The One Degree that Matters!...Excuse me while I dive for Cover.

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by shawtycat, May 3, 2002.

  1. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    Just my opinion, so don't kill me!

    Whether you get a culinary degree or not you start out the same place everywhere.....dish duty or prep cook!

    You get a Restaurant Management or Business Administration Degree along with previous culinary experience I think you are more marketable.

    But if you wanna cook, get hired at better places and make it to the "Ultimate Chef Plateau" get an Cooking Experience Degree. For free! All you have do do is supply the hard work ethic. :) Thomas Keller is a good example I guess.

    Again...this is just MY opinion. ~Ducks behind some boulders before the firing starts~

    Jodi
     
  2. holydiver

    holydiver

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    Yes people like Thomas Keller Charlie Trotter or Norman Van Aken could do that at one time but in this day you need a degree period talent only gets you so far. As for starting out in the same place I disagree I see kids all the time coming out of school and heading kitchens at 21 or 22 I do not agree with it but it does happen.
     
  3. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    Yeah, I know....but I keep my version of Utopia in my head. Realistically I plan on a degree in rest. mgmt or biz admin.

    The idea of a Cooking Experience Degree is something though. ~Sigh~ :D
     
  4. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Okay, time to shoot my mouth off:

    Just having a degree -- ANY degree -- gets you nothing right off the bat. Sure, it helps that you've read, and practiced, and learned. But you've got to be able to DO it. Anyone who gets out of school and expects to be a "real chef" or General Manager right away is a fool. Even if they have experience, they've still got to prove themselves.

    If you want to cook, just cook and not supervise or manage anybody, and definitely NOT run any kind of business, all you really need is what you were born with.

    If you want to cook and move up to the point where you are a supervisor or manager (still in the kitchen), culinary training is necessary to learn proper techniques. And some training in supervision/management is imperative. But not necessarily a degree.

    If you want to run a business, you'd better know how. If you get that knowledge by going to school, fine, for the food end and/or the business part. But you need lots and lots of experience, as well as lots of training. Sure, there are always stories of people who hit it lucky, but mostly they are NOT "overnight successes" but people who worked long and hard to prepare. Do you have to have a degree? Again, no. Just a lot of knowledge of how to do it.

    What it comes down to is: you need knowledge to succeed. How you get it is your business. BTW, a lot of colleges give credit for "life experience."
     
  5. cape chef

    cape chef

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    :mad: :mad: :mad:

    I can't even reply to this !!!!

    Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's so easy for some to have all the answers with out breaking a sweet:mad:
     
  6. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Wow, CC, is that all directed at me? Sorry to make you that angry. That's my opinion, though, based on what I've seen and my own version of Utopia.

    Hope you feel better soon. :eek: :D
     
  7. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Dear Suzanne,

    Just for the record, no it was not directed at you.
    I agree with you %100.

    I know for a fact that you have pulled the 70 hour weeks like me back to back to back, swim in your sweat and bleed red blood.

    Yes I am angry!!!!

    Some read some books or play on the internet and have all the answers to our Biz, I say B**LS**T

    When someone works 12/14 hour days for year after year like so many true chefs and cooks do, then you can tell my about what type of degree we need.

    As for degree's, Yes I have degree's,
     
  8. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    According to the Greek Legislation in a case of murder, your defendant doesn't have to be a lawyer.
    You can bring your neighbour to defend you if you find it appropriate.

    Maybe your neighbour is as good as the best lawyer but that doesn't mean that we don't need lawyers.


    People have an attitude towards degrees. I can understand that.
    But degrees is something that society itself has established to judge the most competent.
    And whether people like this or not, more competent are those who have passed the exams :)
     
  9. holydiver

    holydiver

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    Cape Chef I hope you are not mad at me I do not have a degree myself I killed myself for 15 years and realized my talent only took me so far. I go to job interviews and all they wanna know is do I have a degree well no I don't so it dosen't matter how many years I been on a line cause that is the criteria.I think the gullible in the industry has been brainwashed by the ACF personally I think in 5-10 years if you do not go to such and such schools and belong to the little ACF "club" that you will not be able to work. My thinking for this is look at job ads in any city papers or on starchefs and such it is all CIA only or CEC only or some such nonsense. Me personally I do not want to work in an industry that I have to join some organazation that I have to pay money to to get certified with or I do not get certian jobs that just smacks of the **** party a little too much for me.
     
  10. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Dear holydiver,

    Please, I am not mad at you!

    Listen, Like Athenaues said, those who pass the exam must be more compatent then those who don't.
    So be it, I find in our industry sometimes things work in reverse. First we spend some time, or years before we go to get a degree.

    I cooked for 5 years before I went to school, I have nothing "nadda"against degree's..I have worked and studied very hard to have my degree's, no one handed them to me, nor did I brown nose those bigshot ACF guy's.

    You know Timithy Ryan was a CMC at 27 years old? give me a break, to be a CEC, you need 7 consecutive years as an Executive Chef, So I guess he was a Exec at 19 or 20 eh?

    CMC? ACF propaganda. if you have endless supplies of money donated to you by coporate America, and have enough aspic to glue a ten story food display together, I guess you deserve the degree of a CMC.

    My anger in this thread, is about "assumptions" evryone has different takes on whats important for there career, I have all kinds of diploma's certificates and degree's, but you know what? right now my career sucks!!!! and these degree's are just hanging on a wall.

    anyway, this is not a good day.
    Holydiver and Suzanne
    Don't worry about what I think, honestly, it's not worth it right now. Just do your best, look at the donut, not the hole
     
  11. crane

    crane

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    How much of a difference does everyone make between an undergraduate degree at a regular university or liberal arts college, and a culinary degree? In a general sense, not just in ability to work in a kitchen.
     
