17 September 2008

Are You Up To The Challenge of Culinary School

Over the past month or so I have been bombarded with questions about culinary school. Although I realize the intrigue of food and sheer culinaria for nearly all of us, I am quite surprised by the number of people who say they truly wanted to choose a culinary profession over their current career as... for some true examples: a dermatologist, a banker, an aerospace engineer, or a mechanic. The choice to attend culinary school isn't one to be made without careful consideration. It's much more than simply gathering in a lab/kitchen and learning some new recipes and basic knife skills. And, it isn't as easy as I made it look : ) or as fun sometimes as it seems on all of the cooking shows. It's like anything. You have to have a passion for it to be a success.  For those of you who are considering starting a career in the restaurant industry, or like me, are looking to change careers, http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/ is a great culinary arts school resource by offering articles, schools listed by state, chef interviews and opinions both pro and con about attending school.
1. Consider your goals: make sure the program you enroll in matches your career goals
2. Seek financial assistance: grants and scholarships are worth the time you'll spend searching for them and applying - the cost can reach as high as $30,000 per year – and that's just for tuition!
3. Once again consider your goals: because entry-level food service jobs are famous for not being high paying you'll want to make the most of your education

According to the National Restaurant Association, there will be 945,000 locations serving more than 70 billion meal and snack occasions by 13.1 million employees in 2008.

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