OJT or textbook knowledge which do you prefer? just for fun

Which do you prefer?

  • On the job training

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Textbook knowledge.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Joined Sep 27, 2007
So um i have been told that on the job training is one of the best ways to learn. But I have always been a fan of textbooks. I was wondering what the consensus is here do you prefer to hir an on the job traine or someone who has alot of textbook knowledge?
Joined Jan 4, 2011
LOL. Go look at the responses for threads dealing with culinary schooling. I'm just going off the top of my head here, but I think you'll find that 9 x's out of 10 the response will include telling the original poster to get OTJ training first and foremost. I personally don't use "text books" so much as I very much prefer cooking magazines; Cooks Illustrated, Food&Wine and such. I think that the vast majority of experts here will take someone with working skills over textbook knowledge. In closing, please realize that my opinion isn't worth spit, and I'll be ripped apart very soon for this post. So don't take anything I've said to be important at all.
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
I prefer to hire someone with experience vs. text book training only.

But it's a f'd up question to begin with anyway.

You need the "textbook" explanations to understand the process, and you need to manually do the process/technique several times yourself to fully master the technique/process. 

You need both.

Now take for instance, oh..say chocolate tempering.  I get culinary students in from time to time for 2 week stages.  I'll show them how to temper and explain the basics, then grab a book of the shelf, stuff it in their hands and ask them to read up on the subject more in detail on their own time.  Every book I own and lend out to students has isbn #'s, "suggested reading/related topics", and more than one jump-off point to gain broader book knowledge on various subjects and techniques. 

How resourcefull, and how hungry they are to learn more is entirely dependant of the person.... 
Joined Mar 16, 2009
There are things you might never learn on the job after 20 years if you never bothered to crack a book. On the other hand, there are a million things you learn in the real world that are not taught in school and really couldn't be. Everyone I talked to when I was just starting out told me not to bother with school until I had real world experience and was really sure this is what I wanted to do with my life, but I did hit a point where I felt like I was missing something by not having formal education and decided to enroll part-time while working. As far as hiring goes, having *just* school or book knowledge of cooking is a really hard sell for any position that's not a dishwasher or an intern, at least in my experience. 

I have seen kids in school who've never worked in the field and have deeper knowledge and better skills than some executive chefs I've met, but I've also seen plenty of useless humps, so I guess that gamble is why work experience tends to trump school. 
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Joined May 22, 2010
it takes both.

A cook that never opens a book will only ever be as good as those who teach him.

a cook that never applies himself will only be useful as a reference tool.
Joined Jun 17, 2008
I watch food shows because I want to learn. I read books because I want to learn. I ask questions because I want to learn. Then by actually doing things, I take that knowledge I've gained and pick up a new skill.  Both go hand in hand.
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