It's always been my contention that culinary school is mostly unnecessary. Though I can understand the urge -- how can one possibly understand all that equipment, all that jargon, all that technique, without going? -- the answer is simply, you don't need it. You never understand it all, you never learn it all, you never master it all. And that is the beauty of food. The moment one chapter has closed, another begins. You never learn it all, not in 10 lifetimes.
| Is a culinary school education becoming a thing of the past? |
The culinary industry can be an intimidating one to enter. The first time I read Kitchen Confidential I was convinced I would never work in a restaurant, though I desperately wanted to. Tales of miscreant cooks bagging chicks on flour sacks, screaming younger cooks out of the kitchen for minor infractions, and chopping lines of coke on the prep table terrified me.
But most of those tales are made for TV (even though some of it happens, sometimes) and any serious restaurant has zero tolerance for the above behaviors (except maybe the shouting part).
So rather than knocking on the back door of a half dozen of the best restaurants in town, and telling them you'll do anything, including (especially) dishes in order to learn, culinary school can perhaps seem like a more painless way to get your foot in the door.
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Nick O'Leary of Coup d'Etat: "These Kids Come Out of Culinary School Worthless"