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I've consistantly learned that having a degree is not necessary. I've also heard that it is extremely expensive to get a degree in culinary but not really worth what you pay for as far as experience. 

I believe, which could be wrong because its an opinion, that working under a respected chef, someone who is professional and a good teacher, is much more valuable than going to school ( I don't truly know because I don't have a degree however) because they have the ability to train you and show you good habits, proper sanitation, storage methods, cooking techniques, recipe improvisation, creating etc.

Things that I feel wouldn't be taught in school are things like listening and attempting to learn from the chef, rather than putting in your own two sense when you start at new kitchen environment, or something like having your chef coat and pants perfectly clean and pressed every day, with two towels on your apron at all times, one wet, and one dry, with a dry towel in your hand to grab anything that could be hot. habits like these have been created by highly respected chefs and wouldn't be taught with pen and paper, they would be taught on the job gaining experience. 

I have a background of military culinary, so I have extreme standards for how I look, however I've got little knowledge of fine dining recipies and techniques, which is why i'm in fine dining. 

The business side can also be taught, by a person simply already running a successful business. 

My personal opinion. School isn't necessary in culinary world, its all about hard work, dedication, willingness to learn, showing respect, demanding respect, and being there on time, and looking amazing when you get there, every single time, and when you fail or make a mistake, learn from it and write it down, so you can strive to not make the same mistakes again. Thats What I follow, and I was taught that, I didn't come up with it. 

Alex.
 
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