I'm 19, a good cook, work the line in an okay restaurant, and i'm really interested in attending the CIA. Oh yah, i'm really bad in math. Will I suceed and graduate from the CIA with poor math skills? Any advice would help me a lot. thanks.

You don't have to be a math genius in this business, but you do need to have some math skills. There's labor percentages, food cost percentages, conversions, scaling, and a whole host of other things that require a basic understanding of math. The further up the ladder you plan to go the more math you will need to know.

To figure out how many cups of water to add to the gravy mix? Minimal To figure out how many chickens to cut up for 154 people with 10% overun? A little more. To figure out how to triple a Focaccia formula? Somewhat good, little better than trying to figure out the chicken thing. To figure food cost and labor, scheduling according to hotel census? Good. To argue with the GM about the PNL? Spot on To argue with accounting? Better be really good.

hahaha, good way to put it in easy terms, Kuan. That's not to say you won't get anywhere at the C.I.A. But math isn't a bad thing for any job or career. Think about it, you're working with numbers not just once in a while, but nearly everytime you cook and certainly EVERYtime you bake. A little brush up wouldn't be a bad thing. We're not talking calculus, but definately basic algebra is a good place to start.

I don't know about CIA, but where I went to school (NY Restaurant School) you needed to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Not everyone in my class did , but help was available (me, if they asked nicely ). Really, the math you need in the kitchen is nothing to be afraid of. If you just look at it as another kitchen skill instead of as MATH , it's easy.

Ath the CIA on your first or second day there you will take a math evaluation test along with a similar sort of test in writing. You will then either be placed in B Block (the first real set of classes at the CIA) or put in A block which is three weeks of remedial writing and math instruction. People at first are usually embarssed about being an A-block student but after several months of classes everyone forgets and as long as you can cook you will hold your own. The math classes at the school (Culinary Math, Costing, etc.) are not too hard, but a lot of people do struggle with Costing. There is, of course, lots of tutoring and extra instruction available, so you should do fine. While I don't know you, I still would say not to worry about it. tim

I hope this isn't a moment where you are upset and thinking we think you may not be smart or anything. You asked a question about do you need math, and the answer is yes. You DO need math skills. It's not just as simple as 1/4 cup or 25 baked potatos.

I'm not angry, i'm a pretty smart guy, despite the fact math scares the living crap out of me. I think if I apply myself to the CIA, I'll get by fine. Thanks for the replies.