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Do not eat dairy or cook with it... Is cooking school even an option then?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Good evening I have had a tough time finding what I want to do in life because food has always been a passion however there is 1 thing holding me back from going to cooking school: I do not support dairy cruelty. I do not want to get into a discussion here about MY VIEWS because I know respectfully many of you enjoy cooking with butter and literally all I ever hear is how butter is the foundation of all cooking schools.

 

This has literally prevented me from following my dream. I don't want to ever be in cooking school and be forced to ingest something I don't agree with, yet I also don't want to be the one sitting in the back just observing not eating anything.. 

I believe my cooking skills to be top-notch and would like to open an eatery one day, however I still would like to learn new things and broaden my cooking skills but this one thing is holding me back.

 

Do any of you have any advice for me? Thank you for your time

post #2 of 13

Every one is entitled to their own likes and dislikes. However working in this business you are not cooking for yourself, you are cooking for the public. Yohad better do what they like as they pay the bills.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I understand that of course. My dream was, like certain vegan restaurants, gluten-free eateries, etc.... I would open up an eatery that caters to dairy-free individuals! I just find it unfortunate literally everything about cooking starts with "melt tablespoon of butter" ... I don't know if I would even be able to go to any of these schools because as they are cooking schools you need to do cooking so I don't think I would be able to just sit in back and watch... Maybe I should find out.

Thanks for your time

post #4 of 13

Big Tree,

tough row you're choosing to hoe, if you will. Agree with Chef Ed and IME, restrictive niche concept establishments have a short shelf life. This is a very tough business sector and appealing to a smaller demographic seems ill advised. 

 

Also is it just bovines you have an issue with?, what about goat and or sheep milk products? I mention this as I just viewed a program that toured a co-op where the animals were treated very well, and the farmers actually encouraged visits to their facilities.

Would think you could source responsible farmers. 

 

 

Like to see your menu ideas.

 

 

Cheers!

 

EDG 

"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

True art, is to conceal art......

 

https://www.instagram.com/smokehouse_84/

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"Ars Est Celare Artem"

 

True art, is to conceal art......

 

https://www.instagram.com/smokehouse_84/

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post #5 of 13

While I agree to a certain extent with the other commenters here, you do have alternatives. You may want to check out the the Natural Gourmet Cooking School in NYC. They will be a bit more tolerant of food restrictions than most traditional culinary schools. 

Here is their website:http://www.naturalgourmetschool.com/

 

You must understand, though, that this will limit your marketability to a certain extent. The graduates of this program that I've worked with seem to be a bit too much "food agenda" driven and lack facility in the basic fundamentals of cooking flavorful, well crafted food-whether animal, plant based or both.

 

Contrary to your assertion, culinary programs are not based on butter as an ingredient. Yes, butter and dairy products are used, but it's not the founding ingredient principle. You can do a lot of the same things with oil that you can with butter-brown onions, saute veggies and proteins etc. You NEED to know and become proficient in fundamental cooking techniques and professional kitchen operations to then adjust them to the diet-driven consumer. 

 

Another thing to consider, of all the food service that happens out there, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, is only a small slice of the pie. Yes, those consumers are very vocal, leading many to believer there is great opportunity there, but the spending power of that market segment is comparatively small in the foodservice sector. Many people without dietary restrictions hear the word "vegan" and have a knee-jerk "ICK" response. YOU, alone, will not change this. Labels and their associations in the larger public are changed only very slowly.

 

The only way you're going to get a good answer to your original question is to have frank conversations with admissions people at the culinary programs you consider. You'll get more useful information by contacting them directly than asking a bunch of random people here. 

www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #6 of 13

If your cooking skills are top notch then why pursue cooking school? Especially when cooking school focuses so much on meat and dairy based menus. It would be a complete waste of time and money. When I attended culinary school there was a body builder who was in our group. He would not eat any cream based dishes and had numerous restrictions which really made school difficult for him and in many ways it did not make sense for him to try to purse two passions at the same time. My advice to you would be to skip cooking school and go work for a top restaurant that caters to vegan, dairy free. 

 

As for cruelty to dairy I don't quite understand what you mean. I know many farmers who treat their cows and goats with the deepest respect. And to be down right honest I think you could say the same thing about vegetables or any food product. All of them are mis-handled at some level it is our job as chefs to find the right people who loving care for meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits 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)
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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 #7 of 13
Quote:

Originally Posted by bigtreegrow View Post


This has literally prevented me from following my dream........however I still would like to learn new things and broaden my cooking skills but this one thing is holding me back.

 

Is your dream to go to culinary school....or is your dream to be a chef? Chefs existed long before culinary schools existed. You are placing far too much emphasis on the importance of culinary school. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against culinary school and yes I even graduated from one, but culinary school is merely a tool not an end all.

 

I would still be a chef today whether I went to culinary school or not. My path to here would just have been a different one, but this is were I would have still wound up. Stumbling blocks were encountered along the way of pursuing my dream, but that is all they were, momentary blips. If any of those blips had deterred me from my dream, then I guess it wouldn't have really been my dream, just a nice fantasy.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #8 of 13

Well, an entirely different take on the matter, if I may....

