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If you’re thinking about becoming a professional cook, whether or not to go to school may be the ultimate question for you to ponder. There are some very good culinary schools, but in general, I think it’s worth getting some experience either in a restaurant kitchen or bakery before you decide to invest a lot of money in education. Perhaps the work is far more challenging than expected, or the pay is going to be far (very far) lower than what you’re making as, say, an anesthesiologist.

Should You Go To Cooking School?

Over the years, I’ve gotten number of inquiries for people thinking they’re like to cook professionally. Perhaps much of the interest began when the ‘celebrity chef’ craze took hold in the 80’s and people began thinking it was exciting to work in a restaurant kitchen. I know, since I was one of those people. I loved restaurant work (well, most of the time) and it can be lots of fun depending on where you are. I’ve had some of the most exciting times of my life working in restaurant kitchens, but it can also be a living hell.

Fortunately I was at Chez Panisse for over 12 years, in an environment where the quality of the ingredients and menus were of utmost importance. And we became somewhat of a loose-knit family, since many of us spent over a decade working together, night & day.

The downside of professional cooking is that the work can be extremely difficult, the hours are long, and it exhausts you down to the bone. A typical work day is often well over 8 hours and you rarely get a break. I’d once mentioned that at a fancy dinner party which completely stopped forks in mid-air. People had no concept of jobs without breaks. And if you’re sick or injured, you’re expected to work.

Professional cooking is exhausting and you’ll find yourself engaging in unusual behavior after work; bowling with co-workers at 3 in the morning, consuming far too much wine, waking up on the floor of the dining room half-dressed, and becoming addicted to late-night reruns of Charlie’s Angels which you discover your co-workers like too.

In spite of it all, the work is a lot of fun. You get to be creative, work with interesting people, and you see a lot of politically-incorrect and borderline sexually-deviant behavior. (Boy, do I have a lot of stories there…someday, I think…someday…)

Plus you get to cook all day (and night.) The downside is the money. Most restaurant workers, such as line cooks, make $15,000 to $25,000 per year, and if you work in a major American city, that’s not a heckuva lot of money. There’s little room for advancement, unless you become the chef or sous chef, and even so, the pay is likely to be quite a comedown for anyone who’s professionally employed in another field.

Be prepared for your work to become your social life. I spent my entire 20’s and 30’s working almost every night, and that was my sorry social life. I rarely went to parties and when I left the business I realized I missed having a relatively normal social life. While much of the restaurant business has become romanticized, it’s a lot of work and you’ll be giving up your nights and weekends.

I had a friend who wanted to start a catering company. When I suggested he keep his very high-paying job and work on weekends to see if he liked it, he told me, “Oh no, I don’t want to work on weekends.”

For more detailed advice on the business, you may want to read the following:

The Making of a Pastry Chef by Andrew MacClauchlan

On Becoming A Chef by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

Letters To A Young Chef by Daniel Boulud

The Soul of A Chef by Michael Ruhlman

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

So…Should You Go To Cooking School?

Going to professional pastry school is a big and sometimes expensive commitment.

Only you can tell if the cost will be worth it. Before you sign up for a private school, check to see if the city or state college in your area offers coursework. Eric Shelton became a prominent and highly-respected pastry chef in San Francisco and attended a local community college culinary program for a small fraction of the cost of a fancy private school.

Another friend worked in admissions for an expensive private culinary school and was forced to attend seminars in ‘recruiting techniques’ that would make a Ron Popeil infomercial look tame. She was told to ask if they had any family pictures in their wallet. And when they opened their wallet, check to see if there were credit cards, which they could mention later as a source for the down payment. That’s not to say all private schools are not good, or are trying to cheat students, and indeed I’ve visited several that were excellent. I just think you should investigate several options and speak to some of the graduates or check their blogs, listed below.

My Advice

I highly recommend volunteering (yes, folks, work for free) in a well-regarded restaurant kitchen or bakery before making any big changes or paying anyone anything. Every kitchen I’ve worked in could always use a good pair of hands to help. It’s a great way to see if the work is for you. I had an intern tell me her first day while peeling apples, “This is really boring…” so I knew her career would be short-lived (and I hope I saved her thousands of dollars and years of misery.) The best assistant I ever had was a woman that was a flight attendant for Pan Am for many, many years. Even though she had no cooking experience, I knew that she could learn and handle anything. And I was right, she was a dynamo, learned quickly, and soon after I hired her could do anything I asked her to.

