I am 49 year old and want to join culinary school .Am I eligble and also which one I should join please suggest

64
19
Joined Nov 9, 2020
Depends where you live, and what you want to get out of school.

What I would do, is (if you're in North America) look at your local community college, and take a semester or 2 in their cullinary department to make sure you really want to take on foods as a new career and are up to the challenge of 8-10 hour days in a cullinary academy like CIA... While you're doing that you can contact the various schools and find out what they offer; additionally it will give you an idea of the direction you want to go in for your formal education (Line? Bakery? Management? Corporate?)... Then it's just a matter of applying and sending in the money.

I personally like CIA, but remember you're there with a bunch of people half your age, and the Chef instructors will run you hard and demand excellence. They're mostly all live in programs (or you have to live locally to the school, say Hyde Park, Calistoga, or etc.) so it's not just a commitment of money (and large money at that), but of time much like being in the military. Some (I'm thinking Hyde Park) have some fairly restrictive dorm rules as well... remember, it's a full time college.

Hope this helps a little...
 
1,196
734
Joined Mar 1, 2017
To add to @L'uovo vulcanico 's excellent advice, you may wish to consider getting a job in a restaurant. There is nothing better than hands on experience to provide the necessary optics in terms of what its like to work in the food industry. Its not easy even for a young adult and your age will definitely provide some significant barriers to employment and challenges that young adults don't have to deal with.

But, with that said...........

There are some things you should know about this industry before you make your final decision.

1. There is a vast difference between cooking at home for friends and family and cooking commercially. Everything from the appliances to the ingredients to the techniques used are completely different. Further, you will have zero creative input in terms of how something is made, especially at first.

2. Everything you would otherwise be taught in culinary school you can learn on the job working in a restaurant with the extra added benefit of getting paid for it.

3. This is a hard life. According to the US Dept. of Labor, the average career lifespan in the food industry lasts 18 months. In addition, this career has one of the highest divorce and substance abuse rates of any industry in the US.

4. 70 hour weeks are normal.

5. You will be working weekends and holidays as they are the busiest times for us. That leaves very little time for friends and especially, family. So, when your family is celebrating holidays or someone's birthday, you will be working. Hence, the high divorce rate.

6. Benefits will likely not be a part of your compensation until you reach kitchen management status, which is typically a 5 to 10 year track with or without culinary school. This factor is particularly significant in light of your age.

7. This is a physically demanding profession. So, again, your age makes this factor particularly significant.

8. In the age of covid, restaurants are closing at an alarming pace. Is this really a good time to consider a shift to the food industry? So, unless you're independently wealthy and plan on working for yourself, finding suitable employment may prove to be quite a challenge.

9. A culinary professional must go where the jobs are. If there are no culinary jobs where you live, having the flexibility to pack up and move is a must.

10. Most hiring managers in most restaurants really don't care if you have a CA degree. A CA degree will be useful to you if you're looking for a job at a hotel, resort, a cruise ship or perhaps, a Michelin starred restaurant. However, with or without a CA degree, chances are excellent that all of these industries have a waiting list as long as my leg.

**BONUS FACTOR** Food trucks are just as hard, if not harder, than operating a brick and mortar restaurant, just in case you were considering this option. They have all the headaches of a brick and mortar restaurant with extra added headaches of being mobile including additional licenses, restrictions in terms of what can be prepped onboard, additional regulations, vehicle insurance and maintenance, portable power such as propane tanks and generators, potable water requirements and many, many more.

It is not my intent to discourage you. Instead, its my intent to strip away any illusions and misconceptions about what a career in the food industry is like so you will have a better understanding in order to make a better decision.

Good luck :)
 
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2
0
Joined Oct 15, 2020
Depends where you live, and what you want to get out of school.

What I would do, is (if you're in North America) look at your local community college, and take a semester or 2 in their cullinary department to make sure you really want to take on foods as a new career and are up to the challenge of 8-10 hour days in a cullinary academy like CIA... While you're doing that you can contact the various schools and find out what they offer; additionally it will give you an idea of the direction you want to go in for your formal education (Line? Bakery? Management? Corporate?)... Then it's just a matter of applying and sending in the money.

I personally like CIA, but remember you're there with a bunch of people half your age, and the Chef instructors will run you hard and demand excellence. They're mostly all live in programs (or you have to live locally to the school, say Hyde Park, Calistoga, or etc.) so it's not just a commitment of money (and large money at that), but of time much like being in the military. Some (I'm thinking Hyde Park) have some fairly restrictive dorm rules as well... remember, it's a full time college.

Hope this helps a little...
I am from India ,I want to start my own kitchen ,thanks please suggest good institutes in Asia
 

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