I do understand what you mean, having been a vegan myself for quite a while (no longer ) and that was before I went to culinary school.

You want to get all the knowledge and techniques , without having to deal with things like dairy, meat, or anything animals had to suffer for.

Thats OKAY......I respect your choice and I think it IS possible to do it, BUT......maybe culinary school is not the route for you to go.

 

If you actually want to go to culinary school, consider pretending you're "normal" and work your way through it, meat and dairy and all.

I have seen it done but its not a road many take.

 

How about taking courses, or try working in a well known restaurant.

I know your country has quite a few of them but since I live in netherlands have no idea what its like at the place where you live.

And also, you can friend someone who works in a restaurant kitchen, willing to teach you techniques.

Read a lot and practice at home, ask opinions from knowledgable people when you get a chance.

 

Here in netherlands we actually have a type of culinary school especially for people like you, set up.

Its very expensive, because its exclusive.

Maybe your country also has something like that to offer? Or cooking studios (where classes are given)?

 

Just trying to think along, and now, chin up, your nose in the wind and off you go, following your dream!

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

Is your dream to go to culinary school....or is your dream to be a chef? Chefs existed long before culinary schools existed. You are placing far too much emphasis on the importance of culinary school. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against culinary school and yes I even graduated from one, but culinary school is merely a tool not an end all.

 

I would still be a chef today whether I went to culinary school or not. My path to here would just have been a different one, but this is were I would have still wound up. Stumbling blocks were encountered along the way of pursuing my dream, but that is all they were, momentary blips. If any of those blips had deterred me from my dream, then I guess it wouldn't have really been my dream, just a nice fantasy.

 

 

Well said!

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 #10 of 13

Im pretty sure we have culinary school graudates here , who for example have gluten allergies, 

 

Im allergic to tomatoes ( there juices give my skin rashes) not like i dont chop , peel , and de-seed them regardless , along with eat them. 

Note im allergic to the touch , i can eat them just fine. 

 

Regardless i feel like , if its your dream , you should fight for it. I know people allergic to gluten who graduated culinary school , and had there instructors taste there food and tell them how it tasted just so they would get the idea. I support people who want a degree in this field and are willing to fight for it. 

Its not like every station at a restaurant calls for butter or milk. Vegan and vegetarian restaurants exist. There are plenty of resources helping people out , and plenty of people with maybe the same problem or even something worse getting degrees in this field. 

 

How badly do you want it...?

In your shoes i would fight for it

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

i just want to say WOW, thank you all for the kindness and responses! It is literally RARER than RARE that I come across a forum where literally every responder has responded with kindness and respect and such detailed responses! AWESOME!

 

really quick, not to focus again on my beliefs which are my own and not progressive for this thread: not a vegan, i actually consider myself more of a carnivore (i ensure all meat i eat is procured/handled humanely, i mainly eat wild game that has been humanely processed and fish). i have an interesting belief/concept i live by regarding dairy that i haven't ever heard of another person having. it's the concept that if i were the first human to have milked a cow (back when dairying had its start) i wouldn't have chosen to do that to a female cow. as the male that i am, i would never touch a female animal in the udder area (her breasts), it's just too personal and private for me. people say dairying is natural and cows enjoy it, but the fact of the matter is one day back in history it was simply chosen, someone chose to do that and i wouldn't personally have made that decision. it involves such concepts as the female, feminine areas, that is her udder and not for us to touch, the milk for her babies, etc. it's too sensitive of an area for me and as a male i would never touch a female creature in such a sensitive/personal spot that is her own. i believe the concept of milk coming out of a cow is such a feminine personal thing and we have no right to touch a female like that. in addition, no matter if the cows are treated humanely or organic, ALL cows have their babies taken away. it's this cruel act of humans that really makes me avoid dairy and all aspects of it. that is her milk that she is providing for HER baby and offspring, and she is going through the delicate/sensitive/feminine process of pregnancy to only have her gift taken away from her. as a male doing that to a female i find it an act from hell, and even more so when a female creature (human) is doing that to another female creature. and for anyone saying "so you don't do that to cows but yet you kill other animals for meat?" you have to understand, killing an animal humanely is just that, the animal is dead and gone! dairy cows, who are female creatures, have it worse as they AREN'T killed, they have to live the remainder of their lives having baby after baby taken away, pregnancy after pregnancy. it's a sick sick thing where-by the males have it the best as they are killed instantly and have humane nice lives while the females sit and suffer forever!

 

i just wanted to get that out of the way. my point was more to show that i'm not a vegan. i understand how tough the market is for vegan, non-traditional ways of eating. i will not let this defeat my passion. i have seen it done all over USA, people that open gluten-free, etc. eateries are successful EVERYDAY! i believe!

