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Sedexo & Aramark long time employee wondering about culinary school ?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi,I know this place is flooded with should I go to culinary school threads but I am truly struggling with the idea of going to culinary school CIA or JW to be exact ! I have worked for Sedexo and Amamark for about 10 years now ..working from the stock room guy up to a supervisor/cook for sedexo ! I am 35 years old and have done my fair share of cleaning fryers 16 hour days and grinding out bulk food for over 10,000 kids a day as well as catering fruit trays and everything in between basically.. bitch work ! I live in Virginia and am making about 13.77 a hour pretty much making stir fry all day at this point .. I supervise about 5 employees at a college.. I work six days a week and pull in about 1000 dollars every two weeks..I have opened 3 kitchens from new construction and learned a whole lot about breaking in new equipment and what it takes to train a new staff as using the equipment, H.A.C.C.P and teaching sanitation & food safety ! I have heard so many awful things about going to school and how Ill end up a line cook making 10 bucks a hour in the city with 60,000 in debt ! At my age I don't have the option of grinding it out for 10 years in DC or New York to learn fine dinning ....but I just don't know anything else ....I love this shit ! I cannot afford to make a 60,000 dollar mistake at my age !
post #2 of 5

My gut says with your background, forgo school and get a job in a fine dining restaurant with a changing menu and a chef who sees mentoring and nurturing culinary aspirations as part of his job description.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 5

I agree with Cheflayne about school.You would have developed a lot of organizational, management and production skills over those ten years and school would be a waste of time and money.With your work history you could probably find a chef willing to help build you up.It would be rough for about six months going from being a production machine to putting out a more refined product.Depending on your circumstances working a couple of seasonal jobs in better places would greatly improve your resume.Just remember that with a change like that there are a lot of differences and you will have younger people with less time in the business telling you what to do.If you are focused and mature and prepared to work hard at learning you have the opportunity to advance quickly.

post #4 of 5

I agree with both posts. In my career I worked for Marriott Corporation and cooked same as you for many years as well.

With your supervisory experience you may want to consider looking at the future, your health, goals, and aspirations, as you may be a better candidate for Sous Chef or management.

As far as the culinary skills go, your experience in food service has allowed you to be acquainted with many forms of cooking, and this will aid you in advancing to finer dining. The cooking and prep part, you already know, only the ingredients and a few tweaks will change.

I have one more bit of advice to give you.

Do the best homework you can possibly do when you are out there looking for that great place you want to work at.

Ask around to see what that place is like to work for, who the Chef is, what his temperament is all about.

Save yourself a lot of grief before you take a job at someplace you'll regret later, simply because you didn't know enough about the place beforehand.

post #5 of 5

You've already spent a decade perfecting a lot of the skills you'd get in a culinary school.  At your age and with your considerable experience you'd probably be better off just stepping up to a better restaurant and learning OTJ.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
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