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Any late bloomers out there?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Is there anyone out there who quit their careers to become a professional cook? Please share your stories with us.

post #2 of 29
I'm not quitting my career just yet, but I am enrolling in a community college culinary arts program in January. I just turned 40 this week.
post #3 of 29

I'm 47 and started my culinary education this year, finishing december.

then starting january on the next level, thats two more years.

after that maybe specialising year, think patisserie.

 

age is just a number.

I laugh at it.

post #4 of 29

Hi!  I'm 57 and in my 3rd semester.  It's hard when you've been cooking for over 40 years, then go to school and allow someone to show you how to do things you already know how to do.  I mean I learned my knife skills from Jacques Pepin in the 80's and several others.  I'd practice and serve their recipes to my family.  My first gourmet dish didn't turn out so good.  I tried to make chicken madeira, but used a cab instead.  It tasted good, but Lord, it was purple!

 

I'll finish Spring 2014.  Beats sitting in a stuffy old office all day.  Good cooking!

post #5 of 29

I'm 45 and just finished week 7 of a 2 year Pastry program.

 

It's never too late to follow your dreams. :D

post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by regisundertow View Post
 

Is there anyone out there who quit their careers to become a professional cook? Please share your stories with us.

 

Never seen it work out unless they were independently wealthy. Seen A LOT of sad stories though...

post #7 of 29

Beastmasterflex, I am sorry that it did not work out for you.

You don't need to be wealthy at all.......most of us on this board definitely are not.

All it takes is that you know where you want to go....have a goal and be prepared to do ANYTHING needed to get there.

Sure, things have to work WITH you.

But on here are enough examples of success........its never too late to follow your dreams! Work for it!!! 

post #8 of 29

My mother did a 2 year culinary program , and well she isnt wealthy. 

She works 14+ daily , and thats working as a house cleaner , and a bartender. 

 

So i highly doubt that you need to be wealthy to chase after this career.

You just need to strive , have faith , work hard , and not get discoruaged. 

 

She is young though , almost 40. 

 

And she never planned on working as a cook , she did the course so she could work as a bartender. 

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 #9 of 29
accumulating student debt late in life to get a manual labor job that favors the young and pays often little more than minimum wage. Its not reasonable. Following dreams rarely is. Didn't say don't do it. Simply stating what I have seen in the industry, most career changers do not end up happy with their decision. Not trying to be a dick but noone ever says it, and. Think that's wrong
post #10 of 29

I was 34 when I went to culinary school.  It is 9 years later and I am a chef at a high-end resort.  It isn't easy, but it certainly is possible.  There were trade offs along the way and even now I feel like I have to be very smart about the steps I take.   I am often so thankful that I took this path and did not stay in my boring corporate career.  There is much less job security in this industry, but there is a lot of opportunity for hard working people.  

Workers are constantly moving around, so there are frequent job openings.  Just now in my area it is difficult to find good quality cooks ready to break into assistant chef positions.  That means there is definite opportunity for those that want it bad enough.  It is just that many realize it's not what they want once they get it.

post #11 of 29

I am 44 years old and starting school at the first of the year for baking and pastry arts, and looking forward to it. I understand the work involved, and the hours sacrifice and starting at the bottom to work my way up. My goals are high and I am willing to work hard towards them.  As far going to school and the debt that comes from it I decided on a local community collage, the head of the department is well know and wrote the text book we use. If there where other options such as apprenticeship I would look into it but that is not available around here or I can't find one for pastry arts.

post #12 of 29

i am 46 and taking my 2nd class :)

 

as other have said age is a number I want to learn so I am going to school

post #13 of 29

well i am 32 and just finished a one year culinary program.  i worked in hospitals & clinics for 12 years so quite the career change for me.  i am also a single parent of 2 and a person with a permanent physical disability - wasn't an easy trip but definitely worth it.

~MissyD

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~MissyD

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post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissyD View Post
 

well i am 32 and just finished a one year culinary program.  i worked in hospitals & clinics for 12 years so quite the career change for me.  i am also a single parent of 2 and a person with a permanent physical disability - wasn't an easy trip but definitely worth it.

Missy not trying to be noisy , but what physical disablity is this?

 

You got em curious with your story. 

Definetly have alot of respect for you. 

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 #15 of 29

missy, WAY to go for you! 

have a disability too so I  totally can relate….

says it all about you that you did it, despite that!! tough girls we are huh!! *HIGH FIVE*

post #16 of 29

well i have a few.  the ones that effect me the most are my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue though the arthritis acts up and bothers me now.  i was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 6-7 years ago.  at first it wasnt that bad but now it has spread throughout my entire body and the pain is the worst its ever been in my life.  unfortunately medication doesnt help anymore either but i go abouts my day as best as i can.  i dont tell a lot of people about my medical problems and those i have are shocked.

 

something that does effect me on a daily basis is my memory.  i had meningitis 8+ years ago and i lost all of my short term memory.  over the years it has got a lot better but i am constantly forgetting things (the fibro doesnt help with that either).  all i have to say is i am very thankful for my notepad i keep in my pocket to write things down on lol.

~MissyD

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~MissyD

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post #17 of 29

And me over here whining about cluster headaches...

 

I have the utmost respect for you:D

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 #18 of 29

You have all given me hope. Thank you for this thread.

