While I don't know if Rick Bayless has an Anthropology degree, he certainly fits the bill for what you are describing. His passion goes well beyond Mexican food to the entire culture and history of Mexico and it shows in his restaurants, his cookbooks and his TV show.This industry has enough burned out, disgruntled, disenfranchised forty somethings who are too old to start a new career and too young to retire. The average career in the food service business lasts 18 months. Being passionate about food is only a start. Its a good start. But, its not enough.
Stay in school. Finish your degree. Who knows? Maybe you will find a way to combine your Anthropology education with cooking and come up with some new paleo type bistro and be the next billionaire celebrity chef. But more importantly, if you decide when you are 39 that you've had enough of the food service business, you can at least get another job.
This was Chef Terry's approachHow should I approach this. One day wanna learn to cook Austrian pastries too.
Terry White Owner/Executive Chef of Sage Restaurant in Tallahassee, Florida, discovered his passion for cooking as just a young boy, while sitting on his Grandmother's kitchen counter. As a teenager Terry worked at a handful of local restaurants and began learning his way around the kitchen. While developing his culinary foundation, his thirst for knowledge and love for cooking continued to grow.
After high school, Terry graciously accepted a kitchen position at Roy's Restaurant in Denver, Colorado. Through dedication, hard work and many long hours, he quickly moved up from his line cook position to Executive Sous Chef. After a successful run at Roy's, he took a position at Clair de Lune, another well respected restaurant in Denver, serving French-Mediterranean cuisine. At Clair de Lune, Terry continued to learn, refine and grow as a chef until he decided he was ready to move back home.
Back in Tallahassee, Terry became Executive Chef of Mozaik Restaurant, and then two years later Executive Chef of Mon Pere et Moi Cafe. When the owners of Mon Pere decided to sell their restaurant, Terry purchased their business and reopened it as Sage.