I am frequently asked by aspiring chefs, dreamers young and old, attracted by the lure of slowly melting shallots and caramelizing pork belly, or delusions of Food Network stardom, if they should go to culinary school. I usually give a long, thoughtful, and qualified answer.
But the short answer is “no.”
Let me save you some money. I was in the restaurant business for twenty-eight years—much of that time as an employer. I am myself a graduate of the finest and most expensive culinary school in the country, the CIA, and am as well a frequent visitor and speaker at other culinary schools. Over the last nine years, I have met and heard from many culinary students on my travels, have watched them encounter triumphs and disappointments. I have seen the dream realized, and— more frequently—I have seen the dream die.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you that culinary school is a bad thing. It surely is not. I’m saying that you, reading this, right now, would probably be ill-advised to attend—and are, in all likelihood, unsuited for The Life in any case. Particularly if you’re any kind of normal.
I can't believe I went so long without knowing about Anthony Bourdain. I already knew I could never cut it as a chef, but I can eat.
To that end, Christina @ breadpig has been studying No Reservations for our imminent trip through Laos...