Where to start, hello all and thank you for having me. I am 33 married and father to 4 children ages 9 to 1. Since I love cooking, I am predominantly the cook in the house. After spoiling family and friends with a number of tasty dishes (some made Gluten free for a friend) , they have encouraged me to do something in the culinary field. I tried in vain to explain to them the hours a typical chef works and what a "CHEF" knows that I do not but they still encourage me nonetheless. So in the back of my mind the idea was always there but when I was let go after my company was bought out, I really started to give it a serious second thought. So here I am really in the beginning of my career. In January I am going to school for a 6 month (crash course) culinary program and for now, I am trying to get in a restaurant where I can work and get some serious cooking chops. ---if your not bored yet, read on /img/vbsmilies/smilies//smile.gif --- I am originally from Southern California but I now live near Winston Salem, North Carolina. For the last couple weeks I have tried in vain to get a position in a restaurant that cooked everything from scratch. I dont know what to call the restaurants as they are high quality food but they do not consider themselves fine dining either (very small portions etc). These are the types of restaurants I've visited http://www.milnerfood.com/ http://www.fabiansrestaurant.com/ http://www.sweetpotatoes-arestaurant.com I made a portfolio of the dishes I've made, including pictures and recipes and the chefs I spoke to loved it and gave me continued encouragement. But the thing I am running into is that these great little restaurants are struggling with the economy and sadly, I cant work for free. I don't know if it's premature, but I have lowered my standard of restaurant I am shooting for. Tomorrow I have a 2nd interview with a local steak house. On one hand its a great opportunity to get some skill working a grill line, on the other I cant help but wonder if I should keep applying to smaller high class restaurants. I was told by the GM that he would know in two weeks if I was cut out for it or not. I know its just the first step, but I have a bad habit of obsessing over the first step. It is the perfectionist in me. sorry for the long read. Thanks again for having me.