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Is background knowledge necessary for becoming a chef ?

I am teen who was interested in becoming a chef but i rarely cook and I was wondering will they teach you basic cooking at a college course ? #chef #cooking

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Emily’s Answer

You do not need any background knowledge for classes (you're there to learn!), but some background can be exceptionally helpful for working in a commercial kitchen/ the industry.

There are many cooks who attend culinary school, and many who do not. There are pros and cons to each.

Going to Culinary School:
Pros:
- Going to school can "fast track" you in a kitchen. It is easier to get a job in a nicer kitchen or start out at a higher position if you already have basic skills.
- Many kitchen jobs ask to you to "stage" (french pronunciation is like stah-juh.. click here to hear it said: https://www.pronounceitright.com/pronunciation/stage-1087 , not stage like in theatre). A stage is also like a bench test. It is a way for the interviewer to see your skills, so you typically work a shift (about 4-8 hours) so they can assess how well you know your way around a kitchen with basic tasks. School can help give you the confidence to nail this part of an "interview".
- Schools sometimes also teach the food "theory" or restaurant business lessons. This extra info can help you understand whats going on in your environment and work place much better.

Cons:
-School can be expensive and time consuming.

Learning to Cook Hands-On, Without School
Pros:
- If you land a job without school taught skills, you are saving money by not going paying for school. In fact, this is a job! So you are earning money.
- You won't be alone in the endeavor. Not all chefs go to culinary school!

Cons:
-Many people are introduced into a kitchen as a dishwasher who slowly learns skills by helping prep in slow times. This means it can take much longer to learn all the skills you need to seriously work your way up in a kitchen.
- Sometimes landing a job can be tough, especially if the employer gives you a skills test. Not all kitchen have the time or desire to teach rookie cooks the ropes.
- Schools typically train students in a variety of different techniques very quickly. Learning the old fashioned way by holding jobs in kitchens means you are exposed to a smaller variety of techniques (just whatever the chef there has on the menu and allows you to do), so you are limited as to what you learn. This means you may not find what really interests you cooking wise for quite a while.

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Robert’s Answer

No it is not. No time like now to start though. It is not an easy road but can be fulfilling!!

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