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Career Changing? Read This. - Page 2

post #31 of 44

it's hard, but hey, who is happy always taking shortcuts

I went to culinary school in 2003 after 10 years in accounting(non degreed) and got a job in a kitchen. I stayed in the kitchen as a prep and line cook, but due to life happening and money not, I went back to accounting after just one year,,,,,,and due to hours in accounting,,,the school i went to didn't work around it, so i ended up leaving that too, which sucked, i loved life in the kitchen....well, fast forward to 2009, I lost my accounting job in sept 2008, to only be unemployed and finally landed a job back in the culinary field as a prep cook in a cafeteria again this past March. Yes, the money sucks again, but hey, I love what I do, yes it is redundant, it can be grueling but that's a challenge and if you are never challenged on your job, it get's boring, and I love it. At age 37, I decided this time, I am staying to do what I love and money will come from somewhere eventually, even if I have to take a second part time job elsewhere. I guess this was meant to be,,,,and the great part is, after not being in culinary and being a school drop out, someone is still willing to take a chance on me,,,and to those who are afraid, cuz you are older, and slow and don't understand and feel like you can't handle the pressures of a kitchen,,,,,think about how you got to where you are now in the field you work,,,,it didn't happen in one day...speed comes with time, and any good chef will tell you they want you to learn it the right way and be consistent first instead of being so quick you consistently mess it up......keep your head up.....also some chefs love someone they can teach to do things their own way. When I first started back in 2003, I spent a whole month basically chopping salad and cutting deli meats and cheeses then moved onto different stuff,,,,,and even though it didn't work out the first time, it gave me something to go back to when other things didn't work out.
post #32 of 44

I was thinking of trying to do culinary school, however the only way i'd be able to do it is to keep my job I have now. I'm currently employed as a firefighter in Maryland, and work 24 hours on, followed by 48 hours off. I was wondering if it'd be possible to go to culinary school with a schedule like this. If I missed a class here and there when I couldn't get a swap would I be kicked out? Are there any online schools if this is not possible?
post #33 of 44
Does the culinary industry allow people who wish to learn the craft go and apprentice with a noted chef?

Yes, I know, you might have to "wax on, wax off" doing fetch n' carry work for a sous-chef, but it might be a valuable source of hands on style education.

You may even be paid to learn...

(BTW, I quit my 'adult job' for a second career. I encourage it. Go for it. As incentive, if you become a student, I'll sharpen your knives for free. )
post #34 of 44
Look up on to see if there are any schools in your area or if there are any possible apprenticeships.

Also, if any online programs do exist for culinary, avoid them.
See the truth about the culinary education industry at 
See the truth about the culinary education industry at 
post #35 of 44
this is really interesting. I have been seriously considering switching careers to that of culinary arts. I'm hesitant, so the posting of this journal is a great support. Thanks!
post #36 of 44

Best Pastry Schools: Europe /Canada?

Hello all,
I'm new here.
I'm in my late thirties & considering a change of career .
I would like to know if anyone has any idea about good pastry schools in Canada or France/Belgium/Germany/Spain/Austria/UK or Switzerland?

Thanks for you help.

post #37 of 44
I have always enjoyed being in the kitchen. Even at a young age I would help my grandmother make dinner on Sundays, and as I got older I would help relieve her of the cooking duties.

I ended up going to engineering school, an I enjoyed it for the first year. Then as the economy slipped, I lost my job. I found a new job working with the family construction company, but I haven't enjoyed it at all. I often find myself looking forward to coming home and making dinner for myself and my gf. After talking about it I determined that I really do love to cook. My grandmother was a pastry chef, and owned a bakery, and my grandfather was a butcher. My mother is in charge of purchasing for a grocery store chain, and my uncle owns the grocery store chain. You could say that I was born to work in the food industry.

I have been looking at schools for a while now, and I have yet to make my decision. I haven't worked out all of the details yet, but I am. While saving money to put towards school.
post #38 of 44
Hello , great site. I too am changing my career, full time auto tech by day , culinary student by night, I have never worked in a restaurant type of business, so it will be difficult knowing the money won't be the same , but the love of the food and the cooking as well as seeing the looks of happiness on peoples faces when they eat your food is worth it. I was fortunate enough to find a school at night that fit into my schedule and also volunteer for some other culinary clases they have for 1 night 50 years old I'm finally gonna go for happiness cause i might as well be happy and broke than be miserable and broke
post #39 of 44
I live in Edmonton Alberta and I'm interested in moving to Toronto to attend George Brown's culinary program. I have no restaurant experience and if I am to apply it would be part time. I got another semester to finish until I get my diploma in laboratory technology. I plan on saving up for a year before I go the year after next year. When I apply would it be rude if I just dropped off the resume to someone else or should I go directly to the manager.
post #40 of 44
That sounds impressive. May I ask you, @ what age did you start your cokking study ? I'm 39yrs now & Im thinking to go into cooking school , & more specifically into bakery & pastry . Your story inspired me & I'm thinking of the next step to do. How to really quit my job & start all over new @ the age of 40! It's kinda scary but I DO wanna do it !
post #41 of 44

This helps...

In high school I worked in a bakery at one of those buffet/feeding troughs in the midwest. Fast forward to college, working at a grocery store deli/bakery.

I'm 25. I've been out of college for a few years. I lived in China, moved back home and now I work for a non-profit organization. I know what I do is rewarding...but in the back of my mind. I'm still in the kitchen.

I cook for friends and family, and I know that the commercial operations were not enough to prepare me for the fast-paced high stress restaurant world. But I'm know. I'm happiest in the kitchen.

I read the dissent about culinary school or not. I have an appointment to meet with an adviser next week. It should be a foot (albeit a pricey one) in the door. I know though, that I am ready for things to get real. This isn't just a career change. It is a life change. And I am SO ready.
post #42 of 44
I just wanted to thank the sage advise of working a little bit every week for free.
I have just embarked on working for free one day a week for the evening shift.
While it's a Japanese Bar that I work for, I'm learning how to make the food I love.
It's strange really, the man I wanted to teach me [the owner] (specializes in Western Cooking) doesn't teach me anything at all, and the other Chef (specializes in Japanese Cooking) teaches me a lot.

Today I was peeling a daikon (Chinese Radish) outer skin/inner core with a knife, then I cut the radish into planks and match-sticked them. All the while I was maintaining the Japanese push-cutting technique.
Anyway, I wanted to thank the one who recommended volunteering time for skill.

post #43 of 44

Hi Nicko, sorry I can't access this link, is there anything you can do?

post #44 of 44
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