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427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chief of Staff at Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. Best cardiothoracic surgeon on the west coast. Million dollar home and a car for every day of the week. Married with four kids. Yup, I had it all.

Didn't happen that way.

I have no idea where things turned for me, I wish I knew. My guess is the time spent getting elective credits for HS graduation. I got a job as a cook at the (don't laugh) Olive Garden. A whole year I worked for free. Sort of. I got paid in high school credits. For some reason I loved food. Not just eating it, mind you. Of course that's good but I want to know if I can duplicate the plate. I began trying stuff at home.

Pushin' on the accelerator a bit..............................

I met my wife by answering an internet personal ad (and boy am I glad she's not an axe murderer. :D ). I was gonna impress her with a home-cooked meal. Hmmmmmm.

Folks, as a general rule: NY steak is NOT beef jerky. She reminded me of this and hinted I needed professional help. With the food, smarty pants. :)

Dessert. It was NOT good. :( My wife wouldn't touch my Grand Marnier ice cream. You couldn't pierce the outer layer with a howitzer. A block of rock.

I enrolled in a certification course through the Culinary Union. For five days a week and seven hours per day they were gonna teach me to be a prep cook. I learned a valuable lesson the very first day. If you do EVERYTHING the chef tells you and keep quiet and listen, most of them will take notice. That's if you're competent........

I am so grateful to have entered this profession (again) under the guidance of good chefs. Thank you Chef Klundt and Chef Williams for turning on MY "pilot light". I think a lot of people get turned off by an egotistical chef. I may have turned tail and ran if I had to work for (gasp) Chef xxxxx at the Palms casino. I may have went back to medicine.

What about the dream of being an M.D.? Every now and then I can hear that dream telling me "What am I, chopped liver?"

You will be as soon as I take charcuterie and get to the liver.

Anyways, I am now armed with a certificate that says I'm a prep cook. I went out after a while and found a job. It paid $12.50/hr for what is called a Cook's Helper. Who knew standing on my feet working 14+ hours daily would be soooo much fun? Sadistic you say? I think you have to be a bit "off" to do this. It helps. I even took Basic Cookery at the CC here. That's when that bug hit. I started to become hypnotized by the cooking of food. Partially obsessed. Any and everything I cooked had to meet with the approval of my instructor. Even when I cook at home I can almost hear him tell me what to fix and how to do it. I thus began searching for culinary schools. I somehow happened upon ChefTalk. (BTW I must thank all of you for enduring my search for the pefect school for me)

I didn't like cooking, I loved it!! That class at the CC really got to me. I know that if I would've stayed in "school" I'd be a doctor by now (27) I didn't care. This is much better! I took the semester to finish some required classes (since I had my general eds) and got an AAS in F&B management.

Moving right along..................

I am 100% sure of my school plans now. I even have a backup plan. Either way I go I get ACF acknowledged as a Certified Culinarian. Plus I'm just thrilled to work as a Sous during school. How cool is that? I can't wait to see how far I go in this industry.

251 Posts
Jeff,being a hospitality employee is,in a way, like being a doctor.There are new developments all the time. For example:
1) Government scientists continually find new strains of food poisoning bacteria.
2) We work unsocial hours,junior doctors in large hospitals can be on duty for 18 hours a day,i`ve done that years ago!!
3) We are required to be able to adapt from one area of work to another.We learn the basics then we progress to the more advanced work.
4) There is never a shortage of people ready to ask daft questions.
5) A continue supply of managers/administators who are unable to dazzle us with brilliance,so they try to baffle us with bulls%&t!!:D
6)People`s needs are are prone to change,i.e. dietary requirements,allergies,etc.

Yep,it`s all good fun my friend, you`ll never stop learningLeo. :chef:
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