new student

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Joined Feb 7, 2021
Hello everyone my name is Leonardo Flores and currently I'm a senior in highs school here in a couple months I will be graduating . As I have worked at a local pizzeria shop for 3 years I really fell in love with the food industry and now I feel like I want to make other style foods but in my small town there is nothing but fast food and old style restaurants with the same style foods. As I have worked in this Restaurant nothing on the menu has changed and I have become bored with making the same foods for the past 3 years Before I only wanted to work at my job for the money now I realize that I actually like my job besides the boring same items. Now I feel like I am currently stuck and cannot seem to grow for the past 3 years and I feel like I need a new environment to be able to grow . As I think about my future I am undecided on what to do but I feel like Iam a horrible student in the classroom but I am a determined hard working person .I strive to learn new techniques in my job while trying to perfect the few items on the menu that can actually be manipulated without the correction of my bosses because they seem to hate change. I believe that a collage classroom is the last place I want to put myself in not including other financial reasons. I believe that I can learn with hand on experience from others .


Is there any advice I can receive

Also I would gladly move around North Carolina if any one is hiring even if I have to work a different spot to be able to learn
 
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Joined Jan 7, 2021
Hello leonardoF20 i am also doing this job but i am very happy with my job .You can learn different people for different6 purpose .Thank you!
 
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Joined Feb 8, 2021
Hello everyone my name is Leonardo Flores and currently I'm a senior in highs school here in a couple months I will be graduating . As I have worked at a local pizzeria shop for 3 years I really fell in love with the food industry and now I feel like I want to make other style foods but in my small town there is nothing but fast food and old style restaurants with the same style foods. As I have worked in this Restaurant nothing on the menu has changed and I have become bored with making the same foods for the past 3 years Before I only wanted to work at my job for the money now I realize that I actually like my job besides the boring same items. Now I feel like I am currently stuck and cannot seem to grow for the past 3 years and I feel like I need a new environment to be able to grow . As I think about my future I am undecided on what to do but I feel like Iam a horrible student in the classroom but I am a determined hard working person .I strive to learn new techniques in my job while trying to perfect the few items on the menu that can actually be manipulated without the correction of my bosses because they seem to hate change. I believe that a collage classroom is the last place I want to put myself in not including other financial reasons. I believe that I can learn with hand on experience from others .


Is there any advice I can receive

Also I would gladly move around North Carolina if any one is hiring even if I have to work a different spot to be able to learn
Hello there young Chef to be, first let me say it's refreshing to know that a young man like yourself already has a passion to go into the culinary field I have been doing it since opening a restaurant at my high school my junior year and it hasn't stopped since, if you are looking for a place to start to get your hands really into different cuisine there are "hole in the wall" type places, mom and pop restaurants, or name branded restaurants, you can start out in the prep area and learn the basics of knife skills, butchering, and even the proper cooking and cooling procedures for different proteins and soups.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Hello everyone my name is Leonardo Flores and currently I'm a senior in highs school here in a couple months I will be graduating . As I have worked at a local pizzeria shop for 3 years I really fell in love with the food industry and now I feel like I want to make other style foods but in my small town there is nothing but fast food and old style restaurants with the same style foods. As I have worked in this Restaurant nothing on the menu has changed and I have become bored with making the same foods for the past 3 years Before I only wanted to work at my job for the money now I realize that I actually like my job besides the boring same items. Now I feel like I am currently stuck and cannot seem to grow for the past 3 years and I feel like I need a new environment to be able to grow . As I think about my future I am undecided on what to do but I feel like Iam a horrible student in the classroom but I am a determined hard working person .I strive to learn new techniques in my job while trying to perfect the few items on the menu that can actually be manipulated without the correction of my bosses because they seem to hate change. I believe that a collage classroom is the last place I want to put myself in not including other financial reasons. I believe that I can learn with hand on experience from others .


Is there any advice I can receive

Also I would gladly move around North Carolina if any one is hiring even if I have to work a different spot to be able to learn
First, welcome to CT. :)

The next rule in this industry is that you have to go where the jobs are. They are not going to come to you. If you want to learn and expand your culinary knowledge, you must be willing and able to relocate. Its that simple.