As for schools, once you decide you want to cook professionally, you may want to go to school to hone your skills. I worked professionally for 20 years before I took any classes. At that point, I had learned the basics and knew what I wanted to focus on, which became chocolate and confectionery.

I don’t recommend any particular school, since each school and person is different. The schools that I attended, Ecole Lenôtre and Callebaut College (now called the Barry-Callebaut Chocolate Academy, and l’École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona, are for professionals only who know the basics and already have many years of experience. These schools assume a certain level of knowledge and concentrate on advanced techniques.

There are plenty of schools that do teach basics and you may want to check out the ads and listings in Pastry Art and Design Magazine for pastry schools, since many of the professional schools advertise there, as well as some of the online resources listed below.

An Important Last Point…

Lastly, be sure to properly thank people and express gratitude to those who assist you.

If someone’s taken the time to help you professionally, perhaps by giving you good advice or taken you in as an intern, be sure the remain on the best of terms with them. A short note or written message is good manners and always leaves a positive impression. I’ve kept in touch with some of my favorite interns and have given them great recommendations or helped them with their careers, as others have helped me. The professional cooking world is relatively small and news travels fast.
So make sure the news about you is always good.

Related Links:

Finding a Cooking Class in Paris

Culinary School: The Pros and Cons (Eater)

Does Culinary School Matter? (The Atlantic)

“Top Chef” Dreams Crushed by Student Loan Debt (New York Times)

Doing an Internship in France

For-Profit Colleges Face Lawsuits, US Scrutiny (SF Chronicle)

How to get a job in a restaurant or bakery (Eggbeater)

Want to go to pastry school? (Dessert First)

Sacré Cordon Bleu! (Michael Booth, via Amazon)

Burnt Chefs (SF Weekly)



    • Janet

    There’s so much useful information in here (so rare these days). Thank you for weeding out the weak.

    • Steve

    It has never occurred to me to go to cooking school (as opposed to taking a cooking class)–but then, I don’t cook like a graduate! I often wonder how many people who think they want to cook for a (meager) living can’t actually be bothered to cook for themselves most nights each week. When you’re only doing something for money, it’s just a job. Your comments offer a refreshing dose of reality.

    • Simon

    Another question could be interesting to answer:

    What about the average food lover that wants to increase his skills, speed and creativity? Are cooking classes for the public at the local culinary institute the best way to go or taking night classes in a regular culinary program?

    I have taken a few cooking classes here and there and even the most advanced ones are -really- low level stuff. The most interesting one I took was about baking because there is definitly a challenge in making croissants and viennoises but apart from that it kinda sucked (ie, I know how to saute some vegetables, it ain’t rocket science). But cooking school seem too big of a time investment for somebody that doesn’t want to do this professionally.

    • Sera

    Sounds similar to working in my profession…animation. >__^

    • David

    Simon: That’s a good point. Something like making croissants you can learn up to a point, but it takes a lot of practice to get proficent at them, like many things. I know there are some professional-style culinary schools that have courses that span over a few weeks or months, and I would imagine they are good for learning more advanced-level techniques since more novices would likely not want to commit to a longer course. You might see if your local bakery or restaurant could use a volunteer. You’d be surprised at how receptive they might be to have some help in the kitchen (especially good help!) We had people like that at Chez Panisse often.
    I think in San Francisco, Tante Marie’s offers cooking classes like that. I’m not sure about other cities but perhaps if any other readers know of any, they can leave that info here in the comments.

    • Connie

    Great information David I once taught a class for High School students called So You Want to Be a Chef! I wanted to make sure they did not think life was like the Food Network ! Some loved the experience and really flourished others I lost at deboneing a Chicken.

    • mimi

    I can tell you that having a chef for a father is hell on family life. My father was never there for school activities at night, and was only home one or two nights a week. So, if having a family is part of your plan, you might want to think twice.

    • Ashley

    David, Thanks so much for the link and such an insightful post. I just wanted to clarify that it’s acutally me (ashley) who writes on artisan sweets, the blog and my very talented husband (gabe) who takes the photos.
    Thanks again. I greatly enjoy reading your blog and am honored to be mentioned.

    • junglegirl

    Why is it that only the owner, the head chefs and the waiters make any money? Isn’t there a way to manage it so that the kitchen staff work eight hour shifts and are paid a living wage? Why does it stay so unbalanced even in successful restaurants? Greed?

