Hi there, I'm starting a course in Professional Cookery come September and I have been presented with 2 choices from my college. The first course choice would be a Level 2 NVQ in Profesional Cookery awarded by City & Guilds. This involves 9 month, 15 hours a week, studying the theory behind cooking techniques, and putting them into practice. There are also modules in this course which delve into the Hospitality Industry and the difference between the sectors. Another module would provide education on different diet requirements. How important are these types of things for cook employers? The second course is also a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Professional Cookery awarded by EDI (similar ranking to C&G). This is a 18 month course which involves spending 2 full days in college and then 3, 7 hour days, in a working kitchen training. However, I will be getting paid £40 a week (about $60). This wouldn't even be enough to pay for my rent, so I would also have to get a job along with my study. I'm trying to weigh up the pros and cons of both course and this is what I've come up with: Course 1: Pros - Less Hours in college, means I have more time to work for rent/food/utility money. - Possibly learn more of the theory behind different cooking techniques - Shorter study time - meaning I can go into Level 3 in a shorter space of time. Cons - No kitchen experience - Must purchase my own equipment i.e. Whites, Knife set Course 2 Pros - A lot of in kitchen experience - Clothes and knifes provided - Chance of a job offer from apprenticeship Cons - Longer study time - an extra 6 months working to get to Level 3 - Less time to work part-time job - will find it tight to pay rent/food/utilities - May not get the theory knowledge desired by employers So basically, what I'm looking to know if a head chef actually looks for in commis and sous chefs coming from education - is it experience in a kitchen? Or is it the theory knowledge and the possible a higher grade certificate? Sorry for waffling on. I would really appreciate any advice whatsoever.