You don't need culinary school to learn and advance yourself in the food industry. There is nothing in culinary school that can't be taught in a professional kitchen.

Find a job in a professional kitchen. Work there for a while and revisit the issue of your future once you get some experience and a good understanding of what this life is truly like. Working in a pizza shop after school isn't even close to what this life is really like.

Good luck. :)
 
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Joined Apr 26, 2012
You don't need culinary school to learn and advance yourself in the food industry. There is nothing in culinary school that can't be taught in a professional kitchen.
Yes and no...

Culinary school will teach and instill the basics of cooking. It is a necessary foundation.

Depending on the kitchen and type of chefs/cooks you work with, you can definitely acquire good cooking skills on the job. But remember, these people are working in a busy, stressful environment. They may or may not have time to teach you. Also, they make the food on their menu and that may be limiting. Depending on what kind of restaurant, you may not be exposed, for example, to all 5 mother sauces and how to properly prepare and use each. A culinary school is a teaching environment with a system of learning and with an instructor who is also probably trained in classic cooking and is willing and able to teach.

So it depends on what your background in cooking is, what your goals are, and what kind of cooking education you need.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Excellent points. However, my point was not predicated upon a young cook remaining in one kitchen for their whole career. Of course they would need to work in different kitchens and learn different styles and techniques in order to match what is taught in culinary school. :)
 
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Excellent points. However, my point was not predicated upon a young cook remaining in one kitchen for their whole career. Of course they would need to work in different kitchens and learn different styles and techniques in order to match what is taught in culinary school. :)
I agree. Thank you for clarifying that. It is just difficult to predict what kitchens and styles of cooking someone might encounter. My experience includes southern barbeque style, rotisserie chicken and sides, bar food style, sandwiches... all from different kitchens. But I have yet to work in an Italian food kitchen. Not because I haven't had opportunities, but life hands you circumstances and those may not necessarily lead you where you want to go.

I may take a local culinary course one day just to fill in where I am lacking in knowledge.

Your point is valid, however. There is no substitute for job experience. Even after school, that is still a requirement.
 
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You don't need culinary school to learn and advance yourself in the food industry. There is nothing in culinary school that can't be taught in a professional kitchen.
Ah but the caveat here is the word professional. There are more unprofessional places in cities than there are pro places. The trick is to find them. How is a young person with no culinary training going to know the difference? Sadly trial and error takes years.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Ah but the caveat here is the word professional. There are more unprofessional places in cities than there are pro places. The trick is to find them. How is a young person with no culinary training going to know the difference? Sadly trial and error takes years.
Indeed. But, I think you and I have encountered more culinary school grads who couldn't poach an egg than those who have apprenticed their education. I know I have which is why I never placed much stock on a CA degree whenever I hired a new cook. :)
 
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Joined Apr 26, 2012
Indeed. But, I think you and I have encountered more culinary school grads who couldn't poach an egg than those who have apprenticed their education. I know I have which is why I never placed much stock on a CA degree whenever I hired a new cook. :)
I think that, like any education, you have a variety of graduates... some who understand how the class relates to real life, and others who do not.

I am sure, as you have interviewed... and had trial shifts with new hires, you want to see what they can actually do. It is more critical to see, taste, and smell their results than to have a graduation cert in hand.

I agree that a CA degree is no guarantee that someone can cook. Cooking can take years to do right. However, there is some benefit to having learned the difference between salt and sugar, and the chemistry of foods, and why you make a béchamel, and when to sear, braise, or roast.
 
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I think that, like any education, you have a variety of graduates... some who understand how the class relates to real life, and others who do not.

I am sure, as you have interviewed... and had trial shifts with new hires, you want to see what they can actually do. It is more critical to see, taste, and smell their results than to have a graduation cert in hand.

