The sacrifice and paying dues

Fingres crossed the stress I’ve experienced over the last few months will count towards “paying my dues” in the industry as I make my way through culinary school and figure out the next phase of my career.

To recap, culinary school is something I’ve always wanted to do. I went to art school instead, worked in marketing as a creative director for the last 18 years, and through a series of weird and wonderful events while working at Disney, found myself on the culinary path I longed for when I was a senior in high school.

I loved (past tense) my marketing job and had visions of making Disney my home forever and ever, earning my 5 year pin, 15 year pin, and so on. But, with the recent org changes, my position will be repurposed in December/January, which leaves me with the following decision: stay in marketing, or go into culinary.

I choose culinary. I think.

The pay stinks. And it would indeed be a sacrifice to take such a significant pay cut, not only for me, but my entire family. My family seems to be OK with that though, which I find wonderful and curious at the same time. I’ve learned over the past eight months that I do not want to be a restaurant chef long-term; although I do recognize I need that experience.

I love writing about food, photographing and filming food, and teaching others how to cook food. And I think I’m leaning more towards a private chef/cooking instructor role for me, writing cookbooks, articles, filming how-to’s, and teaching people how to cook at their home or business.

There aren’t a whole lot of cooking classes or instructor roles in the Orlando area, which means I would have to start my own business.

Breaking new ground, even the state of Florida doesn’t know how I would start this type of business. Because the cooking would be done on location, none of the typical permits apply. I called the agriculture division who handles food safety and regulations, and they couldn’t help. I tried the restaurant and hospitality division and they weren’t the right office either; they recommended I try my county for an occupational license. Even though there are no official laws governing this type of business, common sense is telling me that I should (1) get my state food manager certification (2) pay for a mobile cart/vendor license and (3) apply for a sole proprietorship.

Your advice needed:
Are there any readers out there who teach private cooking lessons and offer cooking demos? If yes, I’d love your advice on next steps, what to expect, things you didn’t learn until you got started, etc.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            1 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            3 Program(s) Found
            L'Ecole Culinaire , Kansas City
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Transferable Credits