hello all. currently im a senior and culinary student at a vocational high school in the suburbs of new york city. i have also Applied to CIA as a culinary major. but im having some second thoughts.
before attending this school my main hobby was baking, candy making, etc. however last year's curriculum was more about culinary, so i practiced that more, im one of the top students in my class, and i DO love to cook. however i also like to bake, and to be honest i would rather work in baking and pastry. my problem is i have little practice with baking (this year's curriculum is more pastry oriented so thats good at least) i used to bake all the time but since i have been cooking a lot i haven't really had much time. i plan on trying to find a job or internship in a bakery in the next few months, as to get a realistic feel and see if this is what i want to do or not.
Is school at all worth it for pastry? i know there is a debate about this in general, i have decided if i become a cook i want to go to CIA. also can anyone give me a comparison as to quality of life between culinary and pastry.
additionally, its been a childhood dream of mine as long as i can remember, but i have always wanted to be a chocolatier. realistically is this possible? does it even exist as a trade anymore, i mean besides a very few famous examples (Jacques Torres).
also im in commuting distance to NYC (bout 30 minutes by train), but i have also thought about moving to europe, cities im interested include: Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Milan, Zurich or Geneva. does anyone know of how pay is there for the culinary trade as compared to cost of living. i expect to have around 31k in savings to work with after high school. what about skipping school all together and somehow finding an apprenticeship abroad?
thank you so much for reading and answering.