Hello, My name is Mandy and I am looking for some advice concerning Culinary School. I have read a lot of the forums on here, where a lot of people are asking the same question "to go to Culinary School or Not?" I have gone through this same question and have read through all the advice people have given others and other articles concerning this issue. I have also toured the only 2 possible culinary schools in my area (Le Cordon Bleu and the Art Institute of Minneapolis) and am very excited to pursue a career in the culinary arts. I just know that everyone advises that culinary school is not worth it. Yet I ask if culinary school is not worth it, then why are their culinary schools out there and still in business if they are not worth it? I have no desire to be a top, famous chef or making bank cooking. I want to learn as much as I can about food and how to be a good cook. My dream is to someday own my own restaurant, but for now I am happy just cooking no matter where or how much I make even if its out of my own home. I am willing to start at the bottom and learn by reading books on my own if that's what it takes but I want to know, if I apply for a kitchen job right now would I get the same position as I would if I applied with an Associate degree in the Culinary Arts? Surely this field is no different than any other field where if someone walked in with a degree you would be chosen over one with out, but I could be wrong. That is why I am asking for others advice on the matter. I have been to college for 3 years and would have enough credits to skip over all the general ed credits and move straight to the culinary classes, so that helps out with the money side of culinary school ,somewhat. Secondly everyone advises that you first work in a real kitchen before attending culinary school. How would I go about doing this? Is there a type of restaurant I should be looking to apply to? What position would I really be applying for? The only knowledge I have in the world of culinary is the skills I have learned on my own or experimented with at home. I know very little. I would be very thankful for any advice one could give me on how to present myself to a restaurant as there is little help out there for us that are new to the world of Culinary.