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post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I was wondering, Should I go to business/hospitality school, then culinary school. Or do they teach you how to to manage a restaurant in culinary school. And, how much $$ should I spend on culinary school? Best Culinary schools in the US? Should I try working in a restaurant before I make any decisions? 

post #2 of 4
The most important question is the last one, and the answer is yes. If you have not worked in a restaurant, don't spend any money on culinary school. Then ask what your goals are; if you want to own or manage a restaurant, culinary is good but maybe not worth big CIA or LCB bucks. If you want to be a chef it's a different story. But don't do anything until you've worked in a restaurant; whatever you think it's like, it's not.
post #3 of 4

Everything Grande said is right on point.


Going to school to learn to work in a kitchen is going to be almost nothing like really life working in a kitchen. School gives you some solid fundamentals such as knife work, basic food preparations and basic cooking skills that WILL be important, but there are things a school kitchen even one that has a service kitchen cant teach you or even come close to showing you the real way things operate.


Get a job in a restaurant, start at the bottom to see what its like as the prep cook or the dishwasher or what ever there lower positions might be like, then work your way up. If its what you like to do and want to continue doing then consider going to school.


All schools will teach you the basic fundamentals (or they should, if they dont they are not worth spit) but the bigger more expensive schools will teach you more and give you a longer time in school with a 4 year degree or what ever compared to the small schools 2 year degrees. BUT this comes at a price and some times its a much higher price, that will have to be your decision on how much you can afford to spend on the education.


Most schools will teach you some business management as well, but this again can vary from the different schools, they will touch base very briefly on things like; food and labor costs, management styles, does/don'ts of management. If you want a really focus on it you might have to look at a separate degree.


Ultimately my opinion on the matter is that schools are great and what you learn can really help you but they are not much more then a "door stop" to help you get in and get a leg up in the industry. The most important part of all of it is the actually work, experience and attitude that you have. This counts more then any scrap of paper that you might have, for the most part.




If you have any more questions fill free to message me or what ever.

post #4 of 4
I third that you should definety aim to get a job working in a kitchen before attending school. There are schools that will teach you the business side. Research the program and ask a lot of questions before enrolling. I am currently working on my associates in culinary management and am learning so much. Working in a local, small, and at least somewhat popular restaurant will show you how hard the owner works day to day. It takes so much to own a restaurant. I want to own my own someday, but after managing a kitchen and working alongside the owner I realized I don't want to own my own for awhile. You won't have time for anything else. If i did not have kids and didnt want to travel it would be another story.
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