Sunday, November 1, 2009

         I remember one of my friends coming back from a college visit about a year or two ago, and being really excited about one particular college.  My friend is also interested in culinary arts, and we one time fantasized about co-owning a bakery.  My friend said that this particular college is beneficial to those who are interested in business, because the college gives you a job that applies to what type of field you plan to enter.  I believe the name of the college is “The College of the Ozarks” and it sounds like a neat school.

         I looked up College of the Ozarks online, and the first thing I looked at was their sports program.  I found, that this college has only two women’s sports teams, and neither of them involves tennis racquets.  I didn’t examine the site further, because I have already decided that I want to play college tennis, but it seems that every college I am interested in does not have a tennis team!


Above is the link I used to research the job description of a chef.


The main thing I looked at when searching this site, is the following list of general tasks that may be faced by the chef of a restaurant.


An executive chef job involves many moving parts. The duties of an executive chef may include the following tasks:

0.Creating a menu

0.Deciding on a theme for a restaurant

0.Food preparation

0.Managing employees

0.Establishing and maintaining contacts with vendors


Overseeing customer relations”


         When I think if chefs, I think of people dressed in white uniforms with a ridiculous mushroom-shaped hat adorning their heads.  I think of people hard at work in the kitchen, trying to make dishes as fast as they can.  I never really thought about tasks far beyond preparing food, but this list illustrates how some chefs are in charge of much more than that. 

         As I mentioned earlier, I have been interested in interior design for quite some time.  If I had a restaurant, and had to decide on a theme for the interior of the establishment, I think that I would enjoy doing that, because the decisions I would need to make would reflect my interest in interior design.

         I like being in control of things.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not one of those power-hungry persons that boss everyone around… most of the time.  I guess I have a tendency to be bossy, but generally, when I am telling people what to do, I know what I’m talking about, and I do listen to the input of others as well.  I am a good leader, and am often put into positions of leadership when others don’t want to make decisions, so I think I would do well with a managerial position.

         I know I haven’t written anything about this, but I have thought about majoring in business in college, and working as an executive chef with a list of tasks such as the one above, it would be very helpful to have business skills.  And since business is something that interests me, I think that I would like business-related aspects of being an executive chef.

         There are however, some aspects of being an executive chef that I don’t think I would like very much.  “Overseeing customer relations” for example, is something I wouldn’t like to do.  I hate awkward confrontations; I am constantly analyzing situations to determine potential awkward confrontations, and at the same time, trying to figure out a way to avoid them.  I wouldn’t like to deal with customers with complaints, but if I were in a position of power, such as an executive chef, I would most likely have to deal with rude people. 

         Another thing I wouldn’t like about being an executive chef is coming up with a menu.  I’m not sure that I would be able to create my own dishes.  I know that saying this may sound ridiculous now, because I have no formal training in culinary arts, but what if, after attending a culinary arts school, I still lack the creativity required to create delicious food? 

         If I were to go into a career involving culinary arts, I think that I would probably enjoy it, though I feel that it could be easy for a job such as an executive chef, to get old fairly quickly.  I want a job that will keep me happy, and interested for as long as I work, and I’m not sure that being a chef would satisfy that desire. 

         So, as with most of the other occupations I have researched, this job doesn’t get a definite “no” or “yes,” but merely a “maybe.” 

         Living in Iowa, there are frequent snow days scattered throughout the winter months.  I remember one particular snow day that really influenced me, and what I wanted to do with my life.  I was in sixth grade, and was watching T.V., trying to pass the time on one of the several unscheduled snow days.  I came across the food network, and I’m not sure why, but I decided to watch.  The show I watched was called “30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray,” and that show, as corny as this will sound, altered the next two years of my life.

         Watching Rachael Ray make everything that she did was incredibly interesting to me.  I wanted to recreate the dishes she made, and so I would take notes on the dishes she prepared on her show.  It gave me something to do, I wrote down everything she did, while trying to decipher the meanings of the various technical terms she used.  I still have the notebook full of recipes I recorded laying around somewhere.

          I remember finding out that I could simply go to the Food Network website in order to find the recipes for her dishes, and this deflated my interest in Rachael Ray’s show.  You see, when I didn’t know about the online recipes, I had to pay attention, catch every detail, copy everything that Rachel did, and it gave me something to do, a purpose, but if the recipe was online, what was the point in watching the show?

         My commitment to watching “30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray” dwindled, but I was still interested in culinary arts.  I think that through out middle school, I had ambitions to one day become a chef.  My interests in cooking however, decreased.  I was busy, I didn’t have much time to try out new recipes, and I accepted it. 

         “Chefs have long hours” my mom told me, “they are always on their feet.”  This was another reason for me losing interest in becoming a chef, my mom made it sound like I would quickly lose interest in it.

         I didn’t cook nearly as much as I used to after entering high school.  It just wasn’t as much of a priority anymore.  I have decided however, that since it did, at one point interest me greatly, I am going to research culinary arts for more insight on the matter.