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Hello everyone! I am new and I have a simple question.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

My name is Carlo and I have decided to start my journey to become a Chef.

I am 33 years old and I need to know if it to late to start now on the road to

become a professional Chef. I know it takes many years to master this craft.

I am asking if it to late to start at my age because in some other careers 

age discrimination could be a great negative factor and I would like to know

if it is the case in the culinary world.



Thank you in advance for your reply,



post #2 of 12

Disclaimer: I am not a professional in the food industry. 


Now having said that I don't believe 33 is too old. There is age discrimination everywhere in our society, and if you wanted to get a lot of media coverage for a new restaurant with a new concept, you may run into more challenges than a 22 year old kid. AFAIK that's true of all industries. For example I always thought that age didn't matter for certain disciplines such as painting or writing novels... but I've discovered it does. A friend of mine is a semi-successful 40 year old painter and struggles to get exhibitions where exhibitors are more enticed to give a chance to a fresh new young painter.


But if what you want to do is work in a kitchen, and, with time, go up the ranks to end up being a chef one day, I believe you should be able to do that at your age. 


Hopefully some industry professionals will join this thread and share their 2 cents on the topic. 

post #3 of 12

It can be done, but always remember that you will always be competing against someone 10-15 yrs your junior. Are you willing to work HARD for the next 10+ years to find that spot at the top of the food chain? You will be pushing 50 and fighting for that same EC job against a 35yr old.

I started at 18 and am now 50+, I'm spent.

post #4 of 12
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post

It can be done,.... Are you willing to work HARD for the next 10+ years to find that spot at the top of the food chain?


I agree with chefbuba on this. The time line sounds about right. My path has been that I started working in restaurants at 20. Went to culinary school at 30. I am now 60, but I ain't done yet. Just keep in mind, that the path to being a chef usually involves lots of 60 - 70 hour weeks.


As to age discrimination, I can't say that I have encountered any yet. Lots of time, to many employers, well tempered worldly experience trumps youthful exuberance.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #5 of 12

if I can start on 46, then you SURE can do it!!! so GO for it if thats what you want!!! follow your dreams!

but don't set out to become a CHEF perse....thats not why someone goes this road, usually....

set out to cook, as a service to guests, to share your passion and be part of a cool team.

if you make it to become a chef, GOOD for you! but only time can tell as you don't know yet what it takes to BE a chef.


as for age discrimination, be prepared although usually its more about the money.

younger people are cheaper so they take younger people BUT we DO have the adventage of indeed, having "well tempered worldly experience".


I wish you all the luck in the world!

post #6 of 12

My advice would be to ask yourself if you really want to do this. The work is HARD. The pay is LOW. I see a lot of people who I have worked with in previous kitchens and indeed in my current kitchen with little or no passion for food and I always ask myself, how the hell can you do this if you don't love to work with these ingredients and produce good plates? I guess I started a little late too, 25. But I managed to land a good first job and got some solid training with a great chef so was able to skip culinary school, but I would say from experience that if I were in your position I would feel a lot more confident having gone through a couple of years of professional training at a good institution, just something to consider. Bottom line, good luck to you, and if you really have passion, you can do it. Its the only thing that keeps me going, that and several cups of tea.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

I love this community! It is inviting and the people are kind, honest, realistic and supportive. 

I am really grateful to have such great responses from both professionals in the industry

and those aspiring to become a great cook. I have two children which is a pressure to

find a career that pays enough for the bills and make me happy in the same time. 

I know that when you love something it always turns out fine in the end.

It is true that I will be close to my mid 40's when I become a seasoned professional

but I am sure that if I love this craft as I seem to then all will be great. 

I am 33 but I have the heart of a child and it will never go away and less having two

wonderful children and a beautiful wife by my side.

I do have a great passion for food and I know it because every time I see ingredients

euphoria shines inside of me. I come from a South American/Italian background

and I have great memories involving food. I remember both my grandmother(nonna) and

mother making homemade pasta and sauces during special events and how happy

I felt at that young age watching them go threw the process.  I have a music background

and I love to write but my passion for cooking was dormant and unfortunately it awakened

later it life. The great chef Marco said that the most important aspect is to cook from the heart and 

I that is what I feel when I make something for my family and friends. I also know that it is 

better to keep to one's roots by expressing it on every dish one makes. 

I opened my heart to all of you wonderful people and I do this because I feel comfortable

and at home in this online cooking community. 

Thank you for reading. :D

post #8 of 12

I really wish you all the best from a fellow latecomer to food. Keep us updated!

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you Chef Sam! I will keep everyone updated! 

I am actually going to a culinary college today to register for February! :D

post #10 of 12

IMHO, its never too late if its something you're passionate about.

post #11 of 12

see, you are not alone :) GO for it!

post #12 of 12

we wish you all the best

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