Proper Introduction

Joined Oct 17, 2002
Hello. If you're reading this, then you probably have too much time on your hands. However, I do appreciate you spending some of that time by showing some interest in me. I think I'm a pretty interesting person. Then again, I may be slightly biased.

So, what do you put in one of these introductions? Should I say that I'm 27 years old, 6' 1", brown hair, HWP and I'm looking for... wait, that sort of stuff goes on "different" kinds of message boards.

I guess I could say that I'm currently a systems analyst (computers) and that I am just starting to seriously pursue the possibility of changing careers. I have been thinking about going to culinary school for a long time. Actually, the story begins something like this.

Back when I was a wittle kid I thought that what I "wanted to be when I grow up" was a chef. At least, that was one of the top things on my list along with chemist. That is until I got to high school and really got involved in computers. A bachelor degree and five years of job experience has gotten me to where I am now -- a fairly easy, fairly well-paying job where I sit in a little cubicle or run to meetings all day and I produce lots of notes and well-formatted documents. Well, for quite a while I thought my long-term career plan would be to save up lots of money, retire early (45-50) and then go to culinary school. However, the more time I spend with my current career, the more I think "why wait?" If I think that being in the culinary field would make me happier, then why should I put it off? Well, there's the whole thing about working 5 times as hard and getting paid 5 times as less as I am now. However, do I really want to have to go through that in 20 years. Plus, I would hate to plan and save for this big career change in 20 years, only to find out that maybe I don't like it as much as I thought I would and it's not what I really want to do. So, I've decided to start to take steps to investigate. I decided that I needed to get experience in the field and to see what's really involved in working in a professional kitchen.

Back in July, my girlfriend took me to a really nice restaurant for my birthday. The whole experience was incredible, the food was amazing. That meal really inspired me and made me even more interested in becoming a chef. Anyway, after the dinner Chef Belickis came out to the table to talk to us. During the conversation he mentioned that he offers cooking classes every once in a while. My girlfriend and I decided to sign up for a class that was held at the beginning of October. While waiting for the date to approach, I decided that after the class I would volunteer my time in his kitchen. I would tell him that I would do whatever I could; anything to get some experience and to see what a professional kitchen is like. So, finally the date arrived and during the cooking class Chef Belickis mentioned that he has several students who come in a few times a week to work with him. I thought, "Aha! There's my chance." So, after class I told the chef that I thought he was an artist and that he did amazing things with food (flattery is always good) and I asked what I had to do to become his student. He said that he normally wouldn't have any time in his schedule, but one of his students was getting too busy at his "regular" job and had to drop one of his days. He also that that he'd be willing to entertain the idea of me picking up that extra day! Needless to say, I was very excited. We agreed that we would keep in touch after the class to see if the arrangement would work out for both of us.

The very next day, Sunday, I sent him an e-mail. After a week I still hadn't heard anything. So, on Monday I called, got his voicemail and left a message. By Friday, I still had heard nothing. Finally, I decided that I was just going to go down there and present myself to him; using e-mail or the phone hadn't seemed to work. I wanted to know one way or the other, because if he wasn't able to let me stage, then I'd keep looking for someone who could. Anyway, I walked into the restaurant just a couple minutes after they closed from lunch. Chef Belickis was standing at the bar talking to someone. We exchanged our hellos and I asked if he had a minute to talk. He said "Sure... when do you want to start?" That definitely took me by surprise! I was ready to get some explanation about why it wouldn't work out. I'm sure the shock was evident on my face as I blurted out "whenever!" He said that I would come every Tuesday starting a 3pm. After a few weeks, if it was working out, he would let me start to come in on one of the weekend days, in addition to my Tuesdays. All I have to bring is my tools (a knife kit) and a chef's jacket. We're going to start by working on my knife skills. :D I'm so excited about this opportunity!

If I find that I really enjoy this, then I am hoping to go to culinary school, possibly as soon as next fall. Depends on how much money I can start saving. I may have to wait until the fall of 2004.

So, that's my story. Hope you enjoyed ready it.
Joined Jan 21, 2002
That's wonderful WHN. I hope you enjoy the stage opportunity you got. Keep us posted on your progress and tell us when and where you decide to go to school. I figure that this is a love-it-or-leave-it-alone business. If you love it you'll most likely go to school. If not, well, you'll leave it alone. For some reason there doesn't appear to be a middle graound.................

Joined Aug 29, 2000
Thank you for the great introduction, Whatshisname! You're obviously feeling right at home already, which is great. Be sure to take a look at our archives and historical posts, and don't miss the culinary students' forum. Hang out and chime in when you like.

Again, welcome to Chef Talk.
Joined May 26, 2001
Hi, there! The more time you spend in the kitchen, the more you will realize that a good chef IS a chemist. And that all your systems analysis skills will be very, very helpful. Even down to the beautiful formatting -- of the plates you put out! ;) That's why cooking is so great: it uses everything you've ever learned, anywhere. And it keeps you learning new stuff every day. Welcome to the best of all possible worlds!!:D

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