Funny Comments - The Stuggle Continues

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by born2cook, Mar 7, 2001.

  1. born2cook

    born2cook

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    Greetings everyone!!!!

    Well the other day I was searching for a cheaper school than the one that I would like to go to ( The Restaurant School) in Philly, PA. Well I remembered that JNA Inst. of Culinary Arts had sent me some correspondence in the mail, so I called the school up and the director of admissions answered and we began talking. Well he told me about the school and its program. I asked him if the school had a catalog they could send me instead of the 5 sheets of coloring paper with the staples on top. He told me that I could go online to the schools site and download the schools catalog(Well I did and it was like 30 pages). I continued to ask questions about the school for instance what's the size, the student to teacher ratio and the guy kept saying that I have to come to Philadelphia and see it. Later I asked him about the types of externships that the school offer and where they were located. You know what he told me he said, " Well we have a lot of contracts with the nursing homes in Philadelphia and just about all of them prefer "our students" to any other schools in the area". Believe me the first thought that came to my mind was like " Oh, ****!!!, No he didn't say that **** ". I told him that I'd think about it, when I should of said with excitement " Yeah!!!I get to be a retirement home master chef" and post signs all over the kitchen and dinning room that read "No Salt Here", "Salt the the anti-Christ" and "We mash everything...with peas". My battle now is between an affordable school that offers a degree in Culinary Arts/Rest. Mgnt. with little or no national or international recognition or a school that I will have to struggle to pay for by getting a second job and have no personal life, a school that has good national and international recognition. I've been talking to my girlfriend and she's like "Go to culinary school" because its one of the few things that makes me completely happy besides her. But, you know, I want this to be the right choice , for my professional, personal and financial life. You know, my main goal is to open up my own schools (yes, schools). I want to one day teach others our Art,our Craft and our Profession. Although the struggle continues......the beginning is near and I have not yet begun to cook!!!!

    Peace

    Fredrick P. -aka- " Born2cook"
    Trenton, NJ
     
  2. born2cook

    born2cook

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    Well, My man BBlank, hey thanks for the comments they were great, I was inspired, I felt like crying, crying the way people did at the end of the movie of "Rudy" (when he finally got a chance to play and did great and the crowd shouted his name Rudy, Rudy Rudy). To me Rudy represented the "underdog" because of his size. I guess many of us represent underdogs too ,because of our financial,house and family size, but I think that it should not stop us from dreaming our dreams and going for them. Take big or small steps even if is that secret barbecue sauce or culinary classes at a local school. I tend to view great chefs throughout the world both past and present with the utmost respect because it took a lot for them to get where they are and once were. They were once underdogs in this culinary matrix as students and apprentices and even dishwashers. BBlank don't worry about your age, there are many avenues to take, for instance you could be a caterer and train those who you employ, you could form an organization that service non-profit organizations. You could also teach in your community or open up your own restaurant. I say if you can afford to go to the CIA then go, but because you have a family unlike myself, you could try going to another school in NYC like Peter Kump;s or FCI -French Culinary Inst. and go to school at night or on the weekends and still keep your day job. Hey checkout Shaw guides at http://cookingcareer.shawguides.com/. for more New York schools. Hey Crudeau , I'm from and have a lot of family in Mississippi and I don't think I want to go that far for school and knowing Mississippi like I do , I do not feel like breaking down at night or being stopped in MS. But thanks. In leaving BBlank, this is from me to you and the rest of the future chefs of the world: "We who were born on the kitchen table and floors know that the mountains of culinary greatness are steep, welcome the climb.

    Peace

    Fredrick P. aka Born2cook
    from Jer--seeeeeeey
     
  3. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Born2cook and BBlank,
    Passion,patience,persistence,power.
    confidence,learn,learn and then learn somemore.which ever way you are able to help yourself with your studies...it's all about the inside,the heart.If you have that then the rest will come.
    I really enjoyed both your stories
    cc
     
  4. bblank

    bblank

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    Hey B2C,

    I hear ya guy... Look at my position: 50 (as in old as dirt!), sick of my job and the 25 year career that proceeded it, VERY comfortable in my current financial position (as in I get a big paycheck every 2 weeks), married (26 yrs thank you!) and DYING TO HEAD OFF TO HYDE PARK... I'd love to - more than I can explain. I'd give up the money in a "NY minute" if I could trade it for happiness! One thing that weighs heavy is the grueling life of a cook - long days, 6-7 days a week, physiclaly demanding, yadda, yadda, yadda... At my age that doesn't sound like fun (yes people, I know there are other, less demanding options.)

