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Hello all and help required.

message posted 14-May-10 16:04:48
Hi my name is Kev, and I am not a chef or working in catering at all, but trying oh so hard to get back at the prepping table.

I am 35 married with two children, and love nothing better than spending time in my lovely kitchen at home and cooking up a meal from scratch. I do not use any jars or packets, and as I said everything has to be from scratch as I find it much more challanging this way.

This valentines day I cooked a 3 course meal as it was on a Sunday, and it turned into a very cheesey meal.

Starter - Deep fried goats cheese in chilli bread crumbs with a grape chuntney!

Main Course - Steak and stilton pie with home made chips.

Dessert - Strawberry Cheesecake with chocolate sauce. (Also had a love heart on the top all made out of chopped strawberries)

Anyway a little more about me.

I was born in Southampton, and now live in Meldreth a sleepy village in Cambridgeshire. I started out in my working life as a waiter and then a chef at the age of 16, and quickly moved into the position of head waiter and head chef, and then supervisor of the restuarant, which took me away from Southampton at the age of 21 as I moved into catering management and then a duty manager. I moved out of catering at the age of 23 and started working in accounts where I still am now. I did not like the long hours and weekend work in catering.

So now I am still in accounts but my passion is in catering and really want to get back to being a chef, but there is no way I could match my income now with a chef job as I am unqualified. I have been looking at chef school, but these take you away from home for a month, and really need to keep working full time. Does anyone know of any part time evening chef schools?

I am also looking at starting my own business in catering and just seem to for ever be looking at things I could do, but of course without the capital it does not matter, and saving for a deposit on a house does not help really.

As I said before my passion is in catering and mainly cooking and i shut myself away in the kitchen most weekend where I am very happy to cook for the family. I have Good food guildes and s on cooking everywhere. I really do need to get back into catering but need the qualifications, and cannot get them while working full time.

I have seen distance learning through the DCA home learning but i do not know how crediable this qualification is, does anyone know? It is called Gourmet cooking and catering and is a diploma.

So really this is a hello and a HELP!!!


Kev (Chefsim)
message posted 14-May-10 22:51:45
Gotta do it the hard way, heh......
Qualifications? Do they really matter anymore?
Primary things like Food Hygiene and Health and safety, COSHH, and the like!
Notice they are all to do with pen pushing and not the food craft.....
Colleges are confused now....they are harking back to City and Guild...learn and know the craft....finger tip job. Nvqs were a quota satisfaction thing to guarantee government funding.....the lecturers said, 'Crowd control. Sorry for the one or two good ones....'

Your age blesses you witrh intelligence, rationale and wisdom....
Can you cook good with thought, and belly-fire?

Get a copy of Tough cookies, by Simon Wright....
There once was an accountant/bailiff geezer who now has one of the best restaurants in the country, and he is cooking alchemy!!!!

Sacrifices, buddy...hard know cooking means not being home to see your kids go to bed...pretty soon the missus is stressing you never go out!!!
before you know it, you are a lodger in your own home, and a stranger to all....hahahahahahahahaha...gotta have a laugh!!!!
And that is reality too....lady chefs have a better balance and hang of it....I don't know their magic recipe!

You will need your accountant wages to pay the bills and work nights in a good restaurant for know! Learning....Then pray hard your determination pays off with recognition, and an understanding bank manager.
Sorry man, you'd never survive on chef wages at your age.....just learn all you can and get your own business....start small enough to give you a lifestyle, to pay yourself just about something...... Forget star quality at this time...unless you are gifted, loaded, and well connected; build it up...bums on seats pay bills....then when your bank manager is happy#insufferable bastards!!!!!#, get bigger and deadly daring good!

Accountancy should help with balancing...!

Staff wages often are the cause of many a business death!
Looks like you will have to learn the hard way...or from a chef whose been there. Easier. Then you also learn from his mistakes....

So long as you learn good with good chefs working part-time, or as you experiment at home, read and trial like your own collection of favourite core recipes....and start off with them.....
Got to say, in all this, treasure your wife like she was your life beat!
Her guaranteed genuine support will guarantee your success!!!!

That's what I'd do...your maturity is a disadvantage to starting from the very'd be looking to be a hot chef in twenty years time....that's retirement time! Get your knowledge from chefs that know and understand your position.

To be polite, fukin hard work!! So hard, sometimes you cannot feel your feet, your thighs are chaffed sore and beetroot red....the sweat salt stings your eyes constantly, tou stink to the rafters, your pulse rate is through the ceiling and you have no sex drive!!!!!


Good luck,

Big love......
message posted 16-May-10 21:42:25
Cheer for the reply.

I have taken that all on bored and come to the conclusion, that I am going to do a course that is geared more towards running your own business, and just try and gain experience from trying stuff out at home, and maybe working in a restaurant once a week or something.

I have been doing market researching and looking at different areas and concepts that maybe would work for the last 5 years. I will not jump into something like this and again I may end up owning a place but could I jump ship from my job and salary and be able to draw what i am on now in accounts? I doubt it very much. So it would mean hiring a manager and a chef to run the place for me as they could be paid a lower wage, it is sad but true.

I would look to come into the game full time if I knew I could draw anywhere near what I require to live on.

I will go down this route, but it could take time and may not ever happen, but it is my dream, and it is what I want, but then I have to balance this and home life.

Well I will keep hanging round on here and I will keep you posted if I take the leap, and what I am doing with regards to being a chef!!

Made a fantastic cheesecake today, Baileys with a butterscotch sauce, it was heaven!!

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