Thoughts about a mid-life career change?

Joined Sep 28, 1999
I'm doing something similar, check out my story at Let me know if you have any specific questions I can answer.

Sounds like you have all the info you need except if you'll actually like the restaurant environment. Try to find some part time work, paid or unpaid. Just an fyi, if you already have a bachelor's degree, check out Johnson and Wale's "Garnish Your Degree" program. J&W's rep is right there with the CIA (you can see the many opinions all over this bulletin board) and the program is a year long and quite a bit cheaper than the other AS/AA 2 year programs. It's currently only offered at the Denver Campus.
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hi Jackmack65!!

Welcome to cheftalk.

Just as an FYI,in the culinary students forum there are alot of postings and discussions on the same topic.

In the mean time we look forward to you keeping us up to date
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Hello and welcome to Cheftalk, Jackmack65!

That looks like a a very interesting project on your plate! OH, and excuuuuuuuuuse the pun!

Joined Aug 11, 2000
Guys, there are so many other things you can do in the food field than cook, run or own a restaurant.
I did a mid-life 180* and started personal cheffing, catering, cooking outdoors, teaching classes on cooking, founding and running a farmer's market helping chefs do demos with farmer produce...there are a whole lot of ways to play with food and make money. I support 3 boys in suburbia. I don't make a huge amount of $ but I REALLY ENJOY what I do...and can work as much or as little as I choose to (at least most of the time....right now the market is demanding my time in huge ways <May 12 is opening> )
I get to play with the big boys when I "do competitions" or Benefits. I can cook for 200 on burners in the woods, or make 5 meals with desserts in 7 hours including shopping and delivery time(that keeps me fresh and sharp). Cooking is play. I would not take restaurants when they have been handed to way!!! So look at all the different options.
Joined Jan 26, 2001
Ever thought about becoming a personal chef?
Make your own hours, take on as many clients as you can handle, create your own menus, get real feedback, and real money. If you are interested in how I did it at 38 yrs old after wasting years in Insurance biz then email me at [email protected].

I love personal cheffing and the response from my clients has been immediate and rewarding.

Mark Darragh
On The Mark PCS Inc.
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