A question for Chefs!

  1. With all this food talk, i was just wondering if there are any Chefs or aspiring Chefs on tPf??
    if so...please comment! i would like to know how it is for you, how work is at restaurants and what you love most about cooking...
    thanks for ur input!
    (i wanna become a chef too so thats why im asking!)
     
  2. I made a choice between going to Culinary Art School , The Culinary Institue if America was the I hade been accepted too , and pursueing a future in Law , I chose to eventually going to Law School

    I probaly rethink my choice everyday , If I had gone to Culinary Art School I would have been done about 5 years ago ,I however hurt my back and I was unsure if I could successfully make it in the culinary art world with a back that was unpredictable
     
  3. Im sorry for your back...
    if you could go back would you have taken culinary instead?
     
  4. One of the hardest jobs in the world is being a chef. You really, REALLY have to love it. I was a chef at a 4 star restaurant in NYC about 5-6 years ago. I went to CIA. It's long hours and hard work with little pay when you first start off. You have to be really dedicated because you really start off on the bottom. If you watch some of the chef competitions, you can see that all of them are crazy. LOL Plus all your friends and family ALWAYS want you to cook for them. Most chefs I know/knew never cook at home.
     
  5. My cousin went to the CIA in New York over 25 years ago, and he worked for Wolfgang Puck for a few years. He still is a chef, but we haven't kept in touch, so I don't know where his restaurant is. However, my aunt used to love it when he came home. He would do all the cooking. But the downside was that he would dirty every single pot and pan in the kitchen, and he would use a spoon once and then go for another one. So, all the utensils got a complete workout every day!
     
  6. Im familiar with all the hard work that comes with it..its not so luxurious..but once you get up there its all worth it. cooking is fun and i love it ..

    HubbaWubba, do u still love doing it? and would u change it for any other job?
     
  7. I left that profession many years ago. That's the thing, it was just a job to me. I had loved cooking so I thought what the heck. I wasn't so passionate after I got into the business. If it is your passion, go for it. But know when you start off you will be doing very long hours on your feet with very little pay. I am talking that people working at McDonalds drive thru get more money. So you will probably have to have another job on top of it. Also be prepared to deal with a**holes that run restaurants. Think Gordon Ramsey. He is a teddy bear compared to ones I have worked for.

    When you are starting out and even more experienced, you cut yourself a lot. Quickness is a big factor in professional kitchens. Typical day starts at 6am with 30 min lunch break then leaving about 6pm if you are doing a day shift. Night time depends on the restaurant. It's not only cooking, there is prepping etc. The great part is you get to bring home some great food.
     
  8. My husband is/was a chef but quit after a shoulder injury that restricted the amount of work he could do, and now he's in the medical tech. business.

    He went to school in Belgium and then to a special cooking school in France from the age of 14 on :smile:

    He doesn't cook that often anymore since he's so tired from work, but if something special is going on he will prepare a lovely meal for all of us!
     
  9. I am a chef in Canada and am still in the business. Went to a french culinary school 12 years ago just to learn a skill and ended up finding my passion.
    Working your way up is tough and financially unrewarding to say the least. Especially as a woman. And yes, Gordon Ramsey is a pussycat compared to many others.
    I am currently a culinary professor at a college. I love to teach.
    I tell students that working as a chef does not only mean restaurant work. You can be a personal chef, a catering chef, a food stylist, or have your own business that involves cooking.
    As a sidenote - I was helping out at a friends restaurant this week and it was well over 100 degrees in the kitchen. And it was busy.......
     
  10. My sister is a chef.
    She went to Le Cordon Bleu and she's working in France at the moment. Starting is tough, you work long hours, and you may have to work under complete dickheads. (My sister says, think Hell's Kitchen x10) She works 16 hours a day, 7 days a week and is bound to the restaurant by contract. The good part, I assume, would to get to eat some good food! My sister eats all the expensive food that her restaurant orders - I guess it's compensation for the horrible pay!

    If you are serious about cooking, Europe is a good place to find work. Their restaurants outstrip the restaurants in North America.
     
  11. ^^^ I totally agree.
    If I had graduated younger I would have gone to Europe. I encourage my students to travel and work abroad.
     
  12. My fiance and I are both chefs and it is definitely a good/bad job.
    The good: creativity, instant gratification, work with interesting people, constantly learning...
    The Bad: You can get stuck in a rut, the hours on your feet will age you, the people you work with while interesting can be crazy/drug addicted...
    It is currently the tourist season and we are working long hours, hot and miserable...but, we will trudge on (even if we don't see each other).
    As for the eating-- quite honestly, we don't. The bosses at our restaurants are tight with money and product and even if they did encourage us to eat we are sort of over food at the end of the night.
    I just got home from work so perhaps I am a little jaded.
    On our days off, my fiance and I cook dinner and it is usually very nice. It helps to have a passion because it is what will make your food stand out and be great.
     
  13. my boyfriend is a chef...and its not an easy job. its a full time job and you have no life.

    he went to the CIA and has worked at a hand full of really really nice restaurants and a hand full or local restaurants where we live. Its hard because he always worked and we never saw each other....the hours are insane...and his days off he normally got called in to work. He loves to cook more than anything but he actually just left his last restaurant to take a little leave and enjoy some free time.

    He cooks at home almost every night so he still gets to enjoy cooking. Its definatly his passion but you get so drained at work from the hours. He started to lose the enjoyment he found from cooking so thats why hes not at a restaurant right now.