|  home | feedback | help          
Ask the Experts on
Ask the Career Experts


  [ BACK to Ask Expert ]

    11 through 21 of 20 postings.

Q:Hello Peter. I am 47 years old. I spent 26 of those in the U.S. Navy as an electronics specialist. I retired from the USN in 1999 and now am working as a Computer System Analyst. I am seriosly considereing a career change to the Hospitality industry as a Chef. Although I have no professional training or experience I have inquired with the York Culinary Institute in York PA. I have always had a passion for cooking and feel that that career will be the most satisfying for me. What are your thoughts on a career change at my age and my chances for success in the food service field. Thanks for your advice in advance. Gary

A:Gary-In terms of a career, you have the most leverage in the field in which you have the greatest experience, electronics. But, sometimes passion is a greater driving force. Fortunately, the foodservice business is a fit for people of all ages. If you wanted to find a place where people have successfully transitioned from another business, this would be the most remarkable business, in my opinion. I'm assuming that Uncle Sam will help you further your education, and I encourage you to pursue culinary, if you really have a passion for it. It's not for the faint of heart, but neither is a navy career. I suggest you research a number of schools and find the environment that's best for you. Be sure to ask where graduates are placed, compensation, etc. I would also add that you may want to consider a career that combines culinary with electronics. Perhaps a web master for a restaurant concern? Just a thought.

--by Peter Langlois

Q:Please I need your help. Do the celebrity chefs have a PR firm that they work with? I am a event producer. We are producing the Flameworthy MTV/CMT Post Awards Reception in April. It's a party for after the telecast show for Country Music in Nashville. Our client has asked for a celebrity chef. Can you please help. Victoria 615-451-1215

A:Victoria-many do. For example, I believe Bobby Flay has an agent. If you contact me via my business e-mail,, I'll assist you.

--by Peter Langlois

Q:Two questions; First Who makes more, specialty chefs, or Executive chefs? and where if there is anywhere specific that chefs tend to make more money? Expamle: cruise ships, hotels, restaurants, etc

A:Compensation varies with properties. High-end Resort Properties generally pay well, as do Vegas, Atlantic City, etc. The more demanding the position, the higher the pay, just like everywhere else in the world.

--by Peter Langlois

Q:Peter, how do I contact the U.S. Personal Chef Association? Thank you. Eddie Swain

A:Edward: they have a web site with contact information prominent.

--by Peter Langlois

Q:Peter, I am a 27 year old wife and mother and have always been fascinated by the art of cooking. I have finally decided to go to school, I'm looking for advice on choosing a school. I live in Colorado and do not want to leave Colorado. Could you give me some info on top schools in Colorado. Thank You, Michelle Scholz

A:Michelle: Two schools come to mind, the School of Culinary Arts at The Art Institute of Denver and the Johnson & Wales campus in this same area. Here in Houston, I have a number of moms taking culinary classes at The Art Institute of Houston, which offers quite a bit of scheduling flexibility. They are among my best students. There is a trend for adults continuing their education. What I'm finding is that while they may have gotten a degree in a totally un-related field, they've always had a pent-up passion for culinary or hospitality. At some point they decide to follow this passion into a so-called second career. With the excellent growth opportunities culinary and hospitality present, more young people are choosing this field as their first option, following that early passion to cook and be of service. On the other hand, since this business is the largest non-government employer in the U.S., we're happy to welcome everybody who has that interest. Best of luck!

--by Peter Langlois

Q:hi i am from ireland and i am intrested in working in florida and i am a a do i go about it as i needa work permit?

A:Either through a company sponsorship or through a consulate.

--by Peter Langlois

Q:I am a chef with 20 yrs experience. I've owned two successful business. With the recent sale of my cafe now final, I would like to use my experience and knowledge in a greater capacity, outside the kitchen. How do you find jobs such as food stylist, food show host, food writer, etc. I'm looking for something new and challenging in the culinary field, but outside the kitchen!

A:Linda: usually by hiring an agent and a publicist. You ought to contact 'ask the chef' as Bobby may have some advice.

