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Is going to culinary school worth the time and money?


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Jack’s Answer

Good morning Rachel,
Yes Culinary school is important. But there are less expense ways to get that needed education. Through the American culinary Federation there are apprenticeship programs local community colleges are less expense. Going one one the prestigious schools can open up doors into the culinary world that smaller schools can not. Because culinary school is so expense before you decide what school you would like to attend you need to work in the culinary field as a prep cook dishwasher or any other job at has you in a kitchen for a while to see if that is really what your passion is.
Remember that it is a hard life with a different set of rules then any other field that you can work in. I have been in food service for 50 years now and still love it. i have worked in hotels, free standing restaurants, business dinning military bases owing my own restaurant and now working in health care . The culinary world is a large place with many jobs some of them very different in the kitchen and some of not in the kitchen. From being a pastry chef in a hotel or a club to owning your own bakery to being a sales person for a large company.

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Jim’s Answer

I worked in the industry for 15 years before I went to school. I knew at that point I was not going to do anything else. So it was worth it. Not sure how old you are, but I would spend some time in the industry before you go. Make sure it is the career for you. Then it is worth it, as it will help you refine, and hone your skills. Hope this helps,

Jim

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Monique’s Answer

Yes, if you are passionate about it and it can lead to other opportunities in the industry besides being a chef - including starting your own company.

If you are not sure, try a shorter commitment, school, class, apprenticeship, etc.

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David’s Answer

My answer to you is depend if you are very passionate about it or just want to do it just you have that light interest. All the people I know in the culinary are all very passionate about it and even though a lot of other people say it is not worth the time and money for it they never listen because their mind and heart is already into the culinary so the money and time is all worth it to them just because they want to follow their dream and do what they want not what society want them to do or become.

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Lisa’s Answer

Hi Rachel,

I can empathize with you as I had the same question many years ago before I attended culinary school. Going to culinary school was a fun experience but getting hands on experience working under a good chef is also equally important, working at different restaurants, hotels, etc. The American Culinary Federation has internships available as well . Good Luck!

Thank you for the helpful advice! Rachel C.

You’re welcome! My pleasure. Lisa Rish

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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Rachel,

Have you by any chance come across the podcast called "Dave Chang Show" (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dave-chang-show/id1375877915)? I've been listening for a few years and he's has some interesting discussions with current chefs about this exact topic. I think most of the guests that I've heard have gone to culinary school, though after school, it seemed like the most successful chefs were the ones that worked for the best chefs in the world (through various means) to learn all that they could. According to lots of the interviews, the first few years out of school were very tough with little to no pay, but they seemed to be persevered because they loved food so much.

Anyways, I'm not an expert in this field, but I do encourage you to check out the podcast. It's a great listen and a great resource!

Best of luck!

--
Dexter

Thank you! Rachel C.

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celeste’s Answer

Rachel,

ABSOLUTELY! Education is a great foundation for success! Even though you are looking into a focused career, such as culinary, it still will be very beneficial to place on a resume. If this is the field that you want your career to be in then shoot for the stars and achieve it and enjoy the experiences and opportunities that will come with attending school.
I attended the Art Institute of Seattle. I was a graphic design major and I had many friends in Culinary program there! They loved the experience and many went on and are working in great restaurants or own their own! If you haven't looked into the Art Institutes I would recommend that you do so! They have an excellent program!

Good luck to you! I wish you the best!!

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