WanaBe a ChefI'm older but want to start a career as a chef please comment!

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WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: I'm older but want to start a career as a chef please comment!
By Rmace (Rmace) on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 03:54 pm: Edit

i'm 50 and want to start a new career as a chef or similar profession. i am thinking of going to the southern california school of culinary arts le cordon bleu class. my questions are does anyone have any comments about this school? also at the age of 50 what are the prospects of an interesting job etc at a decent salary. i've heard that older people might have problems with the long hours and standing. i was a drug store manager for 18 years and the last 10 years i have owned my own mail boxes etc which means i would have no problems in this area. any comments would be helpful.

thanks rmace

By Chezhoo (Chezhoo) on Saturday, September 15, 2001 - 06:01 pm: Edit

Hi Rmace!

I'm a memeber of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and have heard good things about your chosen school. I've seen their culinary food competition team in action and they are really top notch. You'd do well to go there.
If you are looking for a decent salary I think you'd do well to choose a different line of work. Sure, you hear a lot about chefs making 50, 60 even 80K a year, but those are the exceptions rather than the rule. An entry level, older culinary grad such as you might be, would expect to fetch no more than 30 - 40K a year. And that's if you pick the right niche and get lucky. I'd stay away from restaurant work if I were you. Maybe country club work, cruise line, colleges or university. Generally these offer better wages, hours, benefits. Not to mention that high volume restaurant kitchen work is really a young person's game. I'm 40 something myself and have been cooking professionally since I was 15. I bailed on restaurant work by the time I was 28 because my body was taking a heavy toll and I really wanted to have a life. 80 hour work weeks are the norm in a lot of resaurants, and vacations are one or two three day weekends a year. And if you have a real aversion to cuts and burns cooking is not the place to be. This if only my humble opinion, so be sure to ask around.
Also, my wife had her own independent shipping counter for 6 years before she closed in order to spend more time with our daughter. Therefore I know your hands and arms are strong enough for cooking, but I'd still really give it a good think before I jumped in.

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