 

I am 33, and I desperatly want to change my life. I have been in the same corporate job, at the same company, for 15 years this year. I love to cook and I love to bake. In an ideal world I would leave work and do a fully time patisserie course, and then perhaps a diploma, but with 2 mortgages and all the stuff that comes with that I am too scared. I dont think we could afford for me to do that. Not only that, but I worry that if we make some huge sacrifice for me to give this a shot I might find out I am a truly crap cook and then I've messed up not only my life but my hudbands as well :cry:

 

I have resolved to try and start a little business from home in my own time, the local farm shop has said they'd be happy to sell whatever I make (when I have the hygene cert etc and I'm all legal) and this means I can test out a few recipes, have fun in the kitchen (which is where I am most at home and where I enjoy being) and sell what I make rather than giving it away to work colleagues/the neighbours for free. I love the cooking and the baking, I just don't really want to eat it all!  It's not ideal and it's not what I really want to do, but I feel quite trapped by our other financial committments.

 

MissyD: What a strong lady you are. Hat's off to you, you are inspiring :)

Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness

AUGUSTE ESCOFFIER

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Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness

AUGUSTE ESCOFFIER

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post #19 of 29

thanks so much guys :o

~MissyD

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~MissyD

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post #20 of 29
I guess I fall into this category. I will be starting school in September, but I've quit my job (finance) and currently working as a KP.

2 weeks in and I'm enjoying it so far and learning a lot! The chef I work under has been awesome, not just answering my questions but actively trying to show me new things when possible.

No regrets yet, and I figure if I can hack the summer as a KP I should be able to hack the Cook lifestyle!
post #21 of 29
I when to culinary school right out of highschool I knew it was for me but I ended up leaving a few month salter a bad choice on my part
I had a lot of jobs and careers over the year but never looked at them really as a career just a job to get a paycheck
I wasn't really happy at all took me 15 years but I got back to school and couldn't be any happier then I am now
post #22 of 29

HA!  Just turned 58!!!!  Graduating in 4.5 weeks!!!!  I raised two kids working in a law office for over 21 years as a legal secretary, made damned good money, but was also, very miserable.  Enter culinary school and what I've learned coupled with what I already knew...lookout world, I'm a-commin'!

 

I'm ready to gain experience from a good and fair chef.  I will show him I know how to follow direction and respect his/her kitchen.  I'm going to garner as much professional experience as I can because my true goal is to be the best personal/private chef anyone has ever hired and when I get that position, respect the household and it's kitchen.

 

Peace


Edited by Etherial - 4/11/14 at 10:07am
post #23 of 29

I am not a late bloomer, but just wanted to say I truly believe it's never too late to do what you love. You only live once so follow your dreams! 

post #24 of 29

While I didn't "quit" my career in architecture (thank you recession) I have been able to start a one year culinary arts program at the AI here in Chicago at the age of 44. Very eye opening. Coming from a professional background and then jumping back into a school where I am usually the oldest person in the class, it can be tough, especially when the "kids" start messing around.

 

While my education plan is to get out with my certificate and then start planning for my own food truck business.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jencogneeto View Post
 

I'm 45 and just finished week 7 of a 2 year Pastry program.

 

It's never too late to follow your dreams. :D


Where is this Pastry Program?
That is my dream, and I'll still have 18 month of GI-Bill benefits when I graduate this program next April and I would seriously love to get some solid higher education before my benefits run out.

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etherial View Post

my true goal is to be the best personal/private chef anyone has ever hired and when I get that position, respect the household and it's kitchen.

 

I did just that business plan down in Naples, FL from 1989 to 1991. It morphed into something totally different more like a "male au pair nanny" shopping and prep, pick the kids up from soccer, drop of at the pool/mall. get dinner underway, mom and/or dad returns with kids to a sit-down meal and head right back out to do some family activity, I clean up my tools and the house keeper cleans the kitchen (I always left extra plates for the other domestics whenever Sir. gave me the nod to indicate it was OK) and go home. It really was a pretty sweet gig, and the $$cha$$ching$$ was more than adequate to keep my beer-fridge and wine closet well stocked.  But the husband warned me the wife was an escaped psych-ward raging-bitch.  Actually when she was on her meds. she was a lovely woman and I loved my job, (except her blatantly hitting on me) When she went off her meds, holy hell hath been released, I'd quit and take my bout out grouper fishing for a few days and there would me an apologetic message on my machine stating she was sorry, and begging me to come back.  I could usually get another $10./HR. just to go back, since I was the only one who ever came back even once, never mind 4 times!

post #27 of 29

LOL and Cheers to everyone involved in the "dark arts"!

Food is good, good food is better!, Why not get better at being able to prepare something great to eat?!

"Cooking" is a passion and imo very much a subjective art, cooking for others puts your art on display.

Nothing so essential, is as simultaneously taken for granted, revered and the subject of vigorous debate and controversy as food and the preparation thereof, imo.

If you choose the culinary arts as a vocation god bless and hang on it's always "interesting". Personally find it as exhilarating as exasperating.

Practice builds success and confidence, if you're not asking questions or making mistakes then you're standing still or not trying enough.

 

Have fun, surprise and always impress yourself first!

 

Best,

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 #28 of 29
Yes I'm a late bloomer. I'm 27. I've been in security for the last 8 years of my life from the military and out. I've also been into fighting and have done some professionally. I signed a contract to fight which brought me to Asheville. I then found another quick security job while training to fight. Well fighting fell through because the promotion company I signed with lost their TV contract which is why I signed in the first place. One day at work I was hanging out in the kitchen and needed a fulltime job and asked if they could teach me. They gave me a job off of knowing I was a hard worker and fast learner. I was there for a week fell in love staiged for the top resturaunt in my city and then got a prep cook job there which is now where I reside and have fallen deeper in love with this profession.
post #29 of 29

35, certified Gas and Oil Burner Technician. Left that career, employed in the culinary industry now and am hoping to get into schooling this coming year. Always been a passion, wish I'd have done it sooner. Never too late

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