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Hello - new user - tell me I'm not crazy!

Poll Results: Am I crazy to try to learn to cook professionally at my age?

  • 100% (2)
    Absolutely not, follow your bliss!!
  • 0% (0)
    Maybe - how much energy do you have?
  • 0% (0)
    Probably - if you're married and have kids
  • 0% (0)
    Definitely - cooking for a living is soooooo overrated!
2 Total Votes  
post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi all. New user here. Name's Ray. Living in beautiful New Jersey, about 25 miles outside NYC. Story is simple: I'm 48. I have wanted to be a chef since I was 12. I spent 25 years building a very successful career in finance instead, a career that I just retired from in order to...cook! Rather than go to cooking school, I just accepted an apprentice cook job at a local farm-to-table restaurant, offered to me by a sympathetic executive chef. I start in two weeks. Probably only a 3-day a week gig, as i discovered not surprisingly when I trailed in the kitchen that I found it exhilarating and exhausting, and I may not be able to handle more than 3 days a week on my feet for 10+ hours. Excite, eyes wide open about how hard it is, but anxious to learn the difference between cooking professionally versus at home, where I'm pretty good already. No idea where it will lead, maybe catering or some such, but excited to learn. Am I crazy?????
post #2 of 5
Crazy? Maybe a bit but then aren't we all. I'm 49 and have been doing this since I was 13 so I'm used to the hours and physical challenges but that dont mean i'm not sore at the end of the day. Physically I would advise you to do slme typt of training in addition to work. Me, I do kickboxing 3 days a week a ketel bells 3 days a week, sunday is a day of rest. It keeps me strong and i get to pound on things, and people so I'm much nicer at work.

If you can take the financial hit of going from a job in finance to 10 bucks and hour the I'd say why not.
post #3 of 5

@Rchandonnet   I hope not because that is what I am doing also.  Didn't realize I wanted to cook professionally until about 48-49, now 51 and using my vacation time to work in kitchens.  I have a gig starting this week.  It is taking me a bit of time to get out of my medical practice but my plan is to get into the biz after that.


How's it been going for you?  I haven't had a problem with the physical part of the work since it's just like being an intern again and even my regular practice work keeps me on my feet all day.  I definitely leave feeling a lot better mentally!

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
@rpooley It was a tremendous experience, though it ended sooner than I mght have liked. The good news: I had the physical energy and stamina to keep up with the young cooks, and I think I was a bit more, ummm, dependable smile.gif

The bad news - my surgically repaired left foot couldn't withstand the strain of being on my feet for 14 hours and I ended up with another surgery, which ended my cooking career after about a year.

I had a blast - learned a ton, made great friends both at the restaurant I cooked at and in the induatry overall through an Instagram feed I started. Ultimately it was a welcome break in my banking career that scratched an itch I'd had for 40 years, and when I had to give it up I did so with no regrets.

I wish you the very best of luck - I think you will enjoy the experience, and likely find it much more challenging than you anticipate. If you are wired like I am, you will enjoy the challenge of not knowing what you are doing, and failing at stuff foe the first time in a long time. Just don't get TOO many tattoos!!
post #5 of 5
Originally Posted by Rchandonnet View Post

 Just don't get TOO many tattoos!!


I've yet to get one but we'll see.


Sorry to hear about the foot.  I know that as an older guy, although I'm in pretty good shape, stuff happens.  That's why although being on the line is what I think about, I keep reminding myself that the slower pace of pastry is an option, as is maybe owning a place but having to work with great folks for more of the labor part.  I'm trying not to plan too much, just being open to learning more and more.  I didn't have everything figured out in my 20's and things turned out pretty well so far.



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