Chief of Staff at Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles. Best cardiothoracic surgeon on the west coast. Million dollar home and a car for every day of the week. Married with four kids. Yup, I had it all. Didn't happen that way. I have no idea where things turned for me, I wish I knew. My guess is the time spent getting elective credits for HS graduation. I got a job as a cook at the (don't laugh) Olive Garden. A whole year I worked for free. Sort of. I got paid in high school credits. For some reason I loved food. Not just eating it, mind you. Of course that's good but I want to know if I can duplicate the plate. I began trying stuff at home. Pushin' on the accelerator a bit.............................. I met my wife by answering an internet personal ad (and boy am I glad she's not an axe murderer. ). I was gonna impress her with a home-cooked meal. Hmmmmmm. Folks, as a general rule: NY steak is NOT beef jerky. She reminded me of this and hinted I needed professional help. With the food, smarty pants. Dessert. It was NOT good. My wife wouldn't touch my Grand Marnier ice cream. You couldn't pierce the outer layer with a howitzer. A block of rock. I enrolled in a certification course through the Culinary Union. For five days a week and seven hours per day they were gonna teach me to be a prep cook. I learned a valuable lesson the very first day. If you do EVERYTHING the chef tells you and keep quiet and listen, most of them will take notice. That's if you're competent........ I am so grateful to have entered this profession (again) under the guidance of good chefs. Thank you Chef Klundt and Chef Williams for turning on MY "pilot light". I think a lot of people get turned off by an egotistical chef. I may have turned tail and ran if I had to work for (gasp) Chef xxxxx at the Palms casino. I may have went back to medicine. What about the dream of being an M.D.? Every now and then I can hear that dream telling me "What am I, chopped liver?" You will be as soon as I take charcuterie and get to the liver. Anyways, I am now armed with a certificate that says I'm a prep cook. I went out after a while and found a job. It paid $12.50/hr for what is called a Cook's Helper. Who knew standing on my feet working 14+ hours daily would be soooo much fun? Sadistic you say? I think you have to be a bit "off" to do this. It helps. I even took Basic Cookery at the CC here. That's when that bug hit. I started to become hypnotized by the cooking of food. Partially obsessed. Any and everything I cooked had to meet with the approval of my instructor. Even when I cook at home I can almost hear him tell me what to fix and how to do it. I thus began searching for culinary schools. I somehow happened upon ChefTalk. (BTW I must thank all of you for enduring my search for the pefect school for me) I didn't like cooking, I loved it!! That class at the CC really got to me. I know that if I would've stayed in "school" I'd be a doctor by now (27) I didn't care. This is much better! I took the semester to finish some required classes (since I had my general eds) and got an AAS in F&B management. Moving right along.................. I am 100% sure of my school plans now. I even have a backup plan. Either way I go I get ACF acknowledged as a Certified Culinarian. Plus I'm just thrilled to work as a Sous during school. How cool is that? I can't wait to see how far I go in this industry.