Dream shattered

Joined Oct 6, 2002
Hi guys. Started school.School was not the culinary school of my dreams, more of a nightmare. I realized after first week that the school was not what I had expected, that is why I did not start posting. They kept saying we were going to get a education the same as a high end culinary school. Turned out to be 6 weeks of sitting in class listening to the chef reading out of the book, then 6 weeks doing lunches for the staff consisting of vegetable wraps and chicken breasts, frozen cookies and fruit punch! The most exciting part was once we made up teams and found our own recipies and planned a theme meal based on a chosen culture. The next 6 week section was going to be starting up a cafeteria for the student body of the skills center which had business and automotive classes. Was called "advanced cooking skills" but was going to be sandwiches salads etc. for 300 people. Looking on the bright side I met a lot of nice people. Got my sanitation certificate with a 92 % score. On a positive side found out I can hold my own in the kitchen. Was the only one to make a hollandaise sauce on the first try. Was also the first one to get a cut finger in the kitchen. Happened in the first hour of being in the kitchen!
I am not a quitter by nature, but I was getting more and more depressed. I had looked forward to this program, and did not want to admit to myself that it was not working out. Did not even check this site because it was full of people having experiences I
wanted but was not getting. I had so much fun telling everyone I was going to culunary school. So many " pats on the back" for undertaking a program "at your age" (66) Loved wearing my uniform with the "Pillsbury Doughboy" hat , But I finally decided to stop wasting my time in a program that was not giving me what I wanted. I was really feeling like a failure. But my daughter said, "Someone who can win 12 ribbons in one year at the State Fair is not a failure! So now that is off my chest. I have avoided checking into this site because I felt like my dream was crushed. I will continue to read this site and enjoy all of your postings even though I am not a student any more. I am going to check out the community colleges in my area.

Now for more exciting things. MY darling daughter gave my a fantastic present for mother's day. Admission to view the pastry competition at the Rio in Las Vegas over the fourth of July weekend. We saw last years competition on the tv, and the next morning she got on her computer, and found the information about this year's competition and signed me up. The package includes 4 nights at the Rio hotel, a special breakfast with contestants and judges, coctail party, VIP pass to the competition and seat at awards banquet. Is anyone else out there going?

Well that is all for now. Thanks for your support in the past.
Joined Aug 4, 2000
What's the name of the culinary institution that you're attending so that perhaps others don't make the same mistake?
Joined Jan 21, 2002
When you get to Las Vegas don't hesitate to look me up. If you've never been here (or haven't been recently) I can recommend some places around town. You can even visit our school and talk to our pastry chef-instructor. He has TONS of information and loves to share it with everyone!
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Don't let that little venture get to you. Jez! At 66 you need to go to the nearest restaurant, walk in the back door and start working. Absorb whatg you can and move on.
The most important skills in the kitchen are maturity and comon sense.
Joined Jul 23, 2002
Wow Wanabe,
When I started to read your post I thought you were a teenager going to a Highschool tech center. That's just the type of learning situation that happens there. Sandwiches, pizza, staff and student lunches, etc.
Please let us know the school.
Best of luck at the bake off in Vegas!
If you really want to cook I agree with panini, go to a good ( and I mean good) hotel and apply for comis or 2nd cook position. Tell them you want to learn everything. Keep in mind that becoming a chef takes time, passion, and sweat. There are no short cuts. School can give you basics but real work is the true key to success.

Joined May 26, 2001
So sorry it turned out that way after all your waiting! :cry:

But you DID learn some useful stuff, got your first professional scar ;) , and got your sanitation certification which is VERY VALUABLE in the industry. So it wasn't a total waste.

You're still going to get pats on the back from us and (virtual) hugs for trying it, and for realizing that it wasn't what you needed. Please keep us posted on what else you do. And you had better report on that pastry competition!! :D
Joined Jul 7, 2003
Im not sure if its the course you didnt like or if it is cooking you dont like. I know from personal experiance that i have leaped into many carriers full steam ahead and then realised later that this isnt for me. You will know when something is for you - when you feel very good inside doing it.

With love
Joined Feb 16, 2004
Hi Wanabe,

I think you're very brave in admitting it doesn't work out for you. I am a chef with my own staff of 4 and if ever someone like you would walk into my kitchen you would be more than welcom. Every chef is a succer for people who really want to learn and enjoy cooking !! :)
Joined Jan 24, 2003
Htas off to you for tring & sorry it wasnt for you. Paninis advise is good, perhaps you could help out at a local reastaurant a few days or whatever suits . When Im 66 I want to be drinking cold beer somewhere hot.So its great to have that kind of motivation at 66.Respect.
Have a gas in Vegas we have quite a few members from there. Enjoy.
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