Okay guys, here's the deal: Im 20 years old. I've been working at my mom's restaurant since i was 11 years old, and been cooking there since i was 15 years old. The food is a traditional American, it is a linen tablecloth restaurant and tavern. Steaks, seafood, pastas, etc. Slightly upscale but not fine dining. I've been able to run the kitchen since i was 16/17. After lots of practice and watching other chefs i feel i have a good grasp on most of the basics. I was looking to take some courses at the international culinary center, formerly the french culinary institute, in nyc. Basically they have some courses that run from 5 weeks that are $8,000 that teach you some basic techniques. They have many others also. The issue is that these are "amateur courses" but i would still retain some skills through there. My question though is if i move to a big city like philly or nyc, will i get a chance at some of the good restaurants there, or do i need a diploma program of sorts or other classes? How much will they teach you on the job? I still have another year of undergraduate to go and i will have a bachelors degree in an unrelated field. I could do a year diploma program at my local community college instead. any input would be appreciated, thanks!