--by Peter Langlois

Q:Hi, I am a soon to be UC Berkeley grad with a degree in philosophy who is currently living and studying in Toulouse, France. I am seriously considering pursuing a career in culinary arts, and I am baffled by the number of diverse types of training one can undertake. I am particularly concerned about the prices of these progrmas, as I will undoubtably have to take out loans in order to attend them. In your opinion, what is the best option for a solid education and a sucessful enough career that I can pay off my loans? 1) a highly structured 9month cuisine and management program, followed by a 3-5 month internship $12-18 thousand dollars (l'Ecole Superieur de Cuisine Frangaise Groupe Ferrandi (paris), DCT Hotel & Culinary Arts School (switzerland), Peter Krump's Cooking School in NYC, Napa Valley Cooking School, or Tante Marie's Cooking School (San Francisco)) 2) an 8week apprenticeship focusing solely on food selection and excellent cooking. $8 thousand dollars (Robert Reynolds Apprenticeship in France, Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland) 3) a two year culinary arts and reataurant management diplome, 6months of class followed by a 5month internship each year. $9 thousand a year (Ecole des Arts Culinaires et de l'Hotellerie, de Lyon) 4) a 6-9 month intensive cuisine and pastry program, highly structured and prestiges, but no gaurantee of an internship. $27-30 thousand dollars (Le Cordon Bleu Paris, Ecole Ritz-Escoffier (paris), The French Culinary Institute (NY))

A:Julie: Why aren't you going to use your degree from UC Berkeley? Rather than take out loans and continue in an educational vein, I suggest you try out the real world first, where hopefully you can save some money and then go to culinary school, even part-time I think it's wonderful that you're interested in culinary, but I question the logic of anyone who would spend the kind of money you have so far only to switch to a field that is very physical and frankly quite practical. If you still want to pursue the culinary field, all of your choices are viable for learning. You have to pick the school that fits your interests and personality. Put yourself in an environment where you can do your best. Overall, I feel you need to have a real heart-to-heart comversation with yourself. I'd bet you're very intelligent, and emotion is weighing heavy as you approach graduation. You can look at a number of Continuing Education program on my web site,, and a variety of culinary schools.

--by Peter Langlois

Q:Do you have to go to college to go to a Culinary School? and also do you know if there are any Culinary schools in Italy. I really want to be a Chef. Please answer,and if you do thanks a bunch. -Paulina

A:Paulina-a good place to start is Lots of info there. Also do a search on Culinary Schools-Italy. Culinary Schools are certified in the U.S. by the ACF and follow requirements that prepare students for a variety of tests used to determine certification. Short answer is they are colleges. Can you learn to be a great cook within going to college? Sure, but very unlikely you'll be able to get certified as a chef. The Italian thing could be fun!

--by Peter Langlois

Q:Right now i am deciding what i want to take in collage to become a chef. I have no idea what coolage to apply for or what to take. I know many people that want to be chefs and turn out to be cooks in fast food joints. How can i become a high class chef?

A:Sars: You need to research schools to find out what programs they offer. With respect to fast food, it's quite a stretch to call that cooking! Mostly it's minding equipment that's programmed, and then assembling the final product. Go to my web site, and click on the School Hot-Links Program. Click on participating schools and you'll find nearly 200 culinary and hospitality schools. For a quick overview, click on the Art Institute of Houston and look at the culinary programs. They actually lay out the courses you'd take to achieve a degree. One thing I specifically teach all my chef-students is to work on those soft skills like writing. In order to be a truly first-class chef you have to be an excellent communicator. Your note indicates a desire but your writing contains numerous spelling errors. No great chef can be careless in preparation, including writing. I suggest you always use spellcheck and grammarcheck before you send out a note. Always put your best foot forward! Good luck with researching schools!

--by Peter Langlois

[ BACK 10 postings ] [ NEXT 10 postings ]


 Sign up for our newsletters!|Print this page|Email this page to a friend
 QuickMeals   Chefs   Rising Stars   Hospitality Jobs   Find a School   Wine   Community   Features   Food Events   News   Ask the Experts   Tickets   Cookbooks
About Us | Career Opportunities | Media Kit | StarChefs in the News | Site Map
Please help keep StarChefs a free service by displaying our button on your website. Click here for details.
  Copyright © 1995-2014 StarChefs. All rights reserved.  | Privacy Policy