 

everydaygourmet: thanks i can't even believe i'm thinking this or typing this, but i almost want to keep all of this secret as i truly want to one day open my own eatery and my concept is very very unique and i AM afraid of it being copied.. i will think if posting recipes is something i am comfortable with and will let you know, but thank you for your kind words!

 

foodnfoto: wow thank you for your advice, i will look into that school. without sounding like a downer i really can't imagine myself leaving california, i am NOT a cold weather type of guy but positively i will research that school. who knows maybe i will move out there.

respectfully replying to your marketability thing: i have no doubts what i'm trying to market will be successful, i am not letting my particular "niche" get in the way. i understand what you mean when people get obsessive about what they eat. 

i hear you on the fundamental techniques and kitchen operations, i will have to look into that school then! and i agree with vegan food sometimes invoking a particular response. again, i do not enjoy/eat/cook vegan foods, in fact my concept is cooking with animal fats (not butter) and i do really believe in the power of what i could bring to the world regarding my eatery. 

thank you for your time i will look into both the school you recommended and think about talking with actual school personnel! thanks

 

nicko: thank you for your advice! i AM confident with my cooking skills but one can never be so ego-inflated especially when one has never been to a cooking school i feel. i feel there are millions upon millions of styles, dishes, ways of cooking, ideas that i would never get from a book or online. i just feel its right when you have a passion and especially are going to be serving people food that you took some schooling and learned all that you can.

your advice about working for a restaurant literally kills me! (i am not yelling at you here: )do you know how long i've been searching for someplace i can work whose food i agree with?? where i live there is literally ONE all organic eatery and unfortunately they serve dairy. i've never in my life heard of a dairy-free eatery except one, i believe they are in some other state (Bee's Knees Bakeshop, http://www.beeskneesbakeshop.com/default.aspx)  but i don't think i'd be willing to move there. what i'm actually trying to do right now is work for that organic eatery near-by, my goal is to work for them and learn how to run an actual eatery like that and incorporate what i learn into my own eatery someday!

thank you for your advice

 

cheflayne: i appreciate your advice, wonderful! i will have to push harder if this is my dream like you say. my dream is to open a successful eatery however i feel if that is one's dream one's dream should also be to want to learn everything possible about cooking that one can't learn from just coming up with their favorite food recipes that they remember. there are lots of styles/ways of cooking that i would never know about without school, that is all, and if i'm taking on the role to cook for people and serve them food i would want them to know i did everything possible to learn the best foods i could cook for them. i will have to push this dream harder like you say, thank you for your time

 

soesje: your advice is wonderful as well! i have of course thought of that, i guess i'm the type of person who doesn't like to be negative, you know the one in the class who doesn't eat anything and makes everyone else feel that way. i guess i think too much about other people and am not following my dream because i don't want to grab attention for my eating habits. i will consider going to school and simply avoid eating anything i don't agree with.

i am trying to work in a restaurant/eatery but i have become so picky, not wanting to work for a place that serves food i don't agree with. i'm becoming such a recluse about that it's getting impossible to find work. i will have to accept only i eat this way and if i can put in hard work for many years and be around people and an eatery that doesn't believe the way i do, it will get me to where i want to be!

i love your last sentence and it is inspiring me to be stronger than ever! thank you greatly

 

kaique: that is interesting i am sorry for your skin allergy! maybe your body is telling you something? your words just like soesje's last sentence are truly truly inspiring like nothing else. whenever i need inspiration i will come back to this thread and re-read your kind words! thank you! i WILL fight for this and will remember it could be worse!

 

you guys are awesome, have great days!

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtreegrow View Post

cheflayne:..... i feel if that is one's dream one's dream should also be to want to learn everything possible about cooking that one can't learn from just coming up with their favorite food recipes that they remember. there are lots of styles/ways of cooking that i would never know about without school, that is all.....

I graduated from culinary school 30 years ago. I have learned far more over the last 30 years than what I did while in school. I know for a fact the same thing cannot be said about all my fellow classmates. Learning comes from a natural inquisitiveness and self motivation. It can be accomplished with or without school, especially in this day and age.

 

This is my day off. I am sipping coffee and perusing an internet culinary forum. Later on today i will read a cookbook that I received in the mail yesterday. After that I will go grocery shopping for this evening's meal and then prepare dinner. I will relax afterwards by probably watching food related shows on television and some more internet culinary surfing. Starting to sense a pattern here.

 

I am not typing all this to pat myself on the back and to bolster a frail ego, but rather to try and get across a point. Due to your philosophies and outlooks, culinary school might provide more discomfort and distractions than it will be worth, in your quest for knowledge.

 

Grant Achatz graduated from culinary school. After school he went to work for Thomas Keller, who did not attend culinary school..... There are many paths.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtreegrow View Post

 

kaique: that is interesting i am sorry for your skin allergy! maybe your body is telling you something?

 

Telling me to not stop wearing gloves , if i enjoy not having Nicole Kidmans Hands. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

Grant Achatz graduated from culinary school. After school he went to work for Thomas Keller, who did not attend culinary school..... There are many paths.

 

Loved it XD...

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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