    I know that tip pooling helps, but is that the only way? I am really looking for a way to correct this problem. Thanks!

    • Johnny

    Hi David,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this subject. I think your practical and realistic pieces of advice are very helpful!

    • bushpigeon

    I thought I’d share my very brief cooking school foray. I decided to test my fantasy of giving up my English lecturer day job and trying cooking school. I went to a recruitment dinner at a private school in a major American city (the recruiters were of the “do you have a credit card / here’s the form for 15,000 in Federal loans” ilk). About halfway through I had a revelation: going to cooking school because you “like to cook” is exactly like going to graduate school in English because you “like to read.” In both cases, the actual day-to-day life is completely different from the elements that draw you to it in the first place. So I went back to my day job and used my salary to buy more nice cooking supplies.

    • jef

    I got burnt out working IT for 10 years so I thought I’d try changing careers. I liked cooking so I figured I’d use my IT money to give cooking school a try. I spent a year at one school learning about the savory side and another year at another school learning all about baking and pastry. I interned at a nice French restaurant as an assistant pastry chef for a month and thought everything was good. Upon graduating, I got a job working for The Four Seasons Hotel. After two years and a month in the biz, I realized it was not the job for me. I worked 14hr days for nearly $10hr 6days/week.

    Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I may be a bit smarter next time, but…What I’ve learned can’t be taken away from me. I use what I’ve learned almost every day since. As a bonus, every now and then people pay me to make fancy foods for them.

    I’m back in IT again, it does suck, but the pay is far too much to give up at this point.

    • David

    Mimi: But I’ll bet you ate well on his days off!

    Ashley: Gulp…another example of women doing all the work, and men getting all the credit ; )

    Jef: Your experience is similar to many friends of mine, who I now tell, “Just throw fabulous dinner parties if you like to cook…and don’t quit your day job!”

    When I was a pastry chef somewhere, the chef and I figured out for the amount of hours we were working, we were making something like $1.65 per hour.

    Junglegirl: That’s a great question, and one that has raised a bit of ire over the last few years. At Chez Panisse, we were one of the first restaurants to go to a European-style service compris, which was mostly movitvated to balance the pay between the kitchen staff and floor staff. I don’t think it’s legal for a restaurant to demand that the waiters give up some of their tips to the kitchen or other staff (even though it’s done.) Plus since the waiters get taxed on their tips, it creates a sticky situation, tax-wise. So that was the solution. And I should note that Chez Panisse was one of the few restaurants I’ve worked at where the kitchen and floor staff got along well. (!)

    The initial problem switching to service-compris was compensating the waiters so they wouldn’t be taking a big pay cut. The second problem is a lot of people in America have trouble with the ‘service included’ business, since often a tip is considered payment for a ‘job well done’, rather than part of the wages. Some customers resent that system in the states. (And I single out the US, since it’s the only country that I know of with a relatively-mandatory 15 to 20%-style tip system in place.)

    Several prominent restaurants have switched to the ‘tip included’ system, which I prefer. It’s so much easier and insures that all people get paid fairly. As for people concerned that service will decline, there are waiters all over the world who do a great job that work in ‘service compris’ restaurants. Perhaps the model needs to change.

    As Steven Shaw pointed out in his book, Turning The Tables, the restaurant with the best service in the world doesn’t take tips: McDonald’s.

    And don’t get me started on those ‘tip cups’ everywhere. Why not just raise the price of coffee 25 cents and pay the people who work there more? That would ensure they get paid an agreed upon amount of money rather than relying on people dropping change into those cups.

    • Cook Odom

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this subject. I think your practical and realistic pieces of advice are very helpful! I also have some interesting matter in my website.

    Culinary Arts Degrees & Culinary Arts Education

    • tom

    As a son of a cook, and a family who worked in and owned restaurants, I say amen to your words of caution, David. Horribly long hours, stress, extreme physical labor,…I knew pretty quickly from a young age that there was little glamour in this field.
    You also could have mentioned that most of your co-workers will definitely be, shall we say, “sui generis.” I don’t know what it is about the industry that attracts people with what we would politely call “borderline personalities,” (you, David, of course being the exception!) but Tony Bourdain was right when he said that most of them are characters right out of a Damon Runyon novel.