I agree that a CA degree is no guarantee that someone can cook. Cooking can take years to do right. However, there is some benefit to having learned the difference between salt and sugar, and the chemistry of foods, and why you make a béchamel, and when to sear, braise, or roast.
But, does a person really need culinary school to teach them the difference between salt and sugar or when to roast, sear or braise?

I understand that you're simplifying the matter to illustrate a point but, I believe that for the money these culinary schools demand, their graduates should be competent in fundamental basic techniques such as poaching an egg. What would we say about a nurse who graduated from nursing school and didn't know how to set up an IV or use a bandage?

I don't mean to say that every culinary school grad can't poach an egg or can't make a French Omelet. But, there are a significant number of CA grads who don't have the fundamental skills to perform these tasks. This is why I never placed much emphasis on a CA degree when considering an applicant for employment. :)
 
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Joined Apr 26, 2012
But, does a person really need culinary school to teach them the difference between salt and sugar or when to roast, sear or braise?

I understand that you're simplifying the matter to illustrate a point but, I believe that for the money these culinary schools demand, their graduates should be competent in fundamental basic techniques such as poaching an egg. What would we say about a nurse who graduated from nursing school and didn't know how to set up an IV or use a bandage?

I don't mean to say that every culinary school grad can't poach an egg or can't make a French Omelet. But, there are a significant number of CA grads who don't have the fundamental skills to perform these tasks. This is why I never placed much emphasis on a CA degree when considering an applicant for employment
Can they do the job...? I believe is what you are saying. I agree... this is the bottom line. Whether they come right out of culinary school or from a previous kitchen, they need to be able to do the job.

In the kitchen... we both know that the orders come in and there is no time to instruct at that point. I need 3 French omelets and 3 eggs benedict right now. I don't have time to tell you how to poach those eggs or what the doneness is on the French omelet. Just get them plated and out.

I completely understand.

With your medical analogy, nursing training involves clinical hours in addition to the classroom, which is like on the job training. It would be like a culinary student who was required to put in hours in a professional working kitchen in order to graduate. And that's a great idea, actually. They may even come out knowing how to poach an egg!!

I will be honest, sgsvirgil... I have never attended any formal culinary training. So I cannot actually say what is taught. But a CA degree is a respected credential.... for some reason.

I wish I could attend even a local cooking school. I can poach an egg. But I would like to learn more fundamentals. That's just for myself, I feel competent in a kitchen.

The other aspect of professional kitchens is the ability to handle the stress of the pace and urgency. And I do not think that is something that can be taught in a cooking school.
 
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You should look into the CA program at your local community college. Most are quite good and are rather economical in terms of cost.

Yes, CA degree is respected but, only in a narrow aspect of this industry. Like I said, unless you're going after a position in fine dining, a resort, cruise ship or hotel, a CA degree doesn't generate much in the way of "oooh's and aaaah's" :)

When we were slow, which was rare, and in between services, this is when I factored in training. New hires were told from the outset that when the kitchen was slow and in between service, they will be learning as part of their continued qualification to work in my kitchen. The response was overwhelmingly positive. As long as they were learning something new AND putting it to use, most welcomed the additional work.

My part in all that was to come up with new menus on a regular basis that featured the new things they learned as well as incorporating the previous lessons in order to create some positive reinforcement. Each week, I would meet with my sous and often one of the senior cooks and they would tell me where the strong points were and what needed work. Sometimes, the lessons involved speeding up an already learned process or technique as well as putting newly learned things to work.

The point is everyone was always learning. In that process, they learned to work together as a team which made the entire kitchen process more efficient and most importantly, they had fun doing it. As you can imagine, I had a very low employee turnover rate. In fact, when I retired, I sold my restaurant to a woman who started working for me when she was 15. She never went to culinary school and I would put her up against any Michelin Starred chef any day of the week. :)
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
Culinary school simply touches on the many aspects of cooking and running a food establishment.

Without a well rounded education, a non-schooled cook is simply learning the good ways and bad ways of running only one particular place. Take them from that place and put them somewhere else and they are lost.
A culinary school grad with no real world experience I can train. A person coming in from the street can also be trained. I believe the educated person has a better chance at getting a better deal than the other.
 
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