Hey, everyone. I was hoping I could get some hard, no BS type answers to some questions I have. I know this is the internet, a forum, my first post and I'm a squishy target so I'm sure I'm gonna get a lot of flak, so...please forgive my candor and I'll try to keep it short. I've developed a surprising interest in cooking about 8 months ago or so after I cooked jager schnitzel (successfully) and couldn't believe food could taste that good. Now I'm throwing in all kinds of fresh herbs, different spices and trying all kinds of new techniques when cooking everything from hamburgers to chicken, pork, stir fries, the list goes on. I've even outcooked my wife (easy joke in there somewhere) and I've become the cook of the house.
I had a kid in high school and won custody over him and I thought for the past 10 years it would be best to just take any job that I can that pays. I've tried out a handful of different things with initial and long-term success, I have taken college classes for a more technology oriented career but lately as I've gotten married and my wife is finding stable income I've been bothered by my curiosity to cook professionally. I'm highly competitive in the workplace, I've worked in a machine shop where I managed 4-5 people and I led the most successful 2 years that the very pressured, hands-on department has seen and ever will see until they decide to hire robots.
Long story short, I feel like my technology education is an interest that I seek for money while cooking is something I can do for an hour and a half when I get home from work, sweating, racing the clock a knocking things over and I don't feel like I've done much work by the end of it and I'm always pushing myself to peak the experience of eating. I also impress most people that I cook for, most of the time that I cook ( I don't make anyone eat my experiments anymore :p). So here are my questions. Again, please forgive my candor.
1. Is it *really* that hard to make good money as a chef, or are most chefs just comfortable with what they get and don't like to admit it?
2. Is the business *really* that cut-throat or do most chefs stop pushing themselves after a certain amount of time?
3.Do you often have to work Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween?
4.Do a lot of chefs like to build up how dreary it is being a chef to make themselves feel better about what they do?
A few other important notes. I'm 25 years old, I live in the Reno/Tahoe area and I'm mainly interested in learning French cuisine.
Thanks for reviewing my thread :)