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  1. In a little over a year after I graduate, I will have to make a big decision, should I go to a culinary school? Cooking is one hundred percent what I want to do as my career and purpose, without a doubt. But there is a big decision I need to make on whether or not I should attend culinary school. It's a big debate in the culinary world as a lot of great chefs have said that culinary school is a waste of time and money and you can get the same education just by going to France or New York and working in a high-quality kitchen. While other chefs think it's a necessary step in a young chef's career. I already attend a high school where I am in a culinary program so I do have some sort of culinary education already. I also work in a restaurant where I learn too. And in my free time, all I do is cook or read about cooking. So I already have built some skills and knowledge. It would be a shame for me to go to a culinary school just to find I already know most of what they're teaching and then end up wasting a whole lot of money. On the other hand, a culinary school might open new doors for me and allow me to meet new people in the culinary world. Some restaurants might look at an application and choose the guy with a culinary school degree over the guy who just says he's worked in the business for a while. I've been listing the pros and cons of both and right now I think it's best for me to enroll in a culinary school. But does anyone else have opinions on the matter? Also which culinary school is best to go to as well?
  2. I have not but it sounds very good. I'll put it on my list to read thank you!
  3. Thank you for the advice! I don't really have a style at the moment I cook really anything that comes to mind or I find interesting. What about you, do you have a specific style you like?
  4. Awesome thank you! I'll take a look at those.
  5. I was recently reading Chef Acthaz's novel Life, On The Line when he mentioned egullet. A place to discuss food and the culinary world. I became very curious and honestly relived finally finding a place where I can speak and learn from other food geeks, like myself. I don't know the average age of the users on here but I might be one of the younger ones. I'm only sixteen but who's counting? I started cooking a little over two years ago, before that food wasn't a big part of my life. My parents aren't very good cooks, are weeks usually are mixed between ordering takeout or pretty average home-cooked meals that don't show much culinary skill. But I still appreciate whatever they put on my plate. I rarely eat at home nowadays as I work almost every night and eat family meal with the rest of the staff (we will get back to my job). As a kid, I was very creative and had a pretty vanilla but awesome small-town upbringing I was very fortunate with my childhood. Though my freshman year of high school things changed, I transferred to a new school so I didn't have many friends and to make things worse COVID was still very prominent as this was back in the year 2020. I had a very hard time making new friends and started drifting from my old ones I also started to realize that I exist which I know sounds weird but up until then I just kinda lived life not really thinking about it. Everything was just always good, if I did have any worries it was that my mom didn't let me get ice cream after soccer or my siblings were being a pain in my butt. The weekends were spent riding bikes around town with my friends and getting into trouble or playing games outside with my brother after school. But now I felt something in my head all the time that ached at me I was always sad, didn't have any interests, and was worried all the time. I guess that was my realization that I was now a young adult but I didn't think it would come so soon. I do get told that I'm very mature for my age which could be a factor. But all in all, I was a lost lonely high schooler who was most likely depressed. Here comes the hero of the story, the school I transferred to was a Vocational school. If you don't know what that is it's a school where you pick and learn a trade as well as do that other non-interesting normal school stuff. When you're a freshman the first couple months you are there they have you go through a trial run of each trade so you know which one you like. Every week I would go into a new trade and hate it more than the last one. Until my last trade was left drum roll, please... CULINARY! Before I went into the trade I thought culinary was a dumb trade that makes you do dishes the whole time and has you were these gross checked pants (which I have now come to find comfortable). That week of trying culinary changed it all I fell in love with the kitchen and food and quickly chose it as my choice. I luckily got in. Around the same time as getting into the culinary program, I got my first job at my local pizza place. These two places saved me from that foggy cloud I was in. I would spend all day at school in a kitchen learning the basics and cooking for the restaurant we had open to the public. I would then go directly from school to my job at the pizza place to learn even more about food and cooking. My love grew and grew and eventually, it became all I did. My room is now basically a kitchen I call it the bitchen (bedroom kitchen). I read cookbooks like bibles and have fully surrounded my life around becoming a great chef one day. I'm now sixteen and in my junior year of high school I recently quit my job at the pizza shop after two years to move up to a real restaurant. One of my chefs at school recommended me to a rather high-quality place about thirty mins away from my house. The chef who owns the restaurant is pretty well-known (in my area) and very well-skilled. He had a more famous and more expensive restaurant he owned before called Sonoma that he sold for millions (so I've been told). I luckily got the job and have been working there now for about a month I LOVE it. The pizza place was great and I learned a lot but eventually, I stopped learning, and making pizzas, shaking fries, and flipping burgers weren't enough. I needed something real. This new place though is amazing. We have chef uniforms ( a step up from a black shirt that just had the pizza shops logo on it), a line of multiple different stations, the people in the kitchen are badass and super skilled cooks, WE DRY AGE ARE OWN MEAT, make a majority of everything from scratch, have a very nice and well-structured menu that changes often, and most importantly I'm the worst one in the kitchen. Sounds weird saying I'm the worst one but I found at the pizza place and at school, I quickly became the most skilled and knowledgeable person in the kitchen (other than my chef instructors obviously). Meaning I wasn't really learning, if you want to learn you have to surround yourself with people who are better than you to push you to be your best and I finally found it. All that being said I am a young culinary junkie who will win the James beard award for the best new chef and probably loads of other achievements in about 5-10 years (if you think I sound cocky good). So if you want to talk or most importantly teach I'm ready to learn. Keep those fingers clawed, -Gastrique
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