hey everyone...i need advice!

Joined Oct 30, 2004
I am 14 years old and i want to be a chef (obviously...lol). My boyfriends mother keeps telling me that I should go to college before culinary school and get some expirience and I agree to a certain point. What I want to ask is, should I go to college before? What courses should I take? Is there anything else I need to know before I make this decision? Thanks in advance! :)
Joined Oct 31, 2004
Congratulations on even having an idea of what you want to do at such an early age. On going straight into chef school: I have found that so many chefs had a "misconception" of what a chef actually does and end up dropping out of culinary school. So, my advice is to definitely get into a work environment to see what the actual job of being a chef entails - get your feet wet. Now keep in mind that there are so many different facets and levels to being a chef. From prep chef to a pastry chef to a food stylist and the list goes on; so don't get discouraged at the first opportunity.
On going to college first: No matter what you do, as a well-rounded individual it is probably a good idea to learn how to manage your financial business. Whether you are going to work for yourself or just simply manage your monthly paycheck. In college you will find classes that will teach you lessons valuable to you for the rest of your life...regardless of your career choice.
In sum, do your research and educate yourself so that you can hopefully make educated decisions for yourself.
Good luck!
Joined Aug 15, 2004
At 14, you must be in about 9 or 10th grade, I'd guess. I don't know what state you live in, but I would try to get a part time job working in a restaurant. This is what I did in my high school years. Worked nights after school, and sometimes weekend days and sometimes weekend nights.

I'll guess you're already taking home economics or classes that involve cooking.

College is a chance to find yourself. With time and learning, your views will change and things will tend to become more focused. You might find that you want to become involved in food chemistry, or micro biology which plays a big role in modern food processing, or decide to use your college years to emphasize your sense of business management and perhaps skills in political science. Try to take classes in all sorts of areas. Maybe some music education or history, some physics and math, some humanities, philosophy, all kind of things. The more broadly you expose yourself during these upcoming years, the more rounded and in perspective your life and dreams will become.

Then, with all that college behind you, you will be much better positioned to make the decision to go to culinary school or not.

Just my thoughts and good luck to you!

Joined Jul 28, 2001
There isn't any kind of education that will interupt your plans. Your young.
The most sucessful people I know in this industry are those with a business backgrounds.Not running businesses but taking business classes.
I know countless super talented chefs who become prisioners of there position because they lack the business education to defend themselves with budgets, payroll, cogs, etc.
BTW I also know alot of chefs who have no idea where the products in their storeroom come from. They have no idea about P&L's. etc. They just think the food fairies fill the storeroom at night.
good luck.
I have found over the years that basically everything we do in this industry and in life in general is "timing".
good luck
:D never judge the BOH by the FOH
Joined Aug 21, 2004
College never hurts. Knowledge is power and college will only enhance your knowledge base and make you a more rounded chef. Deltadoc had excellant suggestions for course selections. I would only add art and architecture. I am not sure of the connection, but I have discovered an amazing amount of chefs with backgrounds and or degrees in architecture. I had known since 6th grade that I wanted to be an architect. I was in my fourth year of college when I decided that it wasn't quite right for me. I am now a chef with a culinary degree and 30 years of experience and no regrets. Go to college. don't limit yourself. Restaurant jobs are great ways to pick up paychecks and experience while in college. You can always find a job that matches your schedule. That's how I wound up in this business, not because I set out to. Good luck and enjoy the journey!

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