Studying Business vs Culinary School

Joined Nov 30, 2017
Hey guys, I've seen some people suggest doing a degree in business while working in kitchens for experience instead of attending culinary school. For me, this would be a cheaper option because i could attend the university in my state rather than pay for a private culinary school in another state. Can you guys think of pros and cons for going this route?
Joined Jun 23, 2015
This would be a good plan. Find a chef who will mentor you as you go to school. A chef who understands you are training and not just filling a position. Then explain to your advisor what you are doing so you can take courses that will help you run a kitchen or business. Good Luck!
Joined Jul 3, 2008
And who are you going to leave your culinary education up to, whoever happens to hire you? You could float around for years working for hack after hack having wasted a whole lot of time. Yes, you can teach yourself a lot, but you can't teach yourself what a dish or a preparation is supposed to taste like, and the idjit you're working for might not know either. Most don't. If might look good on the plate but be a total abomination in the mouth. A lot of people who think they can cook would be better off as food stylists/photographers.
Joined Jan 9, 2019
This is a question that really struck a chord with me. I went down the business route in my 20s, and then, much later, went to a catering college and trained as a "chef" as a career change (hobby?).

Whilst it's necessary to know how to run a business if you want to own a restaurant or even manage one, the skills are very different to being able to cook in a professional kitchen. Being a business grad and a good cook won't be enough. Experience in a professional kitchen is essential if you want to even function as a commis.

So, I would ask "do you want to become a chef or a restaurateur?". If you want to become a chef, then you'd better focus on the culinary side - it's not easy, whether college-taught or self-taught. If you want to be a restaurateur, you'll have to know about business.

Anyway, some of it is a bit daft. You can go to college for a year or two, get a piece of paper to say you're a chef. But you're not. You're the lowliest of cooks. It might be better if there was a qualification that gave the entitlement to call oneself a chef. :) (Looking forward to howls of disapproval of what I just wrote.)
Joined May 5, 2010
No howls here NotDelia. You have touched a nerve with the last sentence...
"It might be better if there was a qualification that gave the entitlement to call oneself a chef."

The title Chef is an all encompassing word. It literally means manager. In that vein the word itself conjures up the idea that this person must know the business side as well no?
One can go to school to become a cook. During the schooling some business is touched on. Basic accounting, all the way to reading a hotel ledger and understanding it. Of course, not enough to fully ingrain the information, but to touch on it as part of the education equation.
If a Chef owns a restaurant, he is a restaurateur and either hires an accountant or may choose to do that themselves.
Top Bottom