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Could culinary be a good choice of profession to learn about?

I enjoy cooking and baking at home but is it a good occupation to get into?

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Pamela’s Answer

It is an absolutely amazing career. I am an event planner and making sure that my clients have great food is always a top priority. Food is generally the biggest budget item. People want good food. You mentioned that you love cooking and baking, continue to do it, perfect your craft! Study presentation, make your dishes uniquely yours. Don't be afraid to express yourself in your food. Vaniah, I can't wait to see you on Top Chef!

Pamela recommends the following next steps:

Go to culinary school and learn different styles of cooking and types of cuisines.
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Mike’s Answer

I love being a chef. I have been in the business for almost 30 years now. To answer your question yes it is a great occupation. Before you decide to spend the money on culinary school I suggest that you get a job working in a kitchen and spend a year working in the business before you decide. A few things to consider are this job is not a 9 to 5. You will have to work nights and weekends. Also you will have to work holidays. Kitchen work is hard!!!! I am not trying to talk you out of it, I just want you to know what to expect.
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Garth’s Answer

I agree with Mike, culinary school is not always the best option as it's a ton of debt. All of those things that Pamela suggests practicing can be done in a supportive kitchen that pays you to spend all of that time there. Not all kitchens are like that, but many are, and they're worth finding.

In a super general sense, there are two types of people in a stereotypical kitchen. Some thrive in the chaos and heat of the moment. They love to cook but they also need the thrill of a busy shift. The rest of them are people who love to cook. They can be really successful but they're prone to get burnt out. It can be hard to see all of the cooking you're doing through all of the other things a professional kitchen requires.

Cooking is a fundamental skill that you can do every day. Be sure that you want to make it your life. I was told, "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." That's not always the case. How about, "Beware of making a cherished hobby into a career." A lot of kitchen people end up in a career that spoils a valuable hobby.

Having a hobby is really important. Cooking is a hobby that enriches yourself and those around you. Your cooking will nourish yourself, your friends, and your family. What's better than that? Plus, you can take it as far as you want. There are endless cuisines to explore. New kitchen gadgets to roll into your repertoire. New books a published every month. YouTube cooks open your eyes to so many techniques and recipes you'd never see otherwise.

Garth recommends the following next steps:

Find a restaurant or kitchen that makes food you enjoy. See if they're hiring. Dip your toe into the industry before taking the plunge.
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