I have decided that I want to cook for a living and become a part of this lifestyle. Other than my home kitchen, I have zero experience in a professional kitchen or any restaurant kitchen. I currently have my heart set on the International Culinary Center in California (I recently toured the campus and met with staff. It seems like a great place.) and since I am 24 years old and not getting younger I am dead serious about this drastic step in my life. I am fully aware of the high cost and have been trying to get any kind of work in any kitchen that will have me since I feel this is a crucial step before making the final decision and taking out a student loan. This brings me to the dilemma. No restaurant or cafe, chef or owner wants anything to do with me. I have even offered to work for free, wash dishes, whatever I can to get a feel and experience. They all say they are only hiring people with experience. So my question is this: How am I supposed to gain experience (there are NO APPRENTICESHIPS for the inexperienced in Southern California) outside of going to culinary school?