Just wanted to say hello to everyone in the forum community. I've finally made the first step in my culinary career and interviewed / accepted an apprenticeship position in a place of fine dining. After seemingly forever chasing my computer science degree i have finished and found out i never want to be that unemployed software developer or stuck in a depressing IT department. The truth is i have always been happy in a kitchen and most of my best memories are the time i've spent cooking with different family members or putting together meals and entertaining friends. The youth in me feels like i'm about to walk a dark and narrow road till i find my place, but im so excited its like i could tackle anything in my way. If anyone has any advice for a clean slate i'd appreciate anything you could pass my way. What i have to go on so far is that the executive chef told me to bring some comfortable shoes, my knives if i have any, and they'd sort me with a jacket till i could get my own wears. when i had my tour through the kitchen many of the staff were wearing what appeared to be birkenstocks, but im not completely certain they were. Can you wear birks in a kitchen?! i'll be looking for a few knives in the future too i'm sure. I currently have only used Henckles and Wusthof in my home kitchen, but i've handled some Kershaw knives and thought they were the best blades i've personally ever held. (approx. 15-20 minutes of demo play at a retail store) I wonder what a nice starter set of knives should include. Price isnt really a concern, but quality is. I breifly spoke with the exec. chef about possibilities of attending culinary school in the area, but wanted to get my feet wet in a real kitchen where the staff knows the trade and can offer an environment to grow in. He assured me there is a wealth of knowledge to learn from actual experience and i was making a good decision before plunking down $$$$$ on classes before i knew what i was getting into. I hope he's right. I have no real professional experience so i'm a bit nervous about my first day! I came across ChefTalk purely by accident, but after reading around a bit i think this is a really great place and i hope to learn a lot just from hanging around. Cheers! -bjpamf sorry, thought i was in the welcome thread! if a moderator could move this.... Please and thanks!