Hi, not exactly new to the forums but haven't posted for a very long time. Well, I'm coming to a fork in the road right now, and I'd really appreciate some advice, especially from industry professionals who've experienced it all.
Some background on myself: I'm from Malaysia, 20 years old, and I've just finished my Diploma in Culinary Arts at a private university. It was quite a good experience and overall it's made me more in love with the industry. I'm now advancing to a degree programme, and I can't seem to choose between Culinology, or an Advanced Dip + Bachelor's in Culinary.
Well, I quite like science, and the scientific aspect of stuff, especially in the kitchen, and Culinology seems to be the right choice. I initially joined the university specifically to join this course after my Diploma.However, many of my seniors have told me that that's the subject for Research chefs, where you'd stay in labs.
On the other hand, the university's Advanced Diploma has a more technical and skills-on aspect to it, that (in my senior's words) prepares you for Michelin Star restaurants. It also has an internship programme partnered with quite a number of Michelin Starred restaurants in France. I initially believed that this was the best opportunity for me to develop my skills and be able to achieve my goals of working in a good restaurant.
When I consulted the Deputy Dean, she told me that that was not necessarily the case, as Culinology goes really into detail about the components of the food and how it would be more in-depth. She also told me that skills can be trained in the industry, but the basic knowledge and foundation wouldn't be as easy to find.
My dilemma right now is that, I really love both courses, and I can't seem to choose one. My goal in the future is to own a good restaurant (very vague right now of course), and I know that it takes a lot of work and effort. I'm afraid that by taking Culinology, I would miss the opportunity of being able to work at a Michelin restaurant.
My question is:
1) If there are any Research Chefs or Culinology grads out there who still work in professional kitchens,I'd like to hear your opinions on how good a transition it is (as in from doing a degree about research to working a fulltime pro kitchen job).
2) For professional chefs, I'd also like to ask what you might look for in hiring someone, skills, or knowledge based?
Admittedly, I've also been thinking of a third option, which I realise is very important, attitude. But, if one had a good attitude but rather average or even weak skills, would you still hire him/her? And how far would a good attitude convince you in hiring someone?
Any opinions would be much appreciated :)