Back Burner?

Concerned or frustrated with my posting schedule? Well, I am. But since this blog is devoted to my life in food, I figured I’d let you know the hold up. The bulk of my time writing is spent developing an essay required for a class.

The assignment is to write a persuasive essay on a topic that relates to my field of study or profession. The topic I launched into was the ideas surrounding food wasted in the Navy. But then I hit a discouraging wall, among the many that exist within college writing; for such a topic, hard data isn’t something that’s readily available. The Navy isn’t publishing or broadcasting the amount of food unnecessarily produced or discarded and is most likely not accurately recording those numbers. So my essay has taken a turn. (The rough draft is due Sunday.)

I have decided to discuss the value of culinary school, taking the position for culinary school, provided the funds are accessible. My key points will be …

1) Culinary school offers a concentrated, multifaceted bundle of the basics at an accelerated pace. While the training doesn’t turn out instant chefs, the groundwork is laid.

2) A global network often exists at culinary schools- a network of seasoned chefs, aspiring professionals, hiring restaurants and clients. and knowledgeable industry professionals and supporters. In this network, there are accessible apprenticeship opportunities that are available to those outside of culinary school. But the duo maximizes the impact.

3) Perhaps the largest counterargument is that culinary school is more often than not EXPENSIVE! This is the primary reason I’m not currently enrolled in one. The costs of culinary school don’t often match the pay of starting salaries, if ever. But it’s what parts you value or what you do with the knowledge and experienced gained that can make culinary school worth. While it may be a luxury, there are benefits. Everything I’ve learned, I share with you, my family and friends, train junior professionals, and exchange with those of equal or greater experience.  I’ve given to them what I paid for (and in some cases what they’ve helped me pay for.)

There is so much more to the culinary industry than being a line cook, even in the fanciest or highest paying kitchens. And if you choose to capitalize on those other dynamics of the culinary world- writing, photography, management, nutrition- you can increase the likelihood of your return on investment. Just like many other fields in the arts, school isn’t essential but it can be useful.

Some sources I’ve considered for the support of these points is one of my favorite books, The Making of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman along with schools’ stats reporting enrollment, graduation, and hiring rates.

So that’s where I’ve been. I’ve still been cooking and eating though. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter @Chef.TasteBud for photos and quick thoughts regarding my TasteBuds and food. This weekend, I began my Tokyo Food Tour based on Anthony Bourdain’s NoReservations: Tokyo travel guide. Looking forward to it and I hope you are too.

Please comment your thoughts, opinions, or suggestions below!

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