It makes me uncomfortable when people call me "Chef." My skin outright crawls. The Chef is the head of the kitchen, the lynch pin holding the entire crew together -- it takes people decades to earn that position and I maybe never will. Rather, I hope I never will. I have never been the boss of anyone; sometimes I pretend I'm the boss of my cat, but he won't even fall for that. I'm best at being boss of myself, and that's all I could ever hope for.
I'm writing this post for anyone who is considering going to culinary school. The average cost for a culinary degree is around $40,000. For $60,000 you could get a business degree and get a job making $70,000 a year. Most cooks make under $30,000. Hell, most have to work a second job just to pay rent. I don't regret getting my culinary degree -- not entirely anyway. I do regret the debt I'm in now. I also regret not weighing in my options. I went to culinary school on a whim, thinking that as an artist I could apply my skills to cake decorating and make those $4,000 cakes you see at the weddings of people who just don't know any better. But unless you own your business, you just wind up getting paid $10 an hour to make those cakes for someone else to profit from. I'm not even a cook anymore; I'm a server. I can't name the restaurant I work at, let's just say when you eat there you're "family." This blog is the meager beginning of what I hope will be my own business. In my future I see sponsors for my blog, cookbooks, and eventually a very nice, quiet bake shop to call my own. It all will take a lot of work and a very long time. That's something they didn't tell us in culinary school -- and they won't tell you either. In fact, they may even promise you a job when you graduate. Trust me, it's not true. You have to make your own way, which is why I am giving you this small bit of advice: if you have any other passion -- the vision of any other path in your line of view, take that and run with it. Don't wind up $40,000 in debt wondering if you would been a great librarian or veterinarian. Be certain. And if you are, then good luck to you. I look forward to eating at your restaurant.