It is important as you make it. You are attending a culinary school, so I would suggest you make it very important because you only get back what you put in
Be a sponge. Soak up and learn as much as you possibly can. Volunteer. Be the first to put your hand up when instructor asks who wants to assist or to give it a go. Replicate at home to reinforce and cement the knowledge in your arsenal. Take copious notes. At home convert your notes into a more permanent journal for the same reasons of reinforcing and cementing.
A lot of the importance of attending culinary is dependent upon your reasons for attending. I attended culinary school for me, not because I thought it would be a good career move, subsequently thirty some years later, I have no regrets concerning my choice.
A quick surface appraisal and one might come to the conclusion that my choice of attending culinary school didn't really effect my career one way or the other, but I know how much that choice influenced the chef I am today.
It truly depends on your reason. I go to culinary school right now and I am already seeing the benefit of going. I went to it because I wanted a safe place to fail, to work out the kinks in how I move around the kitchen or how I hold a knife. I wanted to learn the history of cuisine and the basic techniques. The things I have learned in school are things that I feel may of taken me a while to learn. Its only been 3 month of the actual cooking portion and I now feel confident enough to apply to jobs. I have an internship coming up and I know that schooling helped me get it. So know your reasons and then fuck everything else cause I have had many people in my life no get my choice to go, but its already worked out for me
Here it's a safe place to be able to express your thoughts and feels. As long as can separate the way you speak in your personal and professional life then it doesn't really matter. Cussing, when used sparingly, is a way to express frustration like how I use it to convey the anger I felt and person after person kept telling I don't need culinary school. If it makes you sensibilities feel better then allow me to correct the sentence: Know thy self to be true and there after your choice will be clear. In time people will cluck their heads at your choices in life and so, ever gently, put them in their place.
A general rule of thumb that I use when selecting what words to use when responding here is...if I wouldn't use that word in the dining room when speaking to guests (or to my grandmother), then I don't use it here.
One of the hallmarks of being a good chef is creativity. Coarse language shows a deficit of imagination. Frustration can be expressed more much eloquently than through the banality of cuss words.
At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. :~)
IMHO, Culinary school is a great place to learn the basics. When I say basics I mean knife use, Mother sauces and proper ways of making Stocks. How to use equipment, butchering and how to filet fish, and baking. I think the proper use of knife skills is a must. Good knife skills will get you to finishing each dish faster. That being said, passion in cooking will bring out the creativeness needed to set yourself apart from other cooks. Every good/great chef have their own vision on how an entree should look and taste. My problem with school is most will learn how someone else does somethings and not be able to see past that to have their own vision of how it should be done. It's not like going to automotive class and breaking down a engine, in that case there is only way to put the engine back together. I like passion and vision. When I learned from others on the job, I saw how they did it and then thought of how I could make it my own. I feel following someone else's recipe only makes me a clone of what their vision is. I feel you need to venture outside the box to be different and original. So, if your thinking of culinary school to give you a jump start in the direction of bringing out the inner passion and creativity that lays underneath your soul then do it. .........Good luck........Chef Bill
I totally agree with everything you said. Sometimes in school you feel like if you do something different then it's wrong and most of that stems from how normal education is taught. For example we made Hollandiase sauce in class. It's a fairly simple recipe and when I tried the finished product I liked it and didn't like it. It was good but not special. I was kind of let down because everyone was talking about how amazing eggs benifict is. I had never had it and so I thought yay! A chance to try it. I tried other people sauce in class and it was all about the same. Some of the salt/pepper factor was different from each sauce but overall the same. Later that night was cleaning my kitchen tools and it hit me that the way my school does it isn't exactly the end all be all. It was a very freeing moment cause yet strange because it was sooooo obvious. Forward a couple weeks later and Hollandiase was on my finally. What my teacher doesn't know is that I semi changed the recipe in the middle of my finally. The egg to clarified butter ratio was the same but I changed the wine reduction part, giving it a bolder flavor. I was so nervous cause it ms a bad idea to just randomly decide to change but I had to cause I was just so let down by the first sauce. I got at A and she said it was a large improvement for last class