    As for the decision which school to attend. My advice will echo something wispered into my ear 35 years ago, "You'll never go wrong with the best (of anything.)" Get into the best (curriculum, reputation, facilities, etc.) school you can almost afford and then find a way to pay for it. So far my experience with financial aid people are that they are very interested in warm bodies with passion. Where there's a will, there's a way... AND it's only money and there are certainly things that ARE more important Borrow if you have to...

    We're in similar boats: I don't know if I can "take the heat" or the cut in pay; You wonder where the resources will come from. Both of us share the passion and I have a feeling THAT will make the decision for us!!! I'll learn to live with change, and you'll find a way. Don't settle for less! (That's an order from the old guy!)

    PS - we're less than an hour from each other. wanna compare notes sometime? e-me.

    Bruce (AKA. bblank)
     
  5. palmier

    palmier

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    Alright, Hold it right there pal! I work in a retirement community/hospital, and I was taken back by some of your comments. First of all be careful of your comments, you may offend someone. Second, let me tell you a little about our clients. Last Christmas,one of our residents children gave their parents a gift of dinner at Trotters (have you heard the name?). The resident (whom incidently has a library named after him at. Northwestern University) declined the gift because the food in the dining room was much better. Yes, we have a few customers who have special needs (like mechanical soft, or puree) but keep in mind, you may be in that boat some day. Dont forget also, that while you are working 60-80 hours a week, I'm playing catch in the park with my two great children.
    Dont get me wrong, I admire your goals and asperations. But my passion for cooking is no less than yours. And the food at my nursing home, I believe tastes better than the food in most restaurants.....good luck to you. It's a long road ahead of you
     
  6. palmier

    palmier

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    ......I feel much better now.
     
  7. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Palmier brings up an excellent point,

    I have eaten in many places that are not open to the public and the food at times is far superior to that of main stream restaurants. It is of the utmost importence in our industry to work as hard as you can and to respect eachothers ideas and talents.When starting off in our buisness it is fine to be assertive and motivated but not everyone will land a sous chef position with Bocuse...There are many avenues you can choose,but while you walk your path be careful not to burn bridges or deflate someones personal working knowelege because of where he or she works. I have found that the greatest chefs are primaraly a bunch of people no one has ever heard of.I salute chefs that work in those type of places because they are not out for fame and glory they are in it for the love of food and the feeling of satisfaction they get with a job well done.....Remember the person that one day you put down can later be signing your pay check
    cc
     
  8. marzoli

    marzoli

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    One thing is certain--most people who go to nursing homes never leave them. A group of people that must eat whatever is placed before them deserves food prepared by somebody who cares about his product. Even people who are old and difficult and can't taste anything very well. :D Seems to me that nursing home food service is pretty important.
     
  9. born2cook

    born2cook

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    For my rebuttal Palmier and Cape Chef, if you noticed i did not state that there was anything wrong with working in a nursing home. The under lying implication was i beleive, that was missed, was that " when attempting to attract culinary students to a culinary program,a school should have more to offer in externships and not glorify or gear a student into to working at a nusring home." Would you want to hear what i was told when first inquiring about a culinary instituion. i did not state that working in a nursing home was bad or demeaning. And as far as nursing homes are concerned i dont believe in them i feel that they are an excuse for many people and communities to not take care of their Family and/or Elders. Did you know that you can tell the condition of a society by its youths and its elderly. I just want to state that these are my opinons and it is not my intention to disrepect anyone for what they do or where they work.

    Peace

    [ March 09, 2001: Message edited by: born2cook ]
     
  10. born2cook

    born2cook

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    JeniDaChef, you were so correct when you said that we all have to find our niche in cooking, Even if its "everything mechanical soft,pureed or mashed..with peas."(just joking)

    [ March 09, 2001: Message edited by: born2cook ]
     
  11. palmier

    palmier

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    Born2cook...Occupation: Customer Service Rep. ".....when I should of said with excitement " Yeah!!!I get to be a retirement home master chef" and post signs all over the kitchen and dinning room that read "No Salt Here", "Salt the the anti-Christ" and "We mash everything...with peas"........i did not state that working in a nursing home was bad or demeaning. And as far as nursing homes are concerned i dont believe in them i feel that they are an excuse for many people and communities to not take care of their Family and/or Elders....... I just want to state that these are my opinons and it is not my intention to disrepect anyone for what they do or where they work..."
     
  12. palmier

    palmier

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    ?
     
  13. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Born2cook.....

