Young chefstudent in doubt about carrer

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Joined Feb 8, 2015
I was in your exact position at your age at 20.  I went from high school to Culinary school.  I had no clue what I want to do but it was either collage or culinary school that my best friend was going to.  I hate desks/ offices so culinary school it was.  Was working in a restaurant with a crazy angry chef and decided I didn't want my life like that.  Took some firefighting classes and realized where I lived you have to be a paramedic to and chose not to peel people out of car accidents for the next 20 years. On a bad day I burn something, that's it.  Kept cooking,  the stock market crashed,  my friends lost their jobs and life was unsure.  That's when I truly appreciated the job I fell into.  People eat everyday around the world.  There are so many side professions to chose from you can have a good life if you are willing to work hard.  Now if you are a super smart computer programmer and can make a shitlaod of money with out putting time, sweat, heart, and soul into it.  Take the money, run,  and throw some of those dinner parties like you see on food network.  I cook on yachts now,  kind of ironic I was taking firefighting classes today for my coast guard certifications.  Going to bed tonight with a smile on my face,  I like the chefs life
 
27
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Joined Jan 15, 2017
I have been working since I was 18 in restaurants.... OMG thats 33 years now. I have been a chef 27 of those 33 years..... Was a chef/owner of 3 cafes for 22 years and  now a private chef for a high profile athlete (12 years)........I have said to myself "F this job" at least 3-4 times a year EVERY YEAR! This is a very hard business and its not for everyone. Long hours, lots of stress, working nights, weekends, holidays etc.

What I suggest to really find out if this career is for you, is get out of the fine dining restaurant. The pressure in places like that is off the chart. Ive been there. Screaming, plates and pans flying in the kitchen. etc.

Find a nice everyday restaurant to work in. With real people to work with and real food. An everyday restaurant is a place people eat 'Everyday" compared to the "special occasion" places. Its less stressful and a slower pace place may give you more clarity if you want to keep moving forward down the road of being a chef or just get off the road all together.

I went to a chef school in San Francisco back in 1990. I graduated with 33 other people. I keep in touch with many and out of my class of 34 students, only 6-8 people are still in the business. Its not for everyone. You will figure it out 
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
What I suggest to really find out if this career is for you, is get out of the fine dining restaurant. The pressure in places like that is off the chart. Ive been there. Screaming, plates and pans flying in the kitchen. etc.

Find a nice everyday restaurant to work in. With real people to work with and real food. An everyday restaurant is a place people eat 'Everyday" compared to the "special occasion" places. Its less stressful and a slower pace place may give you more clarity if you want to keep moving forward down the road of being a chef or just get off the road all together.

 You will figure it out 
This is the advice that trancends all careers.

Advice I would write on my mirror in red lipstick and read everyday...

mimi
 
117
17
Joined Oct 10, 2016
 
I was in your exact position at your age at 20.  I went from high school to Culinary school.  I had no clue what I want to do but it was either collage or culinary school that my best friend was going to.  I hate desks/ offices so culinary school it was.  Was working in a restaurant with a crazy angry chef and decided I didn't want my life like that.  Took some firefighting classes and realized where I lived you have to be a paramedic to and chose not to peel people out of car accidents for the next 20 years. On a bad day I burn something, that's it.  Kept cooking,  the stock market crashed,  my friends lost their jobs and life was unsure.  That's when I truly appreciated the job I fell into.  People eat everyday around the world.  There are so many side professions to chose from you can have a good life if you are willing to work hard.  Now if you are a super smart computer programmer and can make a shitlaod of money with out putting time, sweat, heart, and soul into it.  Take the money, run,  and throw some of those dinner parties like you see on food network.  I cook on yachts now,  kind of ironic I was taking firefighting classes today for my coast guard certifications.  Going to bed tonight with a smile on my face,  I like the chefs life
very interesting 

i have slightly similar experience but i never went to culinary school.

i have been in the field of advertising which promised creativity but its become all Tech oriented now and typical corporate slavery structure.....i started off by hosting dinners and cooking for friends from age 20....i was always the guy who ended up cooking in any situation for others......then i started staging at restaurants....recently i got to intern at a michelin restaurant in nyc which completely took my skills and confidence to another level....it was very exhausting but i enjoyed every second of it.

i have experienced lot of unemployment in my time and thinking of saving some and diving into culinary career forever.

u r right that when markets and economies crash, cooking skill will be indispensable..whether u r doing it at a restaurant or in a food truck or at social gatherings.

i think in the end it all comes down to whether u r the kind of person who fits in a kitchen environment.....i hate calm, slacking office culture..i enjoy loud, fire, knives, focus under chaos, crisis management etc...i thrive under chaos.....money is another part which can be managed. 
 
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