becoming a chef


Joined Jan 20, 2003
Hi, I hope someone can help me with this question pretty soon, its really important.
How do I know I really want to be a chef? I know I like to cook and I like to make new things, but if I become a culinary student, am I going to be sorry? I just feel like this is my passion, along with becoming a restaurant owner some day in the future.

What do some of you whom are currently chefs or even culinary students like about it, and what exactly do you do? I think that being a chef is about preparing food and making it aestheticly pleasing, also making new dishes. Is this what being a chef is about, or do I have the wrong idea? I appreciate all replies, every little bit helps.

Joined Feb 22, 2002
Hey take a look at my posts, I go to jwu in RI and maybe they'll offer some insight. I have to say there is a lot more to it than I ever expected. If you have any questions, post in my threads or pm me...


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Sigh... the answer is in the question. Cooking school can help you on your way.

Joined Apr 22, 2002
First, I would get a full-time job in the best kitchen I could find even if it meant putting off school for a semester. That is the only way to know if you like this kind of work, part-time is not the same.
Second, if you still want to do it I would get a business degree and cook the whole time I was in college. Additionally, read all the cookbooks you can and ask lots of questions. Almost anyone can learn to cook but not everyone can run a restaurant.
I am entering this field late in life with 2 degrees and am currently in a one year program at JWU where I am learning a lot but not enough to = the tuition, I am learning as much or more in my cooking job outside of school. Despite this I still enjoy going to work especially when we are slammed and the orders keep coming at me. Every shift is a new problem solving challenge.
Going to school and working full-time will give you an idea of the amount of time required to run your own restaurant and will help you prioritize your life, but be prepared to say no to many parties and events your non-restaurant friends are attending. Hope this helps.
Joined Dec 4, 2002
If you have a passion for it at your age, I don't see how going to school would make you feel sorry.
Once you enter, you will know.
When I first started, I tried to imagine if this was something I could do for the rest of my life, and somehow, it worked. The cost of a culinary education hurts, but in the big picture, it's really nothing.
As I've advised others, get a job, any job in a kitchen, even for a summer (and we're not talkin' fast food), either before or during your school. Maybe even as a server, busser, whatever, just get exposure, and that will help you figure out if it's the life for you.

Personally, I think it a great life and I love it.:)

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