with graduating in one of the finest culinary schools in brazil. So yeh i got lucky.
Nothing better then learn on the job and get paid for it.
Now what pete said is true , the real world kitchen is alot different then the ones in culinary school. ( the warped pans , the horrible handles , the rusty silver ware , and those horrible burners oh god ) but in no way does that mean you shouldnt work a bit to gain your experience.
Im pretty thankful i got to learn on the job , cuz if one day i actually decide to pay for school at least i know i wont be going there with no experience , without even being able to finely dice and onion XD
Also remember a school will give you basic techniques and terms , in no way will it teach you speed , and will qualify as work experience.
That and a community college teaches you the basic fundementals like any other culinary school.
Most chefs care more about what you can do than where you learned to do it. ( couldnt have said it better myself )
Edited by KaiqueKuisine - 7/2/13 at 5:16pm