    • dddg

    I read Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential — and was really fascinated (and terrified) by the cooking-in-a-hypermasculine-warzone portrait he painted of the industry —
    then again, I worked (as a server) in a small family-owned restaurant, and the craziest person was the restaurant owner/chef who used to greet the customers in his blood-stained apron (and then turn around and scream at the staff).
    I’m a bit ambivalent about service compris. Maybe it’s because I’m a drama queen — I really *liked* thinking of the tip as a reward for my efforts — and knew that I did better than less-dedicated co-workers. But then, that was part of the reason I took the job to begin with — I wanted to feel that I had an immediate effect on people and vice versa. Probably all an illusion in retrospect. Good tippers always tip. The best service won’t change the mind of a lousy tipper. Okay, you won me over.

    • Mary Alicia

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been wrestling with this question for days. With having already accumulated a large pile of school debt I couldn’t imagine on spending a Large amount more to go to Culinary School when all I really want is to learn a few more skills to open a place of my own. (A Bed & Breakfast, not a full blown restaurant, I’m not crazy.) The community college suggestion is perfect, as is volunteering for a bakery. These things I (and my meager finances) can handle. I appreciate the frank and honest advice!

    • shuna fish lydon

    Thanks for the link!

    I keep thinking I’m done writing about this subject and then I get another letter… We’re definitely in a time where the subject is all the rage.

    If you feel like passing it on– I am about to be teaching on a regular basis in the Bay Area. Thorough baking classes as well as Knife Skills;

    and I hear you may be in our ‘hood again soon– can’t wait to eat at Ici with you!

    • Sandy T.

    Thank you. As someone who has had to disabuse many a person about their erroneous rosy ideas about culinary careers, I’m glad you wrote this. Most people are taken in by the Food Network or glossy magazines and seem to think that professional restaurant kitchens will allow them to swan about at their leisure, making up whatever dish they please (in impeccable chef’s whites, no less). None of them are aware of the reality of the back-breaking work, the horrible hours (every weekend and holiday included!), the relatively low pay — or the fact that anyone who achieves any success in the professional kitchen eventually hies his/her heinie out ASAP for consulting gigs, catering or teaching jobs at culinary schools (if they’re in any shape to do so).

    By the way — one of my fondest professional memories is watching you one night at Chez Panisse, turning out plum tarte tatin after plum tarte tatin and garnishing them all with mascarpone ice cream, all the while describing the latest episode of “Studs” (yes, this was a long time ago — Kathleen Stewart had asked Lindsey if I could watch you, and you were very tolerant). Thank you for that and for your terrific blog.

    • veron

    I would love to go to culinary school but the harsh reality of it is the pay is not very good afterwards unless you have plans of opening your own restaurant…and then again that’s another headache.

    • Corie

    Cooking school? The best way to learn how to cook or bake is to jump right in and start with the basics. If you’re willing to work your way up in a kitchen you will really know if cooking or baking is the a passion you have. No person can survive the stressful, yet exciting moments in the kitchen for long if they are not passionate about cooking. I graduated from the CCC in San Francisco. I learned more in my first job as an assistant pastry chef than my entire culinary education, albeit my father is a chef (who did not go to culinary school) and I learned a lot from him. To those who are thinking about culinary school, get a taste of the heat and long hours. But most importantly don’t be afraid to be creative and make mistakes!

    • T’Keyah

    i have a question how much money will i make?

    • the researcher

    I love the post. I worked a couple months as a teenager at a small but wanna-be fancy restaurant. The food was hungarian based, and actually pretty good. After working up from dishawasher, everyone quit when our paychecks didn’t come on time, I made head chef. We good some good reviews, people said my cooking was better than the chefs after some harsh criticism. Anyhow I got fired. Upten years later I went back back to school, and now at 28 I am a junior in IT/software gig, and I was thinking about changing to culinary arts instead. I wander what it would be to finish some of the great cooking skills I learned from my boss. He was a great chef, but a horrible business person.
    The only time I didn’t like the hours was during college football time. Which I could get by with only two or three games a year I suppose. But the money! Now that is a hard piece of meat to swallow. To bad the fun things in life are usually the ones that don’t pay anything. Maybe I should be a professional fisherman.

    • annmarie

    Its so funny – professional cooking sounds almost as punishing as my job (movie production) except worse. and yet so much fun in the end, if you love it…

    • chefmo

    Cooks are much like musicians. Not just because the pay is lousy, unless you are a star, the hours are terrible and the high rate of alcoholism and drug addiction. It’s hard to go solo, you need a great band. And you must play together. Nothing like when the kitchen is in tune with one another, same level of energy, on their game. Just like an orchestra. Also, in music and cooking, some are very talented, others are hacks. Some are naturals without a formal education, some are just pretty faces who talk the talk, but don’t really know what they are doing, nor could they manage in a real pressured situation. I’d venture to say also, that the high you get from being good at what you do, and giving a great performance is what makes all the crap you put up with worthwhile.

