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Looking for a Culinary Arts Program?

If you live near any of the programs listed below(or are interested in living these areas while in school)click on the link to get free, no obligation information on the programs.

All the Best,

Atlantic Culinary Academy (NH)
California Culinary Academy
International Culinary Academy (PA)
The Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago
Western Culinary Institute (OR)
California School of Culinary Arts, Pasadena, CA
Texas Culinary Academy, Austin, TX

WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: Money
By Gauen (Gauen) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 09:42 pm: Edit


I'm trying to decide exactly how far I can afford to go into debt. how much can one expect to make working in a restaurant? I assume it varies quite a bit. I'm working right now for 8.25/hr so I know that it can be pretty low. I also know that there are numerous food related jobs out there, so anyone with a food job, I'd love to hear what you make. the school I want to go to, by the way, is New England Culinary Institute, it seems like a great school but I'd be interested to hear what kind of a rep it has in the industry.

thanks for reading.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 09:26 am: Edit

Have not heard too much about it.
What do you want to do in the industry??????
Answering that will help you decide where you should be going, I'll write more when you answere that for me.

By Gauen (Gauen) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 10:32 am: Edit

that is a reasonable question. I'm pretty open, part of the reason I'm going to school is to get an idea of what all the different facets of the food industry are like on a day to day basis. NECI has a bakery, a bar and grill, a cafeteria, a fine dining place, and they also do catering. I think I want fine dining though, because there it is all about getting things perfect. I like that.

I did a search for "executive chef" just now because I think that is what I eventually want to be, and I found this page: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos161.htm
it answers my question pretty well, though it is three years out of date, so wages have hopefully gone up.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 12:14 pm: Edit

No, no, that's backwards, you find out what you want first, at least narrow it down!
Also, fine dining emcompasses about 1% of the food industry. That's probably about 30,000 establishments, not all successfull, in the country. You are limiting yourself by just wanting that, seek other options, casual dining is the big player now and will be for a long time. I know that's not what fresh grads from Culinary school want to hear but, all these schools are training Chefs, theoretically for "fine dining" and the job prospect for those jobs are very limited!
When I first started in the industry I worked in country clubs, Italian ,French, hotels, airline caterer, catering, and several other ventures to find out what I liked the best; as it turned out I changed jobs every year, I did that until I was about 35, I was always learning from the different venues and I enjoyed the different challenges so, as soon as I mastered the job I was at, I would move. Granted not all employers look at a resume like that as good because it looks like you are a "jumper" and not reliable so you have to sit there and explain why you did this!

By Gauen (Gauen) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 04:15 pm: Edit

I see, I see... what you say makes sense. and I'm not against casual dining... basically I want to work some place which has good ingredients... I expect that will be hard to find, but perhaps I'm wrong.
I work at a senior center right now, we do a lunch every weekday and send out meals to the people who can't make it in. so I know the institutional side of cooking somewhat, I'd like to give the restaurant side a try.
anyway, I'm looking at a 50k debt to go to school. I should probably just work my way up. I had a hard time getting the job I have, but maybe it'll get easier now that I have some experience.
it sounds like you must know a bit about getting hired chefmanny, got any advice?

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 06:04 pm: Edit

50K is too much man!!!!!....I guess if you declare bankruptcy right after you graduate you'll be ok in 5 years!!!!...that's always an option!

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 10:35 pm: Edit

50K !?....are you kidding? is this a joke?
you wanna go from lunch for old people to fine dining and your thinking about spending 50K.
Man I'll tell ya what.......
you come out here and bring your 50K with you and I'll teach you everything you need to know about fine dining.
bring a sleeping bag cause you'll be on the floor.
Expect a return for your money in about 5-7 years. cause the job you'll be getting will pay about 23 K a year, it will have benefits, but so far the companies will not give you THAT money so you can buy your own Health Ins.
So you can see how long its going to take to pay that off. But don't worry about me, me, the dog and your 50 K will be sleeping just fine.
forget Manny, you don't wanna be in Florida anyhow.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 10:42 pm: Edit

you could join the Army, get a big fat enlistment check, have EVERYTHING paid for and THEY teach you how to cook.
So well in fact that if you work hard and advance yourself you could possibly advance to cooking for the White House.
Or Generals.
and you wouldn't have to sleep on the floor,
with a dog.
Look at some or the old threads here for Flattop, or Armycook.
Thats what he did and he LOVES it.
On the web, look for ArmyQuarterMaster Div.(?)
I'll get it and add it.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 10:46 pm: Edit


here ya go.....It is the BEST DEAL in TOWM.
Trust me, and if you do it and don't think it is, you can punch Manny in the nose.


By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 06:09 am: Edit

.......the armed forces is a good option, except you might end up in Iraq these days!
50K is the average debt for college students these days Spike, if you go to med school or law school it may go as high as 250K......,now you see why medicine and/or law don't pay anymore, add malpractice insurance, insurance companie's cut....

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 06:14 am: Edit

Getting hired gets easier with the additional experience you get. The first job I got when I left home and had to pay bills at 18, I had to lie to get, I told the Chef at this club I knew how to work saute....meaning I saw someone do it, I got hired and learned very, very fast!!!!

By Gauen (Gauen) on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 03:33 pm: Edit

thanks for the input guys. I'm not real crazy about the army idea but it is an alternative. I read the thread on army cooks, and I thought yeah, the next escoffier that's what I want to be! I have a EU passport, maybe I should just skip the country after school, though the diploma probably isn't worth much in france.

By Cvincolorado (Cvincolorado) on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 09:46 pm: Edit

Gauen, if you are truly passionate about food and cooking you can learn alot and move quickly to a decent hourly wage. Go around to some of the nice restaurants around and tell the chef you want to learn. Tell them you will be willing to work hard for a low wage until you can prove you are worth more. This is what I did when I started, as well as spending alot of my time in the library reading book and magazines. I never went to culinary school and can go up against anyone that did, but I was persistent and determined. As far as NECI goes, I have heard good things about thier program. I have worked with 6 or 7 people that graduated from there and they all had great things to say about it.

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 07:41 pm: Edit

Chris are you working dude??? I thought I saw a post that you were but I don't remember.

By Cvincolorado (Cvincolorado) on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 07:57 pm: Edit

Manny, I am mainly working on my mogul skiing techniques. I needed a little break from the everyday stress of being a chef. In the 15 years that I have lived in ski towns I have always worked my butt off. It was time to enjoy the skiing for a change. My friends in Aspen hooked me up with a 9 day private chef job at the beginning of the month and I have another one this coming weekend. This will make me enough money to pay my rent and all bills through April. So I will get to ski alot for a while. I have all my food reps putting the word out that I am looking for a chef position, so I will probably find something permanent before too long. A word of advice to all people just starting out in this crazy business. Get to know your food reps well, for when you are looking for another position, they know whats out there before anyone else. CV

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