Can i quit my career as a software engg to become a chef at the age of 27

Joined Jan 31, 2010
Hi im Shouvik..i am a software engg. I am passionate about cooking and really love that. I wanted to pursue cooking as my professional career. Is it right to change caarer at this age. Will it be a correct move??
If yes then how should i go for it? any tips??:look:
Joined Aug 29, 2000
Hello Cookbyheart and welcome to Chef Talk. Your questions would be better answered in a different forum; you've posted it where people introduce themselves. I'll move it to the culinary students forum. You'd do better to read some of the posts, both new and older ones (using the search tool), to benefit from similar questions posted by others here over the years.

Good luck in your quest!
Joined Aug 7, 2009
imo, there is never an age too late to change careers. Live your life how you want to ,not by how others want you to. Even if you learned that this isn't for you, you can still fall back on your engineering career and become an even better home cook.
Joined Feb 1, 2010
This may be true, but working in the industry is not as easy as showing up to a restaurant and being hired straightaway.

If you have no experience, you're probably going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up, and the "bottom" may actually be dishwashing. You need to ask yourself if you can actually take a drastic pay cut.

Oh, and unfortunately, loving to cook at home doesn't really prepare you for work in a professional kitchen. For the most part, you'll have absolutely no say in what you prepare or how you prepare it. You'll have to do what you're told, regardless of what you think. This can all change with time, of course, but that's up to you.
Joined Jan 22, 2010
i spent 4 years studying to be a materials eng.... i loved it but i found my life tended to be 10% science and 90% food. i loved food i loved cooking i loved creating don't get me wrong I loved eng but i loved food more

do what you want to do but if you come in to the bizz later make sure to WORK your *** off and learn all you can
Joined Apr 28, 2003
Get a P/T job in the industry and dip your feet in the kitchen. Start at the lowest end of the scale which is usually dishwasher. You may or may not get to even touch food at this point but you'll see first hand what goes on from where you can judge whether you can commit to the work practices and the culture of working in a high stress kitchen and make a decision from there on. My $0.02 for the day.
Joined Aug 21, 2009
I agree... you need to get yourself a job in the busniess and decide from there if it's for you. Working in a professional kitchen is not the same as cooking in your own home and you have to be prepared to do what you are told whether or not you agree with it.
If you still want to work in the business after seeing things firsthand...go for it! Be prepared to take a pay cut and work long hours, but if it is truly what you want, you will find your way. You're never too old, I think... my KM actually was in his early fourties when he did a career change, so anything is possible.
Joined Apr 17, 2009
Go for it! I quit a very lucrative management job (company car, expense account, big bonuses) to enroll in culinary school 16 years ago.

I started by steaming oysters in the back of a restaurant for 3 months. Make million dollar deals during the day, steam oysters at night. When I was decided, I quit my job. It was VERY difficult. I went from 6 figures to 6 dollars an hour in one afternoon. But now, I work for myself and LOVE what I do every day.

If you have a passion for cooking, the only thing preventing you from moving forward is fear.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.


It's never to late. I'm 36 and in culinary school.

I've been a casino dealer for 15 years. I hated every single moment of it it. Now I'm on the road to to become a chef and love it.
Joined Dec 25, 2006
People might of posted this before but yes you should get a part time job or even ask if you can help in a kitchen if you can because cooking at home is a totally different story than cooking in a restaurant. But do what YOU want to do because its your life and you should do what makes you happy.
Joined Feb 8, 2009
I started in the school of hard knocks at age 27. It was a long, and winding road, but well worth the journey. At age 46 I started my own Food Service Management Business, and have been successful for 13 years. If you really love it, you will do well..............Chef Bill


Joined Oct 2, 2006
Yes, 27 is not too old. My Chef was in school in his early 30's. Me too.

Go to restaurants you are interested in and offer to work for free so you can get experience. That's really what it takes to get into the kitchen with no experience. That's what it took for me, and my Chef said he worked in a restaurant for 3 months with no pay while he worked another job.

I would hold off on school until you get a real taste of what it is like working in a restaurant kitchen during a rush. It's very stressful, and definitely not for the weak, both physically, and mentally (depending where you work).
Joined Mar 5, 2010
 Hi there,

I am very new to this forum but I just had to answer this. I am 33 and I am on a Culinary degree and I am loving it.

You are most certainly not too old, the age range on my course is 19 to 35.
Joined May 29, 2006
Age  should not be a factor, you are young. Just keep some things in mind. Just because you love cooking home , does not mean you will like it on a pro level for 52 weeks a year 8 to 14 hours per day. Be prepared to work when all of your friends are home celebrating holidays and weekends.Be prepared to take a hefty salary reduction from what you are most likely earning now.To become a chef, is not only cooking, in fact that is least of your job. Its mediator, organizer,babysitter,operations manager,human resource coordinator,tasting and banquet consultant,director of sanitation etc. I may have forgotton a few things but just get the drift. Good Luck in any of your pursuits.
Just remember there is know such words as ''I can't do that".
Joined Jan 9, 2008
 I have a friend who at 79 years of age became a computer programer and the oldest person to graduate at the local college here so if he can do it, then you can definitely do it!

 The one key phrase for success and progression in one's life could be had as follows:

  "The Willingness To Accept Change"
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