    • Margaret

    Thanks. Great advice in your first blog David. The culinary arts is very difficult profession and it is important that the long hours and dedication are recognized before considering a career in any area of culinary arts. It is also important that those considering attending a career college in this field choose wisely because the education is expensive. It can be very rewarding as well if one winds up doing what he or she loves in the end.

    • CS

    Thanks for the info David. I also find it very hard to find the right information online. With the bad economy today, attending the right school is important because of how much students spend in tuition. They need to be certain to get their money’s worth.

    • Murasaki Shikibu

    My goodness this sounds like working in a TV production or an Ad Agency. When my colleague who was a conference interpreter fell down the stairs between meetings – and I heard her scream echoing through the building as she fell down and she ended up with a huge bruise on her face – an account supervisor gave her some ice and then said: Can you get back in there?

    Back in those days when I was part of a team working on a weekly series for prime time – I was happy if I could go home while it was still dark. It was not the greatest feeling to have to see the sunrise on my way back home from work because I needed to be back by 10:30 a.m. and it took more than an hour to get back home. Basically it meant sleeping for 1 hour and taking a shower and it was back to work!

    • Rachel

    This was a very good article that basically cut out all of the information that is trivial and gave some good options. I found a site with a few different culinary schools that they offer, check it out if any one is interested:

    • Laura

    David – Thank you so much for all this information. After checking out all the major culinary schools in the Bay area, I realized they’re all just money hungry and don’t care about the students. If you can pay for it, then you’re in. I may try a few classes at a community college now after your suggestion, with hopes of going to the “advanced” schools later on, as you did. This seems a more viable, financially sound option.

    Any tips on how to land an internship? My plan at this point: write up a letter of desperation, hope my personality wins them over, offer to cook for free for a month to prove my worth and if they like me ask to be hired on a stipend of $900/month. (Is that too much on my part? I’ve got to pay my college loans and rent somehow.) I live on the peninsula in the Bay area, so there are a plethora of restaurants. I’m just going to go to each restaurant, hand it to the owner/head chef, and hope for the best.

    • David

    Laura: At some point in the future, I’m thinking of doing a post on finding an internship. But it sounds like you’re doing the right things. Just don’t go into a place and ask to speak to the chef during service hours (you’d be amazed at how many people do that).

    And yes, volunteering to work is a great way to show that you’re truly interested–although a month is quite a long time to go without pay. I would say a week is sufficient. A girls gotta eat, ya know! Good luck~

    • Grace

    I’m a cook in Australia. And looking at what line cooks are paid in the States, I say thank God I live in a country where $45K is more the norm and pastry school doesn’t cost the better part of $25K!

    Normally the culinary trade is via an apprenticeship (cooking or pastry) usually lasting about three years. Culinary schools are not the norm as they are in the States. At best, students can attend college outside an apprenticeship if they choose to but they work in a kitchen (as a kitchenhand) to offset what they’re learning.

    We don’t have internships here as unpaid work experience is not lawful. I’m glad about this as, in my experience, a lot of businesses abuse the work experience system and, quite frankly, if you’re contributing to their business then it’s fair you get paid.

    I agree with David – a week is long enough in terms of work experience for free. To expect more than this is unrealistic.

    Lastly, a balanced person balances their social life. As a cook, my work is not my social life and never will be. While my work is demanding, I don’t allow it to control me. To suggest that in order to be a decent cook one must ‘suffer for one’s art’ is – dare I say it again – unrealistic (and simply not true).

    • david

    Grace: Thanks for your thoughts. Actually in America, I believe it is technically illegal to have people working for you for free. That said, I think it does happen but I think that one week is plenty; if someone wants you to work for weeks and weeks, well, if they haven’t decided after 7 days, I’d move on. (But that said, it is a good way for people who are thinking about going in the business to get their feet wet.)

    There are state colleges in the US that offer culinary programs for a fraction of the cost of the private ones and folks should look into them as an alternative to expensive culinary colleges.