    I wish you much success in whatever you decide to do...These are not the places to become overly defencive. I find many people who want to be "Chefs" are cut from the same cloth as those you come to our country because the roads are paved in gold..only to find out that one must work un yielding hours,be under staffed,under paid etc. I think that you will find almost all true culinary people have a heart of passion and are super to be around,and will always defend there craft. I hope you have the oppurtunity someday to stand side by side with a cook who is commited to his/her craft
    you might just learn something.

    cc
     
  14. born2cook

    born2cook

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    Was that nessasary to post my occupation when it is clearly in my profile.

    I wish you much success in whatever you decide to do...These are not the places to become overly defensive . Well If you would have read what i commented on in my first post you would have understood why i found the comments made to me by the admissions guy at JNA so funny.Now what if the guy said that "we have a lot of contracts with the state prisions". How would you take that???? Would You want to pay 12, 17, 24 or 32,000 dollars to hear that??? Thats not appealing wouldnt you agree??? I know that the culinary world isnt what some people make it to be. And if i may i would like to comment on your statement comparing "people who want to become "chefs" to people who come to this country thinking that the streets are paved with gold". In anything you have to work hard at a goal if you want "it" and sometimes very hard. and as a great actor once said "my dreams are as valid as i am prepared to make them". I say to you cafe chef and the culinary world that "my dreams are as valid as i am prepared to make them". Palmier took offense to what i said earlier, which clearly was not my intention given the context of my original post. why didn't you comment briefly and the put up a funny story that happened to you or someone you know in the culinary world???? i guess it was a bad choice of humor. i wish you the best in everything you do.

    peace!!!

    [ March 09, 2001: Message edited by: born2cook ]
     
  15. greg

    greg

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    Born2cook and Palmier, please check your private messages.
     
  16. mofo1

    mofo1

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    Oh man. I can't wait to see the rebuttals to that one.
     
  17. born2cook

    born2cook

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    I had to censor myself, at times i can get very reactionary and lose a great deal of tact.


    mofo1 i had to take some things down.

    [ March 09, 2001: Message edited by: born2cook ]
     
  18. layjo

    layjo

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    Hello Everyone! I was thinking at one time about my career, like I do many times on ocassion. I was thinking "I wonder what I would learn working here, or what I would learn working there!", contemplating different avenues of the industry. I once thought that I wouldn't want to work in a hospital or a personal health-service establishment. I was really thinking about different restuarants that were up and coming. But when I got recommended by a previous associate to work in a hospital that was introducing a new type of service for their hospital, I went for it! I've been there for six months now! We run a hotel-style room service for the patients, plus all the other outlets of the hospital: banquets, catering, executive dining, Vip Dining, and the cafe for guest of patients. I have enjoyed learning things I have not learned previous in other jobs. For example we do a lite Medditeranian and Middle Eastern Menu besides our regular "American Fare" Menu. I have seen how to enhance the flavors of certain ingredients as much as possible, considering a patient's dietary limitations and on occasion their phisical ability to chew foods. So inturn, I find that we don't learn everything in one experience, but the many different experiences that we do encounter, are building blocks for the experience that we can give to someone else or ourselves in the future. :)

    [ March 10, 2001: Message edited by: Layjo ]
     
  19. nick.shu

    nick.shu

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    well, time for my 2 cents:

    a la homer simpson:

    "Rebuttal huh, well here is my rebuttal"

    "errgghhh"

    Per Ardua Ad Astra.
     
  20. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Wow sounds like a great discussion going on here about some excellent points that we all deal with at one time or another in our carreer. Those points being 1.) do I go the high end (trotter) route and pursue this, or 2.) I have a family and kids and can I really afford to work 85+ hours a week for minumin wage?.

    When I first started off in the business my hang up was always thinking that I had to be in the four star places, and for a long time that is were I stayed. The idea of working at an old folks home (which my Mom encouraged me to do) was scary. No, not me I was going to be the chef at the Four Seasons or the Ritz. I acutally used to think I was better than some guys because I was spending my time at big restaurants and not in a hospital. Now that I have grown up a bit I have good friends who are hospital chefs and retirement home chefs, and you know what? They are great chefs, they really are. They never once stopped caring about the food and isn't that what it is all about?

    I don't for one minute believe that it makes any difference about where you are as a chef. Whether you are at a small diner, or at Georges Blancs. What makes all the difference is whether you care about the food. If you don't get this concept, then see the movie Babette's Feast and you will understand me.

    I also think that it is important to repspect the differences in everyone's area of expertise or craft. Sounds like things got a little personal here, and we should try to get back on track.

    Born2cook I think it is important to recognize that you can actaully find some really great chefs in the oddest places that can teach you far more about the basics and the foundations of cooking then you might think. It is always important to have a good attitude and search out all of your options.