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What are basic things you should know before starting Culinary school

I have interest in becoming a chef when I am older and eventually own a restaurant. I am not really sure what to expect from culinary school. Do we start with basics or is it already assumed we know the basics.

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Albert’s Answer

In regards to your question about culinary school, they absolutely will start you with the basics. The point of an associates in culinary arts program is to teach you all of the baseline knowledge that you will need in a professional kitchen setting. I would have to say that there are four different things you should have a good grasp on when thinking about becoming a chef. 1) Knife skills are crucial to any culinary operation. Check youtube for videos of proper knife technique and make dishes at home require a lot of chopping up vegetables. Once you are moderately comfortable with that work on some light butchery/fabrication such as breaking down large roasts into steaks or chops, butchering whole poultry and breaking down fish. You can look into classical French cuts as well, if that interests you. 2) The main cooking techniques are broiling, roasting, grilling, baking, searing, sautéing, pan-frying, stir frying and deep frying. Learn these and learn them well, these are how you will cook literally everything. Next steps would be learning the science of what is actually going on on a molecular level. 3) Learn seasonality and cuisines. This is severely underrated knowledge that many others do not bother to learn. When learning cuisines I highly recommend deep diving into the history and culture to learn exactly why these people were and are eating what they are.
I wish you the best of luck, this career is truly a journey. Always follow your passion.
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Joseph’s Answer

Like many seasoned chefs have emphasized, mastering the fundamentals and honing your skills is unbeatable. In this digital age, the internet provides a wealth of information at our fingertips, but nothing surpasses hands-on experience. Aligning yourself with a knowledgeable person can unlock numerous opportunities.

When it comes to launching your own restaurant, having a solid foundation is crucial, but it's equally important to be ready to invest your time and energy. Having a knack for numbers, conducting thorough market research to understand your potential customers, and if you opt for external assistance, always go for quality over cost.
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Michel’s Answer

The more prepared you are, the more you will succeed. Stage in a high end restaurant and get you bearings. You will be taught a lot but there is no substitute for passion. Read, read, read. Reach out if you need suggestions.
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William’s Answer

Hello Anthony,

Both Chef Albert and Chef Michel have provided you with valuable insights and food for thought. It's crucial to begin your culinary journey by mastering the basics. As Chef Michel suggested, consider gaining practical experience in a restaurant to truly determine if this is your passion.

Being a chef and owning a restaurant is not just a profession, it's a lifestyle. It's important to fully comprehend this before investing in culinary school. You need to be comfortable with all aspects of this lifestyle.

If you're considering restaurant ownership, it might be beneficial to supplement your culinary education with some business studies. Even with a packed dining room every night, you won't turn a profit without understanding the business side of things.

In conclusion, Anthony, heed Chef Albert's advice: pursue your passion, but arm yourself with knowledge. Best of luck on your journey!
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Simon’s Answer

Some schools require 6+ months restaurant experience for entire into their school. Culinary school is a trade school and an investment into your future. If you want to be the best you can be get a job in a restaurant, take advantage of your high school has a culinary program, cook at home for fun. This is not a career that you be halfway into and own your own restaurant. The more you give the more you get.
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Jerome’s Answer

I had a catering company for a while and loved it. The write school should help guide you along the way. That isn’t to say you can’t start practicing now. With so many online videos, it’s ok to start practicing.
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Howard’s Answer

The only thing you need to know before going to Culinary school is do you like cooking and does it make you happy.
if you are just starting out at a school or a new job you need to do three things,
1. Be on time or early
2. Pay attention and be ready to learn.
3. Follow directions and training. Follow the rules and be flexible to new ideas and jobs.
Most jobs will train you to meet their company goals and standards. Do not go in trying to change everything.
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