Advice on possiblly going to culinary school

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by lexieff, May 21, 2014.

  1. lexieff


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    At home cook
    I love to cook and bake. It's usually the highlight of my day. My father started working in a pizzeria when he was 17 and since has spent his life cooking for and managing restaurants as well as managing restaurant managers. My grandmother was the head of the extensive culinary department at the high school she taught at for 35 years and can cook anything under the sun. The love and appreciation for food is in my blood.

    I have two main concerns:

    1. I am extremely picky. I strongly dislike nearly all fish, tomatoes, and spicy foods.

    While I have absolutely no problem cooking the foods I dislike, I dread having to try them. I am unsure of whether or not this is something I can overcome.

    2. I am worried that school and a potential career in the culinary field will suck the fun out of it for me. I love nothing more than putting together a delicious meal that everyone around my table will finish, or going "cookie crazy" as I enjoy doing a few weekends a month. However, being raised by man who spent nearly all his life in the restaurant business has taught me a  lot about the expectations and requirements of such a field. His one piece of advice was always "DON'T go into the restaurant business!"

    I would love the advice and wisdom of anyone who is a professional in the field, as well as culinary students or recent graduates who may have dealt with the same hesitations. Thanks everyone!
  2. dreamshards8


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    Line Cook
    Those are very potential concerns. Honestly if you cannot be willing to try new foods and and work really freakin hard in restaurants then working in restaurants might not be for you. There are other food related jobs, do your research. You know first hand from seeing your father do it; it takes a lifetime of dedication to get somewhere in this field and a lot will be expected of you. Count on working long hours, on your feet all day, in a hot kitchen, where many times you might not have a chance to eat let alone sit down because things are so hectic. Count on your dishwasher not showing up and you having to finish the rush then jump on a pile of dishes thus staying much later. Count on working weekends, and some holidays, and having to cover peoples shifts if you want them to cover yours. Some of these things are apart of the general workforce but yes, the restaurant biz isn't always so glamorous. In my opinion I wouldn't start culinary school if I still had big concerns and doubts about it. Obviously it costs a lot of money! 
  3. foodpump


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    After 30 odd years in the biz, I can't match your Dad's sage words of wisdom.

    However, I can offer you this one piece of advice:

    Go and work in a few kitchens, for a few months or maybe even a year BEFORE you go to culinary school.  Washing dishes, prepping veg, whatever.  Everyone has started off this way, and if you go into this field, you will too.

    Once you do this, you can answer the questions that you asked yourself.

    OTOH I can't find the relationship between your "love and appreciation for all food", and your refusal to try any fish, spicy foods, and tomatoes