WOW! The only thing I can think to add right now would be to keep putting yourself out there. Keep meeting people in this business. Keep volunteering for events to enrich your experience. Keep loving what you do. It may seem lke you're treading water (and you probably are), but like all the rest of us, you will learn to swim. Just keep an open and receptive mind. Be the sponge and take it all in. Write it down, take good notes! It is amazing what you will forget as time goes by. Take photos. It doesn't matter that you started "late". What matters is that you finish and do so well.
I usually get home once or twice a year. My family is scattered over and around the city and suburbs. Would love to holla at you.
Hello Jeramie, it's good to see a fellow Chicagoan doing the darn thing! How can I best help you? Best wishes on your new career path. Keep networking and stay focused on the lessons in the kitchens and in the classrooms.
I find it upsetting too. We had a lot of those people in my skills class last quarter who seemed to be there because they just wanted to cook. If they just want to cook, this is the wrong place for them. These are the kids who are texting during class, who come to class with wrinkled and dirty uniforms and show up 10, 20, 30 minutes late, or not at all, who roll their eyes when our instructors put them in their place. I'm only 5 or 6 years older than they are at 24, but I want to give them a good shake and tell them to take a few years off, go and get the partying out of their system, and stop wasting my time and our instructors' time. To me, this education is a privilege, and I'm trying to get as much out of it as I possibly can.
I've actually had a few people ask me why I was doing something like this if I'm not getting paid for it. It's a cause that I really believe in (it's a non profit no kill cat rescue) and it's a chance for me to share my craft.
One of the things I love most about the food of Italy is the heart that goes into it. My mother's parents were born in Italy, and she passed down a lot of recipes and techniques to me that I use in my kitchen and at school. I think cooking is just food unless your whole being goes into it. Maybe that's cheesy, but I think people can tell the difference.
We've got very close friends in Juneau, and we absolutely fell in love with Alaska when we spent a few weeks up there over the summer. They don't have any "hangout" spots or places to go to get really good food for a reasonable price. Everything there closes at 7 or 8 at night- I figure that is a perfect niche for me.
I really love ARC. I'm looking forward to next quarter and learning a little about baking and pastry, even though it's not something I plan on pursuing. I do like to bake at home on occasion.
This freelance event I have coming up is one for a nonprofit organization that I actually volunteer for. I'm doing the work pro bono, but they are taking care of the food costs. It's for 200 people, and I think it's going to be a blast. I've recruited some friends to help me, and I've also had business cards made up. I'd love to do some more freelancing and get my name out there.
heya, I read your comment on the "acf chefs central region" blog. I wanted to inform you that you should should be able to retrieve an apprenticeship application through your local ACF Chapter? If not, have you looked into it at your colege?
I am a new apprentice myself at ND in Indiana, not far from you. I just wanted to take the time to try & network with ya, & hopefully this will help you.
I'm just in my second quarter- ARC and regional cuisine, and purchasing and product ID. I'm loving the program and being around other people who are as into food as I am. What are your plans after graduation? I've got some freelance catering work on the side, but seeing as my husband and I are moving to Alaska in a couple of years, there is a PERFECT niche for me up there once.