I am new to this forum I apologize if this is not the correct section of the forum but here goes, I graduated the French Culinary Institute in NYC in the year 1999 and since then I cooked at several hotels and restaurants everything from Cuban cuisine too high volume restaurants and also worked in fine dinning mostly. I never acquired Chef title but worked saute, grill, and cold stations in most of places i worked. I had to stop working as a result of a heart condition that required a few open heart surgeries and because my wife is a lawyer it made sense for me to be the stay-at-home dad. I am now 37yo and want to get back in the game now that my health is better and my kids are older. My question is: Is it a realistic goal to obtain a chef title and obtain a career that will be financially beneficial? If you think think it is reasonable what would be the best approach? I live in Tucson at the moment and it is by no means a culinary mecca, but I could move in the future to further my career. I do not expect to become a chef over night by any means but to get back on the line and work my way to the goal of being chef and having a career. I also am not sure I can spend many years on the line, because of my heart but two or three is definitely not a problem. Please no need to spare my feelings if it's not realistic just give it to me straight. Any input would be very appreciated on how to approach this as well. Should I do a stage, work in a hotel, or in a restaurant? The more input the better. Thank you very much in advance for any help.
Looking to get back in the industry, after heart surgery and long break looking for advise from chefs
Only your doctor knows for sure. If you feel up to it, go get a job cooking. I'm not sure what you think may be unrealistic. You have an FCI degree and several years of good experience so you know what you are getting into. Whether Tucson is a culinary mecca or not doesn't really have anything to do with your situation. There are undoubtedly many restaurants, country clubs, caterers and other food service outlets in Tucson who are in need of good employees. Go speak with a few and see what's available. I suspect your health history may play the biggest role in your search but that depends on how you present yourself. Not every chef job will involve intense line cooking and not all line cooking will be intense. Figure out what you want to do and go do it.