What made you want to become a chef?

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Joined Sep 25, 2000
Did you think it was going to be an easy trade to learn? Did you like the way your
chef jacket looked on you? What about your
first job, did you like it or did you want
sell your knifes and burn your toque?
What made you, no, what possessed you to
become a chef?
A little hard to swallow? I bet.
Would you care to here my story?

[This message has been edited by Chef David Simpson (edited October 04, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Chef David Simpson (edited October 06, 2000).]
 
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Joined Aug 14, 2000
I know I posted this on one of the other groups once before, but since your asking again....

I grew up in a family of actors. We lived in NYC and I worked most of my childhood on TV and movies.

On my way home from work I would stop by a pizza joint where a friend worked. Joe of Italy on Broadway and 90th. I would help out grating cheese, portioning dough, etc.. After my friend quit, I would still stop in and work for free. One day the owner pulls me aside and offers me a job- I think it was $1.60 an hour. He couldn't figure out why I turned down the job and would still come back and work for free. He had no idea what I did. At the time I was making $250 a day on the soaps- not bad scratch in 1973 for a 14 year old.

Eventually I quit the business and we moved to Vermont. That stint in the pizza joint sparked a passion for the food business that I haven't been able to shake.

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Mike Bersell, CEC www.unichef.com
 

pete

Moderator
Staff member
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Joined Oct 7, 2001
I never had a choice in the matter. My parents owned a restaurant when I was young and I caught the bug then. I tried my hardest to avoid the calling, but I finally had to give in. LOL
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
i guess it goes back to when i was a kid - my father knew a lot of chinese chefs and i was forever tagging along behind him inside chinese kitchens and watching the woks flaring off oil and stuff - fascinating.

Eventually after a few years i ended up helping out a local restaurant as pot washer and watching the chefs, i thought "i can do that!", (not to mention that a ex girlfriend told me i would never make it as a chef).

So i did an apprenticeship and trade course, have almost finished a post trade course and iam looking at doing 2 more management diplomas at the time being.
 
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Thanks! to you who replied. You know, I love everything about cooking. All the ups and down and never given in to bull#$%% . I've aways thought that this was going to be my life. ever since I was a kid.
I used to watch J. Childs on PBS every day and mimic the way she talked. I remember the first dish I ever made, it was mack and cheese. I added some chedder to it and to this day it's still my favorite.
They say that every soul has it's place on earth and mine belongs in the kitchen. I don't think that I'm the best chef in the world but that doesn't mean that I can't strive to be. If you like what you're doing then that makes life more worth living. Doesn't it?

[This message has been edited by Chef David Simpson (edited October 06, 2000).]
 
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Joined Jul 18, 2000
You know, you should never be ashamed of your start. One of sydneys most favorite chefs started as a virtually illiterate kitchenhand. His restaurant is one of the most in demand restaurants and you can only book ahead 4-5 months.

Not bad huh?

[This message has been edited by Nick.Shu (edited October 07, 2000).]
 
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i can understand CWK - i think my problem with office work is that i cant sit still.
 
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Hey, Kitcnmomma, welcome to cheftalk! I went to J&W too '84-'86. When were you there?

Sounds like a great first job. I could never tolerate office work either. Way too boring.
 
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
When I was young (younger)My Grandfather owned a couple of bakeries. Me and my two brothers would go to see Pop on Sunday mornings with our folks after Sunday school. I remember it smelled so good in the bakery and everyone seemed happy. My biggest thrill as a 4 year old was filling the jelly doughnuts, That's when I learned to use a pastry bag, and yes some made it to the shelves to be sold but most where consumed by me and my brothers. My grandfather was known for his breads...Jewish style,dense,chewy and just the right crispness to the crust. I think that's where I got the bug to cook. People who left my grandfathers bakery left happy and that made me happy. Ok fast forward 13 or 14 years, I had my fair share of trouble, not focused being a clown doing those naughty things I wasn't supposed to do. Really had lost my direction in life. Thank my lucky stars my family never gave up on me. I got the help I needed and finally finished school. One day at dinner my parents asked me point blank..but gently, So what are you going to do with your life? ( sound familiar to anyone)I said I love to cook...I want to go to cooking school I said. Well off we went to the CIA and boy did I fall in love with all the hoopla,nice campus,white hats,cool uniforms..I got excepted..
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But guess what ? way to much money at that time to attend
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So off we went to J&W in RI got excepted there to. The culinary program was only six years old at the time and a lot less moola....so off I went to study at J&W Party at Lupos heartbreak hotel cater concerts at the ocean state and yes graduate!!!
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I have never looked back and love what I do. It can be the most draining thing you ever do..but I'll always remember the faces on my grandfathers customers faces when the tasted those jelly doughnuts
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Joined Sep 25, 2000
Interesting point SChef H, I know this from experience that no matter how tough the times are, we in the kitchen always take care of each other.
 
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At age 8 or so, my parents got me the Easy Bake Oven as a gift. A few years later, I started being bad and getting sent to my room a lot, sometimes for 24 hours at a stretch. If I got hungry, I would bake. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was also the only way I'd get any food.

Also around age 8 or so, I remember my father and older sister in the kitchen, attempting to make a cheese souffle. I wanted to help so desperately, but they wouldn't let me because I was too little. The souffle came out like a pancake, and the following day, I tried my hand at it, by myself. It came out great!!

I also remember baking cheesecake with my grandmother, and she kept telling me that I was doing everything all wrong. I don't like being told that, so I guess in the long run I proved her wrong. She passed away a few months ago, but before she died, I asked her if she remembered that day, and she hadn't. It made a big impression on me though.
 
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Joined Mar 4, 2000
Hi, and welcome to cheftalk! Isn't it great knowing how easy your career choice was, when some people never seem to find their niche. I feel that way too.
 
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