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Becoming a chef shouldn't take years out of your life. Let's face it, there are no shortcuts in life, but you'd be surprised at what you can learn in a six- to nine-month time frame. Instead of adding unnecessary fillers to the curriculum, schools like The French Culinary Institute in New York City have focused on nothing but quality.
Take either six months of full-time study at the Institute, or continue to work and attend chef school in the evenings over a period of nine months. It's easy to set up our own road blocks as a way of protecting ourselves from success. However, with The French Culinary Institute, it's pretty much impossible to come up with excuses not to attend. You get to pick one course, several courses, an entire program, and even the time of day best for you to attend.
When deciding which classes to take, it's important to find out who the instructors are. Are they well known in the industry? Do they bring a wealth of experience to their instruction? Are they practiced in a variety of techniques? Remember, you'll only be in chef school a short amount of time, but you'll have the career for a lifetime. In order to start your career on the right foot, your resume should reflect your skills, practical experience, and highlight the executive chefs who guided, mentored, and taught you along the way.