I'm a 21 year old guy currently living in france. Back in the day, when I was 18, I got a job in a French kitchen as a dish washer. A few months later I was promoted to food prep followed by helping the head chef. I really have no idea what you would call a guy like me. It was a small restaurant... there was the head chef/owner myself and a dish washer/prep guy.
Anyways, I worked there for a year and LOVED it! Food/cooking has always been a passion of mine ever since I was little. Unfortunately, I had to leave the US for familial reasons and came to France. I am now in training to become a heating/cooling/plumbing technician.
Recently, I got the keys to the small, local campus kitchen and started cooking for myself and a friend. Afterwhich, his friend joined and others. Now, I'm cooking almost every night for 7-8 people and having a BLAST. Due to this, it's sparked a fire inside and I have a huge desire to finish my training and go to some sort of culinary school. However, I have no idea what this entails and if it's a good idea, so I thought I'd pose a few questions here.
First, is 21 too old to become a chef?
Is there work in the culinary world or is it hard to find jobs?
How difficult is a good culinary school to get into? What are the usual qualifications?
What do you learn at a culinary school? I ask because my friend's girlfriend who went to a culinary school for 3 years recently cooked for us and I was not at all impressed. She seriously didn't seem to know her way around a kitchen.
What are the cons of being a chef/Working in a kitchen?
Thank you in advance for your time in reading this and if you took the time to respond, then I give you a huge thanks because this really means a lot to me.
Peace and happy cooking,