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Culinary School or No.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am a line cook. I enjoy everything about being in a kitchen my scars are like trophies to me. Even though I try to get as little as possible. I love my job, they say I have a great future. But I have been at $9/hour for a year, yet I have been doing a lot more. I have learned expo, pantry, grill and carving. Im not here for the money, I am here because I love the kitchen. But I also applied to CIA. three Chefs at my restaurant went to CIA and the rest went to culinary school. Yet they keep telling me not to go. I have experience but I really wamt a Bachelors un culinary science. I do.not know if I should just go ahead and attend school like I always wanted. Or to stick it out at my job. Opinions??
post #2 of 6

Just because you want to go to culinary school doesn't mean you have to go to the CIA. Do you think it's in your price range? I have a lot of chef instructors who went there and said it was a great school, but it's really freaking expensive these days. There are some greats schools out there that don't cost 60,000 dollars. Look around and research schools in the country and take tours. If you are still unsure if you should go or not, then don't. There is way too much money and risk involved if you aren't certain that this is where your career should go. You can learn from just kitchens, but culinary school does give you some great fundamentals that a lot of restaurant owners don't have time to show you. It sounds like you are fit for this business and I don't blame you one bit for wanting to move up. Maybe you should talk to your boss about what it would take to get a raise or get more responsibilities. 

post #3 of 6

@jaywilliams413 Couple things I want to share.

 

  1. You do NOT need to attend culinary school to be a chef. In fact most of the chefs I worked for that were top chefs (exec chef of Four Seasons Chicago, etc) never went to culinary school.
  2. Making $9.00 an hour... Welcome to the hospitality industry. I graduated from the CIA and was making $8.50 an hour with no health insurance. 
  3. If you have been there a year and feel you have mastered what they have to show you then I would recommend moving on.
  4. I agree with @dreamshards8 don't go into $60K of debt to go to the CIA. Even if you don't have to go into to debt don't spend that much on an associates degree in culinary arts. There are plenty of great community colleges and they have instructors who are just as dedicated.

 

 

I do think getting a bachelors in food science if you are truly interested in that is a great field. It will provide you with a bit more normal family life and you will still get to work with food. It is not like working the line since it is more chemistry. A friend of mine got a degree in food science and worked for Kraft developing products. It is not a work the line type of degree but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

 

Hope that helps.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
@dreamshards8 Well I want to own my own restaurant one day or just work in the culinary field. I want my bachelors. If I dont go now, I still want to go in the future. I figured if im going to pay a lot for school I might as well go to my dream school. Also that fact that I work with 3 alumni and they are real good , helps alot. Yes I could learn from them and I have been but I want the experience myself. I know I wanna do this forever.
@Nicko
I am 25, I was in college for food science but I was a student athlete, they made switch to social science which mace me hate college. Then I had my daughter in my junior year and stopped attending school. So I am married now and I am working 50 plus hours a week doing what I love but I still need a second job. Which sucks . Again its not about the money but im broke. Ill be broke right now with or eithout school. I have researched my butt off. I have so many files on pros and cons of schools and whether I shoukd go or not. I am giving my restaurant til the nee year to make some kind of movent with me . Ive expressed alot about me wanting to mov3 up. But I work with people who went to culinary school and only start $1 more then and cry from standing up 10 hours straight. I just wanna slap em and say shut up, work and cry later. Those type of people make me think is school really worth it? But I also think I would be bad ass with a degree and my drive to do what I want and need to do for my daugher. Imso sorry I talked alot. But yea , ive been thinking alot. Sorry I tagged weird lol.
post #5 of 6

Jay, I totally agree with you that it(School) is not worth it for $1.00 more. You have been at your current shop for a year and if you not moving up then it is time to move on. You could easily move into a new position and ask for more money. 

 

If I were you rather than spending so much on going to school I would use that money towards my own business/restaurant.

Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #6 of 6

Well if you want to go to school just to have a diploma, them i guess you should, why not. Of course its alot of freaking money and community colleges nowadays have the same curriciulum. 

Many chefs and cooks in restaurants are great and never went to culinary school. My first chef was a LCB graduate who won a scholarship, that and she already had a 2 year degree. She honestly says she could have certaintly learned everything in the industry by working in it. She hasnt even picked up her diploma after 10+ years of working, its still at the schools office lol. 

 

I have a degree in baking, i hardly bake...

I actually rather be on the line then baking, and i learned alot in 1 year in the industry, that i probably wouldnt go to culinary school unless i win the lottery or maybe if it was some cheap community college program, just so i could meet new people, make connections and have the diploma. Not that it would be necessary, because im sure i would advance in my career with or without a diploma. 

 

My opinion it that cooking is something "in the blood". 

It involves talent, and passion. Lots of people get diplomas from culinary school, but that doesnt mean they work in the industry. Here in my country, and im pretty sure in others as well, the majority of the cooks don´t have diplomas....

The number of people that do, probably a good number don´t even work in the industry... 


Edited by KaiqueKuisine - 8/19/14 at 3:59pm

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

Reply
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