No experiencce. Question;

Joined Oct 18, 2010
Hi everyone,

Here's the thing, I'm 18, and will be done with high school in December. I've been cooking since I was little. It's always my passion, and I love how you can become connected with different cultures and people simply by making a certain dish.

BUT, I've never had experience in a restaurant. I have a feeling that this would hold me back, no?

My plan was to hopefully get a job in New York City being a bus boy or something entry level like that, and working my way up, while attending culinary school, but would it even be possible to get a job in a NYC restaurant with absolutely no restaurant experience? And what about culinary school? Would most of them deny me for having no experience?

What would you suggest I do in this situation?

I know this was kind of the same question over and over again, but any input would be greatly appreciated.

Joined Apr 3, 2008
The answer given by me and a few others here to every newbie that comes asking this question is:


no sense paying as much as 80k for a job that starts at minimum wage. Busboy is not a bad start, but prep cook is better. Why? Cause, you will learn knife technique, recipes, and other fundamentals that will help you go to pantry cook then line cook. It's hard work, I mean really hard work. It's heavy lifting, standing for days on end in a single shift, getting yelled at for doing nothing wrong, burning yourself, cutting yourself, and sometimes having coworkers sabotage your work either accidently or on purpose. Watching a good plate of food go out and be enjoyed is sometimes worth it though. best of luck.

marilynn melissa ramirez

I say search for community college that offer culinary arts/hospitality.  Only because its not a high end top notch school does not mean that it won't benefit you.  Hey, it might be way better then a top notch school, only because u'll save hundreds of dollars, and still get the same experiences and techniques needed for this field.  Plus its smarter on your end, income wise.  Plus you can always transfer your units to a top notch school afterwords too!  
Joined Oct 15, 2010
Depending on your family's income, you may qualify to go to a Job Corp center that is funded by the Department of Labor. There are campuses around the country and some have culinary programs. The one in San Francisco, on Treasure Island, has both the beginning and advance program. Everything is free, the training, food, boarding, uniforms, transportation, etc. It's not the best program out there, but if you are focused on what you want to do and ignore the BS, you should be fine.

And like what Marilynn stated above, some community colleges have culinary programs. The one at City College of San Francisco is supposed to be quite good. I guess one good thing is that you can do externships at some really great restaurants in the area. Prices are definitely much better than private culinary schools.
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