hello, guy who would like a shift in career

Joined Dec 7, 2010
hi guys

i am currently working as an engineer and would want to take up a full culinary course and would shift into cooking as a profession. i am currently 24 years old and is planning to enroll myself in a diploma course for culinary arts good for 2 years, next year.

i know ive heard a lot of aspiring cooks being in this situation, of being too "old" to start a culinary career. by the time i would graduate i would already be 27 years old and i would just like to ask if that would still be a good age to start a new career?

you might ask as to why i suddenly would want to shift into a different field. well, back when i graduated high school i was asked what course i would like to take up in college, and i said to my parents culinary arts but then my parents being of the "older generation" decided to lead me down a "normal" path of a bachelors degree and told me that i could pursue cooking after i finish college. and so i did, finished college graduated as an industrial engineer and currently working in an american corporation.

and so still wanting to pursue my passion in cooking i have saved up enough money to enroll myself in the best institution in our place (cebu,philippines)and would eventually decide to give up my current job.

back to the question, is 27 too old to start a culinary career? honestly....

read on AB's book about forgetting it when your 32 years old.


Joined Dec 17, 2009

Congratulations on earning a degree in Industrial Engineering! I envy you. I wished that I had a degree in Engineering. However, if you are not content, working as an industrial engineer, then, pursue your aspirations of being a cook. 24 years of age is not old. 27 years of age is still not old. Your parents are merely concerned with your well-being, and want you to be able to support yourself, and make a living. My parents were disappointed to see that I struggle daily to earn a living in the cooking trade. While it may be true, that in Europe, cook-apprentices are usually teenagers, that apprentice-system does not exist in the U.S.A., nor the Philippines. [The ACF has their own Apprentice  Program.] Nonetheless, you are still young, and I wish that I was young as you are. I am almost twice your age.

In Shaw Guides: Philippines, the only 2-year vocational school listed was CCA. Will you be attending there, or another school? Shaw's Guide  lists many schools, but not every school is listed. I found a few schools, which were not listed.

So You Wanna[sic] Be a Chef, by Anthony Bourdain [blog].

You could still work, even at age 32, or older, but as one ages, it becomes more difficult to keep up with young guys in their 20s. Do not let Mr. Bourdain's opinion discourage you. If you really want to become a cook, then, do so. If you were to discover that you do not like the cooking trade, you could always work as an engineer again. I do not have the option to work in the engineering profession. Time is against me, I am not young anymore, and I encourage you to pursue your aspirations. Go on to become a proficient cook, and make your parents proud. I wish you much success in your future endeavors.

Good luck. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif
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Joined Nov 23, 2010
HI Jed, welcome and let me say that you shouldn't worry about your age, only your interests and ambitions.  I have started a cooking career in my late 30's and it's going great.  I think part of what Bourdain and these guys who say it's "too late" by your 30's mean is that it will be difficult to rise to the level of a "great chef" in the traditional sense. 

In other words, if you wanted to go to culinary school and then work your way up to a Michelin star kitchen, it probably is impossible by that time.  But if you just want to work as a cook in a good local restaurant, I don't think there's much of a time limit as long as you're able to do the work, both physically and mentally.  

If you're interested I have a thread in the off-topic section where I talk about my career change:


Learn as much as you can, work on your skills, make connections and good luck!
Joined Dec 7, 2010

i understand the concern of my parents and i fully understand how they feel taking an unorthodox college course.  but yeah, thats why i took up an engineering course and finished it. 

the school iam going is this > http://icaac.net/  

or this >> http://www.pscaculinary.com/

im stll not sure as to which school is better.  any opinions guys??

thanks so much for your inputs.  i guess i was just a little insecure of myself.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif


i guess everyone to whom i shared my current situation seems to the saying the same thing.  things are a little bit clearer to me now and next year will be an exciting year for me, rather also a life changing one.

about your reply with regards working in a michelin star kitchen.  how do you get in one? does it mean that i have to start earlier? or "age" would be just in the way?
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