  12. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    An undergraduate degree shows me that the holder has attained a certain level of expression - verbal or written.
     
  13. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    Oh My! :eek: I'm wondering if I should have posted my opinion. :(

    CC,

    I hope its not me that you are mad at. I was looking at my situation, which is all experience but no degree (I couldn't concentrate on studying when I was too tired from working 14 hours to pay for college :( My mom was in school also and I was trying to go nights so someone would be home with my sister). Sometimes working 2 jobs! I found that in some instances that it didn't matter how much experience I had in the field, the minute some fresh scrubbed kid with a degree came in there went any possiblities of a promotion. :mad:

    From what you are describing, Im going much the same way you are. Work first then get the degree. I didn't mean to offend, my opinion is based on what I have seen in the job market (in any industry actually) where it seems that big biz has taken over. And all the big restaurants want is someone with a CMC etc. to further enhance THEIR image! Ive got nothing against people with degrees......I'm sure they get as frustrated with the system as we do. (I remember listening at one of the recruiting corps I worked at. One recruiter said "Man, this guy is dumb as a stump biz wise, but look at all the credentials. If he makes a s***load my vacation is set!"

    I only get irritated when the idea of boasting that "Hey, WE got a CCP or CMC, or whatever" to bring in sales. If that biz is not run right by the admin. and it goes down the tubes in a year! Where does that leave the grad? What does that do to their rep? Mgmt doesn't care! It's starting to become all for the bucks being made. Ive had other times where I was told I was OVERQUALIFIED! :eek: Can you believe that?

    Anyway. It was 3 or 4 in the morning when I posted I think. It was just a "general" opinion and not meant to poke at anyone. It was basically about how I wished things were.....trying to get away from what really is?

    Sorry, if I offended anyone. It wasn't intentional. :( :( :(

    Jodi

    PS

    Koko

    I don't have a degree AND I have great oral and written skills. Where does that put me?? :confused: I have worked for some lawyers and CEOs who NEED ME to write documents or proofread documents for them because their writing skills are so poor. So degrees cannot really be used as benchmarks......
     
  14. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    In some ways, your correct, J. Yesteryear the degree assured a certain level of verbal skills. Nowadays, many professional schools exist because of lax admissions standards. They need to stay afloat.
     
  15. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Not at anybody here. But at the decline of the American education system. I know I will sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but "when I was a girl" if you couldn't read/write/do math at grade level by the end of the year, you had to repeat that grade, as many times as it took to learn the stuff. Nowadays with "social promotion," fears of lawsuits, and eviscerated programs, kids move through the system and end up unable to read, spell, do math, or put a simple sentence together. :mad: :mad: :bounce: :bounce: It's been going on for TOO LONG, in ALL parts of the system -- private as well as public, K - 12, even up through college and beyond, everywhere. No wonder good teachers quit!

    Can't blame any specific group -- we've all let it happen. I guess I'm mad at myself, too, for not doing anything.

    (Deep breath) Okay, rant over.

    PS -- the only people I am willing to except from knowing how to spell are chefs. ;) But when they put together their printed menus, they'd better have them proof-read by a LOT of people. :D
     
  16. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Is it the educational system to blame? Methinks that the alliteracy is due to lack of parental concern and peer pressure.

    I also taught at the community college level and was asked by one of the deans if there wasn't something special we could do to help a basketball player pass - even though I caught him cheating 3 times. I really blew up in front of the students and was let go 6 months later. As a result, I threatened to go to the top administration located in another city if I were ever requested to do that again. I have my standards, integrity and dignity. Yeah, proud of my 3+ degrees for which I really worked hard to obtain.

    Some schools do anything to keep themselves afloat.
     
  17. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Koko -- I include EVERYONE in the "system" -- parents, non-parents, teachers, administrators, TV personalities, sports heroes, the kids themselves, etc. etc. Educating future generations is vital to everyone, and whether we realize it or not, we all play a role.
     
  18. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Yup, we've all lowered standards. Not me, however. I won't bend to outside pressure. So what that I flunked most basketball players. I too was a jock although not alliterate.
     
  19. shawtycat

    shawtycat

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    You know something......

    The only thing you really need to get ANYWHERE is DRIVE. You have to want it, need it and go after it with everything you've got! You can get the degree but if you have no DRIVE you will only get so far. You can have lots of experience but if you don't have the DRIVE to move up you will stay where you are.

    Someone can say to you "We can't hire you as Chef because you don't have a degree". That's just one opinion. You can get hired somewhere else if you want that position bad enough. Its the same thing on the other side of the spectrum.

    If you don't know a particular procedure learn it and move up! If you look at most of the successful people, take Bill Gates for example, he dropped out of college. Now he's the worlds richest man. A company owner in NYC just recently went back and got his HIGH SCHOOL diploma.

    DRIVE is what it is really all about. Not the degree or experience. You can't go very far with either one if you don't have the DRIVE to do so. They don't teach THAT in school!

    Oh boy! It's another opinion of mine so don't beat me up too much.

    Jodi
     
  20. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    Jodi

    When I meet a capable and smart persons like you I BEG THEM on my knees to go get some degree just not to miss opportunities.

    Come on guys. Learning is a process that help you mature. It teaches you discipline, focusing on your targets it teaches you usefull things!!!

    If you are talented as well, you are blessed people!