    • Margie

    Excellent article with tons of helpful and “tell it like it is” information. also has some good step by step information on how to choose a good culinary arts college. One of the most important things is to get a return on your investment. If you don’t do careful research, you will spend a lot of money and may not wind up where you thought you should be. Carefully screen the colleges and do consider a community college. The community colleges cost so much less and it is there that the aspiring culinary student may find that the field is either right or wrong for them.


    There is a lot of very good advice here, but the one thing I think people often forget to take into account is the financial end of this.

    The average line cook earns $9 an hour. Paying back a student loan on that – while also paying for rent and food and gas and the such – is a shocking reality you need to face long before you are weeping with debt. I’m not saying don’t go, just have a plan.

    That way you can enjoy your education without worry.


    • Food

    I would say school is ok, but for inspirations there are so many other things to do, instead of paying for school.

    • mandakini

    Hi david. Thank you for this post!! I am a journalist in India (for the last 7 years) , and have been meaning to quit that job for a while to try and become a pastry chef. But instead of spending lots of money to study, i have volunteered to work at a hotel kitchen for a few months. And then see if i still want to study and maybe turn it into a career. I really hope i can. And my passion for pastry arts also translates to passion and success in the kitchen, professionally. I am a huge fan of your blog! Thanks a lot again.

    • Carl Boutte

    I have a daughter who did not finish college and has not gotten her GED. For several years she has been wanting to go to culinary school. I personally love to cook and once thought that I would enjoy a culinary education.

    I have tried searching the Internet to determine the requirements to get in a good school, but none of the websites seem to want to share that information. I suspect that my daughter will need the basic skills that come with a high school education in order to be successful in a culinary school. If someone could point me to the requirements, I would appreciate very much. Thanks in advance.


    • Carl Boutte

    I should have proofed my text. My daughter did not finish High School or get her GED.

    • Rene

    Culinary is a great career. I work for a major culinary arts college. I have seen people from all walks of life become successful in the field. No matter what school one chooses, it is important to stay passionate and be dedicated.

    • Natalie

    This is fantastic, but maybe you could give me some advice? I have worked as a professional baker for about 1.5 years, and was handling the entire bakery by the end. However, then I left (sadly) to go to college for another major. I’ve come to terms though that baking is what I am passionate about, and I can’t stand academia. I’m leaving college….but should I commit myself to about 40,000 worth of debt and go to a culinary school, or just use my former experience to find a job in a bakery or restaurant as assistant pastry chef/ intern, and take workshops on the side? I’m leaning more towards just finding a job straight off. I waitress to pay rent/bills, so without classes I could afford to volunteer in a bakery/restaurant for a bit without too much worry. Thanks for the article!


    • Lisa Masters

    First of all, this is a remarkable entry. I just wanted to point out that it was written over three years ago and it is still relevant and just as powerful. It really does raise so many questions about culinary school. I attended Remington College in Dallas ( Even though I value the formal culinary education I received, I still wonder about the usefulness of it in the industry. Really, the best place to learn is in a kitchen. I cannot stress enough the importance of working in a kitchen only to gain experience and learn…not for pay.

    • Todd Carnes

    Well Dave, I read this blog and I have decided to enroll in the Culinary Institute of Virginia. I am 42 (retired Navy) and tuition is free! I am not quitting my day job so as a single dad (8 and 9 year old girls) I will go to night school M and W and all day Saturday. I have always wanted to do this and now I can! Excited and also a realist. One do you go about cooking and tasting things you really don’t enjoy?

    • kruzon

    There are some very good culinary schools, but in general, I think it’s worth getting some experience either in a restaurant kitchen or bakery before you decide to invest a lot of money in education. Do keep in mind a culinary degree can take you well past the kitchen and into other markets such as food research or a very artsy lifestyle as a professional fruit or vegetable carver.

    • Kruzon

    The downside of professional cooking is that the work can be extremely difficult, the hours are long, and it exhausts you down to the bone. If you are making fresh daily baking your work day could start at 2 am.

    • Kruzon

    Todd, the learning is about proper preparation so its consistently the best possible whether you ever enjoy that food or not is not important but what is important is that you will know how to make it consistently taste awesome for others to enjoy.

    • Kruzon

    Natalie, there is a mathematical formula out there that weighs the costs and lost income vs the earning potential when completed. I say go for the job and take the classes on the side. I know Chef Lee, owner of Thai Cooking School BKK, trained in the cooking school teaching while upgrading her learning till now she has a B.B.A. and owns and operates a cooking school in Bangkok.

    So I say take the job and extra curriculum the classes you need.


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