Oh, The Possibilities
I have gotten a lot of questions about my feelings on what kind of work experience, if any, you need before attending culinary school.The fact is that all schools will look at your applications differently and some may prefer or require you to work in a kitchen before attending and some may not.I took a year off after graduating High School to work at bakery, even though I felt so passionately about being a pastry chef I wanted to make sure that working in a commercial kitchen was still something I desired.
Something that I suggest to anyone considering going to culinary school, or any college for that matter, is taking a year to really discover if said career is right for you.I have known countless students that have either dropped out of college or changed majors because they found that culinary or baking and pastry arts was not right for them.This not only wastes your time but also thousands of dollars, so why not get paid to discover if the career is right for you?
This also gives you the opportunity to discover what you would like to do with a culinary or baking and pastry arts degree.You may be someone who loves food and wants to make their career working with food, but working in a kitchen may not be the best fit.Something that a lot of people don't realize is that there are countless jobs you can get with a culinary degree other than a chef.Food stylist, restaurant critic, and private chef to the stars are just a few jobs that might be the best fit for you.
Working in a kitchen will not only help you to determine if this field is right for you but also gives you valuable networking opportunities.In the food service industry it is almost impossible to get a executive or management level position without networking.Not only can these connections help you when getting a job, these people can give you valuable information about other types of careers too.Maybe just being a professional taste-tester at a chocolate factory is right for you!