Greetings from Arizona, USA!
Love cooking and baking, thinking about making it a profession in the future. My daughter has somehow turned our whole family vegetarian, so always looking to be creative in the kitchen. Looking forward to learning!
Welcome to ChefTalk glad you joined our community. Think long and hard about making it a profession. I mean it in a sincere manner when I say that there is an ocean of difference between loving cooking and working in a professional environment. So many people don't realize that and are disappointed with their move. There are many discussions here about this so you will be able to find some guidance if it is right for you.
As for me I attended the Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park and many of the people I went to school with were all career changers (previously doctor, lawyer, French teacher, etc). Of the people I went to school with most of then are no longer working professionally, the life and the hours are always a problem.
So what you're saying is I consider this career with... a grain of salt ? <cough>
I appreciate the advice, and I will definitely be reading a lot more. Going to school won't happen for quite some time, so hopefully I can get a clear picture as to where I want to end up.
As for your story, the same thing happened to me. I went to a technical college for programming and multimedia (multimedia gives you an idea how long ago it was!) and worked in the industry for over 10 years. Out of all the friends I made in the program, none of them made a career of it. And talking to them, none of the people THEY know stayed in the industry for more than a year or two.
I don't think I could survive in a Hell's Kitchen type environment, but I don't have aspirations to that end. I'd be happy catering, small shop baking, personal chef, type places (obviously just off the top of my head, not to be taken as hard and fast).
Take your time explore the hundreds of options of food service and you will be on the right road I believe. When I started out I boxed myself into 4 star 4 star 4 star and there is a life that goes along with that. Then later I saw guys trained just like myself opening up hot dog stands that became incredibly successful where just as fun and did not have the cost or pressure of a 4 star establishment. My biggest advice to most new chefs is: