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Old 02-13-2013, 12:42 PM   #1
915bimmer
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Anybody here been to Culinary school?

So I'm at that point in my life that I really want to pursue my interest in the culinary field. I've always loved being in the kitchen cooking meals for myself and family but never thought about it as a profession. My background is in the medical field, far removed from the kitchen. Hell, I've never even worked a fast food job before. Ever since moving to Austin and seeing all the amazing food all over the place has really got me thinking. Le Cordon Bleu has a school here. Does anybody have experience with them? or maybe community college culinary school?
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:46 PM   #2
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I started going to school for it until I worked in the industry in junior college. You'll be stuck working nights, weekends, possibly holidays, and with illegal Immigrants.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:49 PM   #3
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One of my best friends went to New England Culinary institute. He landed a job immediately after school, he's very passionate about cooking. He works in a top notch French rest in NYC. He still only makes like $15 an hour which is a waste of time imo.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
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My buddy went after HS. Got in and went to Johnson and Wales in Denver. He'd been doing culinary stuff leading up all the way through HS, held a few positions in local restaurants and what not. Don't have much more to add to it than that, he really seemed to enjoy his time and has continued after graduation. He worked in the school while attending however said it wasn't what he figured so found outside positions.

Ever since HS and now whenever we talk we still have a wild idea to go and start a food truck somewhere warm. That market has really picked up and I think it could be a blast
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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My buddy went after HS. Got in and went to Johnson and Wales in Denver. He'd been doing culinary stuff leading up all the way through HS, held a few positions in local restaurants and what not. Don't have much more to add to it than that, he really seemed to enjoy his time and has continued after graduation. He worked in the school while attending however said it wasn't what he figured so found outside positions.

Ever since HS and now whenever we talk we still have a wild idea to go and start a food truck somewhere warm. That market has really picked up and I think it could be a blast


Austin is a mecca for mobile food and I love it. Seriously, some of the best and more creative food comes from these trucks. Paul Qui who won Top Chef 2 years ago has a few brick and mortar spots and also operates a mobile business that sell the best pork belly sliders ever....
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:00 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=915bimmer;15158637][/B]

Austin is a mecca for mobile food and I love it.

+1 I miss Austin. I hope I get a chance soon to relocate down there.......FU@K SNOW.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:16 PM   #7
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I couldn't take the heat...

(the kitchen, that is. I loooooove Austin, go there almost monthly)
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:46 PM   #8
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i have several friends that went and most of them are just scraping by financially, even though they went to big schools like cordon bleu and work in michelin star restaurants. according to them, this is the norm. most of them like what they do though, for what it's worth
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:52 PM   #9
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i have several friends that went and most of them are just scraping by financially, even though they went to big schools like cordon bleu and work in michelin star restaurants. according to them, this is the norm. most of them like what they do though, for what it's worth
+1. I met a bunch of cooks. All love what they do. All broke.





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Old 02-13-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:27 PM   #11
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Nights, weekends, holidays, low pay... I make substantially more as a butcher then a friend of mine who is a kitchen manager at a local restaurant. He loves his job but he dosen't have much room to make more money.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:33 PM   #12
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I wanted to go to culinary school and be a chef until I realized:

You will probably have to work shitty hours
Work weekends
Work your ass off for less than adequate pay

You really have to love cooking/food to do it. I like cooking/food but not that much to sacrifice the 3 aforementioned things
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:09 PM   #13
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I had a friend who never had any formal training from a culinary school or anything, just worked in his parent's Chinese restaurant starting in his teens. Ended up as one of the main cooks or something, and he actually made a decent amount of money. The only thing was the hours were absolutely horrible, not uncommon to put in 12+ hour days 7 days a week.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:58 AM   #14
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You can make 6 figures if your an executive chef at a decent rest. But anything lower than that your broke. I go out with these guys all the time, all love what they do, all love drinking, all broke as fvck.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:08 AM   #15
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Ditto to above.

My brother did very, very well as an executive chef, and now owns his own place. But it took him nearly a decade of 6 12 hour days with **** pay to get there. That was the fast track.

Like anything else your return is proportionate to your drive & effort, but you need to love what you do. Culinary art is not an easy path to money.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:30 AM   #16
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Read Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential (a tad dramatic) or Michael Ruhlman's "Chef" Series.

There is a difference between being able to handle a knife to make a great meal and being a chef. You can go to school, but stay in the medical field and make money. That way you can afford to throw big dinner parties and amaze your friends.

One of my favorite quotes from "Kitchen":
"Whachoo want, white boy? Burn cream? A Band-Aid?
Then he raised his own enormous palms to me, brought them up real close so I could see them properly; the hideous constellation of water-filled blisters, angry red welts from grill marks, the old scars, the raw flesh where steam or hot fat had made the skin simply roll off. They looked like the claws of some monstrous science-fiction crustacean, knobby and calloused under wounds old and new. I watched, transfixed, as Tyrone - his eyes never leaving mine - reached slowly under the broiler and, with one naked hand, picked up a glowing-hot sizzle-platter, moved it over to the cutting board, and set it down in front of me.
He never flinched."
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:52 AM   #17
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Yes went to the CIA, used to live down the street from it.
Did you have fun telling people you were in the CIA? Lol. And then they'd ask what your position was and you'd tell them what it really meant.

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Old 02-16-2013, 11:56 AM   #18
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Be prepared to have no life after you start working as a chef/ in a restaurant.

Source:

3rd gen. Restaurateur
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:57 AM   #19
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OP, I've been baking and cooking a lot lately and is really enjoying it, too. The accomplished feeling of trying to make/completing a new dish is actually rewarding. I never thought that I would enjoy cooking this much.

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:21 PM   #20
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It's all fun and rewarding in the comfort of your own home, with all the time in the world.

You need to step your foot in a real kitchen before you make any decisions. Knives, oil, stoves, heat, health codes, storage, prep, ware wash, rodents, ordering, expediter, complaints, pests, sewage, grease traps...

overworked, underpaid.
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