I'm looking for career change now that I've been out working for almost 20 years (if you can call writing software working). Prior to getting into software, my other career choice was going to be culinary arts (although they didn't seem to call it that back then). Most of the time through high school and college, I worked my way through various positions in both "institutional" and restaurant kitchens. Even at the time, I was questioning whether I should drop the engineering school and instead concentrate on cooking. I've read alot on the subject now and have decided that it is a change I'm ready to make, although many frineds have tried to talk me out of it. I realize that it'll be a very different line of work and very difficult especially for someone over 40 to be starting out all over again. Given all that, how would most of you recommend starting out? Some of the recent posts have recommended either "just getting into the kitchen, even washing dishes (which I was pretty good at!)" to even offering to shadow in a willing kitchen. My initial thought was to attempt the "shadow" route coupled with taking some courses at the local Community College which does offer a certificate program. If I'm still enamored with this choice after that, then possibly attend a more in depth culinary school. Thoughts? Suggestions?