Questions questions!

Joined Feb 18, 2011
Hello all! I am in the process of picking a culinary program as part of a career change. I am 26 years old and already have my BA and MA in history. The academic job market is less than stellar, hence the change.

So. . . my questions include,

1. Good (and affordable) programs in Chicago? I've heard good things about Kendall and Washburne Cullinary. Any other suggestions?

1a. Job outlook in Chicago? Chances for advancement and experience?

2. What is my pay/salary outlook (generally)? Will I be forever doomed to work hourly without benefits or do line chefs/sous chefs make salary, insurance, etc?

3. Is there a difference, education-wise, between a restaurant chef and a hotel/catering chef? Are different degrees required? Pay scale different? Work environment different?

4. Looking to the future, what is my career outlook? I assume I can't be 55 years old and working a double shift 6 days a week. What have those of you who are "seasoned citizens" done after your restaurant gig(s)?

5. What do you all, as chefs, look for in a line cook or incoming chef? AAS degree? BA? Experience?

Whew! That's quite a bit for you all to answer! Thanks for any and all comments!

Joined Apr 3, 2010
Washburne trade school was one of the first in the country and has always had a good rep.When you graduate, you are just beginning and have to pay your dues like any other trade. You wont make much and will work long hours, Forget referring to when you get out of school the word chef, you are far from, at least 7 to 10 years. I am 69 been in business over 50 years , just retired and since age of 60 have done consulting work. I specialized in high volume, high quality catering. I was lucky I got in in hay day and worked for right guys at right time. I was made a partner and did quite well> Again a little bit of luck and a LOT OF HOURS. I read and watched all I could including the old classic ways and new tech. ways. Oh yesa when I was younger I apprenticed in France FOR Room and Board only..Good Luck to you

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