I went to a local technical/ trade school. The school is still there but the course was discontinued years ago. We were taught a basic course that included baking and meat cutting. This was during the nouvelle cuisine era when the classic sauces were considered passe and unnecessary. Consequently we spent little time in that area. As a trade school, all classes were working classes so our class provided the lunch service. That school population ate good! It gave us an understanding of volume cooking and working in a commercial setting. It was pretty bare-bones, but I continued to study and broaden my skills throughout my years in food service. The best part about this course was it was free if you were under 21 or a veteran. All we had to pay for was the textbook, a French knife and our uniforms. I wish they would bring the trade schools back to what they used to be. Now they're mostly mini-colleges that charge expensive tuition. What stands out in my mind most from that time was the teacher standing in front of the class and telling us women that we should leave the course as we were wasting our time and his. He maintained there was very little to no chance we would ever work anywhere other than a diner. We were outraged. But he was right. The opportunities for women in this business at that time weren't like they are now. I know another chef in my town who is the same age as I am and we often discuss the difference in our experience due to opportunities that were open to him and not me. I'm glad to see that changing, but there's still a lot of ego and insecurity out there. Being good at what you do doesn't necessarily mean you'll get the job or money you deserve. As for ego, I think sometimes people in this business need to remember that no matter how good they are, someone else out there is better.