I am so happy to have found this site. My father was a Chef and I grew up in the kitchens helping him. From a very young age I helped him prep and go to the vegi, fish and meat markets. If I ever did anything bad I would end up washing dishes which for me wasn't really punishment since I enjoyed running the industrial dishwasher. I bussed/ waited tables, bar backed, received inventory, cleaned and scrubbed the kitchen, fridges, bathrooms, pretty much everything he told me to do and I enjoyed it. My dad made it clear to me that he didn't want me to end up in the restaurant business as the hours are long and the work is hard.
Ultimately I went to work in another industry and did well but I always missed the restaurants and especially the kitchens. Now I am in my 40's, contemplating a career change, and the draw of the food industry is starting to pull on me. My father passed away a few years ago and while I can still hear his objections, I can't help thinking that I need to get back into the kitchen.
That being said I am contemplating going back to school and going back to work at a restaurant. I don't mind starting at the bottom and I fully understand the rigors of kitchen life. I have no grand ideas of owning my own restaurant or being a famous chef. I just want to learn and be challenged.
I am wondering if anyone else has a similar experience of starting out later in life, the steps they took etc. I am in a decent position and do not need to make a lot of money, however I don't want to spend the money on a high end culinary school so I will probably attend the local community college which has a decent program.