Need some advice on culinary programs

Joined Nov 3, 2001
Hi everyone,
I am thinking of making a huge career change, and looking into the best way to go about it. I have a passion to own my own restaurant in the future. I have a degree (not culinary related) already and I would like to know where the best programs would be to pursue this goal. Does it help to narrow my choices in schools/programs if I know I want to be in the restaurant business? Is there anyway to bypass school or is it imperative that one have a degree of some sort first.

Thanks so much
Joined Jul 31, 2000
First welcome to cheftalk,second I like your avatar.

I have spent my entire life in kitchens and have gone to J&W,the school for american chefs in napa and the Cia in napa as well.
The one thing I have not done is make a career change.
We have some excellent people on these boards that have takin the plunge..Annecke,danielle and many more.

To own a restaurant you need to have excellent buisness sence,be able to manage people well and know how to cook. lead by example ETC.
Passion plays a leading roll as well.

I think a degree helps,not because it's a piece of paper for your resume but because for your own well being.

Have you ever worked in the trade?


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Welcome to Chef Talk Mike!

Hope you will find the information you need. Don't forget to look at the archive of the culinary student forum.
Joined Nov 3, 2001
Hi and thanks to all who replied to my questions. Suzanne, I appreciate the time you took to respond as well, you posed some extremely important timely questions about my passion to become a restaurant owner. While owning a restaurant is a dream of mine, the motivation behind the dream is my love of cooking and creating for others to enjoy. The business side of owning a restaurant, especially in our current economy is a bit scary. Then again in every recession the two stocks that always do well are alcohol and food related. So this may be a good time if one has deep enough pockets. So here goes phase two of my career change question: Are there any culinary programs in the southern california area that are worth looking into and what is the difference between a $20,000 degree and a $35,000 degree?

Thanks again
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