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Is a culinary career a good idea for me?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm a freshmen in college, studying biochemistry at the moment. I'll preface this by saying that I do like the sciences, biology in particular, but the more material the university gives on careers in the sciences or those in medicine (I also considered medicine, nursing, and so on), and the more I'm exposed to how these operate in the real world, the more I'm rethinking my life choice. It all seems so sterile, drab, and just depressing; I feel pressured to do it and stick with it because of a scholarship I got, but I just have no idea anymore.

 

I've always loved cooking since the age of seven, and there isn't a day that goes by where I'm not in the kitchen. It's truly something I love. I wanted to be in the culinary career when I was younger, but I somewhat dropped the idea because I was afraid doing it as a profession would take away my passion for it. I kind of got the impression it's a very, very low paying career as well with little chance for mobility. Plus the main exposure I have to the actual field (mainly from TV) it looks really high stress, I mean maybe some of it is played up because, again, it's Television, but I'm not sure if that's accurate or not. I really have no idea if these things or true. I'm just lost. Can someone help me?

post #2 of 6

Finish and get your degree first.....

A degree after years of study is something that can never be taken away , and if one day lets say when your 50 or 60 years old , and you wanna stay away from the line , at least you will have  a fall back career. 

I plan on going into biology this year, ( i love bio and i love to teach ) in attempt to get a degree in bio and become a teacher , while i work on studying food science as my second degree. I dont plan on not working in a kitchen , but i wanna study food technically and teach food science. 

 

My advice stick to your degree and obtain it , while studying get a part time job in the kitchen so you can get a taste of the real world and see if you got what it takes to be part of the industry. 

Before going into cooking i started enviromental engineering ( i gave it up for gastronomy ) now that i think about it i could have just worked in kitchens part time while i achieved my degree. But then again these turn of events did help me find what i love and ended up me going after biology and food science. 

 

Well enough of my rambling , basically dont give up on your degree , get a degree if possible work in a kitchen or do some culinary courses , then work in a kitchen just to get a taste of what life. I second degree in the culinary feild wouldnt hurt you regardless , and having a fall back is always nice just in case of accidents or health problems after years of being in a kitchen , or just when you want a change of career. 

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 #3 of 6

The first thing you should do if you are thinking of a career in the restaurants is get in one and work. Don't change anything until after you get into a legit kitchen and put in a few months work. If you still have that passion, and enjoy what you're doing after a few months on the line, then... maybe you have a decision to make.

 

If the only real exposure you have to the culinary industry.. or the main source of exposure being your tv, then you may be in for a little shock. It's not all glitter and glam and if you don't have a passion and a true love for what you're doing, it will eat you alive. So, please please, get in a kitchen and work and see if it's what you want to do. Rationally speaking it would be foolish to change career paths before being absolutely sure that it would be for the best.

 

The only other thing would be, you said "I kind of got the impression it's a very, very low paying career as well with little chance for mobility" I'm not sure where you are located, but this is not true, at least in my area. When you start out as a pantry or prep chef... yeah, you'll be scraping by for a bit. However, the end goal being executive chef, you get paid well and can work anywhere you choose. There are always people everywhere looking for chefs, and line cooks.

 

I wish you well in whatever your choose.


Edited by R6Zack - 10/13/13 at 10:15am
post #4 of 6

I can't agree more with the above poster.  Work a few months in a kitchen, starting at the bottom.  I did that, washing dishes, as did many, many others.  You'll know if cooking is for you if you still want to work in a kitchen after a few months of dishes and prep work.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 6
About three years ago, I was actually studying for psychology instead of going into culinary school. Everyone told me to do what I want. So rather than looking into what I can do best and enjoy the most, I tried what my mom went into. It wasn't working. I had failed out of psychology and had no interest in going back. This year, I am in culinary school and could not be more happy. I am a kin esthetic learner, which means hands on learning. It helped me understand what kind of career I needed. After being told I should be a chef by my family, since I pretty much live in a kitchen, that I decided to go for it. I have worked in many restaurants and understand what people mean by you need to experience the restaurant business to really know whether this is what you want or not.

Do what you love. You'll never want to look back as long as you choose to do something you love. Passion and love for what you do, makes the difference between having a job for money, or a career you'll do for the rest of your life.
post #6 of 6
Edit: Sorry. It posted twice. frown.gif
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