5 answers

Chef need to go to College?

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I love to cook, and being organized #culinary. #chef

4
100% of 4 Pros

5 answers

Kenji’s Answer

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Hello. Loving to cook is different than loving to be in the kitchen unless you are already experienced in a production facility or restaurant. If you want to be in kitchen for few decades I tell you frankly find out first by trying to get in as a dishwasher, prep cook or any way you can so you can experience a production period or restaurant service. Go through the motions of arriving, preparing, working clean following all the protocols, getting hammered in a busy service, flying out pastas and other dishes as you are involved. There is definitely an addictive buzz for a particular demographic of adventurous types.

Now that being said advise don't skip getting some kind of degree if that option is available to you. You can work your way up without culinary school choosing instead perhaps a higher yielding trade or profession as a fall back if you decide to go into kitchen full time when you are finished, or while you are attending.
You might want to note that many of the industrial or institutional catering operations which offer normal hours in many cases seem to require two associate degrees minimally for the higher better paying positions. Also there is growing preference for other certifications CEC and Master Chef which require culinary school background or years as executive chef if you haven't had the schooling.

Keep your options open unless you know already you absolutely love the kitchen. Kitchen is a crazy place and compensation is just ok through the touring stations phase of developing your skills. Lots to learn. Lots of interesting experiences ahead if you can get in to position to enjoy those.
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Tylor’s Answer

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Contrary to popular belief, chefs DO NOT need to go to college or culinary school. What is important however is finding the right restaurants to work at and chefs to work for. Places and chefs that have a high standard, are meticulous in their technical execution and are thoughtful in the cuisine that they prepare are all perfect criteria to use to determine to apply.

I did not attend college and am now an Executive chef in the most competitive market in the US. I took the harder route, which is working up through restaurants, and in doing so, I developed a wide range of skills, cuisines types and restaurant styles. I also learned the business side without attending school for it, I.e. the financials, the HR compliance, OSHA laws, Health dept, city planning, Fire control, staff management, etc.

Long story short, you don’t need to pay $40k to become a chef, you’re better off finding a chef to work under that you respect, and getting paid to learn in the process. Yes, it is a longer process to become an executive chef or sous chef, but I personally don’t regret skipping culinary school or college, as I’ve learned and advanced, I’ve found it worked out better for me this way. Being passionate, diligent, having a high attention to detail and integrity will serve you better then any culinary school certificate ever will.
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james’s Answer

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Now the way things are most employers are looking for that degree. It can be done without school but you have to find a chef that will take you under there wing and still there is no guarantee. So go to school and find a good chef to work under and your career will have a better outlook.
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Franklin’s Answer

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I would say no but I would still recommend it. You will be better off combining that degree and your experience in the future. When it comes to a hiring decision, you will stand out above someone that does not have the degree if experience is the same.
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Nikisha’s Answer

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Yes. Learn your trade. So someday it'll help you build a restaurant. And a network to promote your work
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