Working before Culinary School

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by chrisscratch, Dec 4, 2014.

  1. chrisscratch

    chrisscratch

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    I've noticed on several threads on this forum recommending that one try working in a restaurant before embarking on culinary school. My question is what type of position does one with no professional cooking experience look for? I have amateur experience that could certainly transfer to a work type of environment but again with no formal training, or work experience how does one communicate that?

    Many thanks for any and all advice.
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Answer:

    Any work experience.

    Every Professional Chef that I know of, and certainly most on this forum, started off washing dishes. 

    Yes it is "entry level". 

    Yes it pays minimum wage. 

    However, after a  few weeks on the job you will know what a 1/9th insert is, how to clean out a deep fryer, why you need to empty the grease trough before starting to clean a flattop, how to prep salads, why it's important to knock on the walk-in door when you're inside and just about to open out, and many other seeming useless bits of kitchen information. 

    The point I'm trying to make is, you will be light years ahead of the kid in culinary school who doesn't have this information. Culinary school is like a piggy bank: What you put into it, is what you get out of it.  You can coax your instructors to provide more information or demonstrations than the non-experienced kids can't absorb, relate to, or, more importantly, apply.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. chrisscratch

    chrisscratch

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    Thanks a lot for your insight. I did a tour of the ICC last night. I am planning on auditing a class - and I agree that I'd rather go in and make the best of the large investment should I decide to commit.

    So being a dishwasher, you'll get all the experience you mentioned previously? Would I have to be a dishwasher in a highly rated restaurant? Is there any other positions you can recommend that are entry level but would give me a bit more hands on experience? 

    Also, what is your opinion on working in the catering field? I have a good friend with a successful catering business who is always reaching out for help. 

    Thanks again for your responses!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  4. seabeecook

    seabeecook

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    Opened the walk-in door on my wife one time. No good!