An Open Letter To New Culinary Students, From Someone Only A Little Older Than You

Good evening, friends and neighbors.

With the coming of fall, a lot of new stuff arrives. Polos and t-shirts give way to sweaters and scarves. (I’ll turn in my hoodie when you take it off my corpse,) Lemonade becomes apple cider, Pumpkin Spice becomes a way of life, and of course, school starts. Which means a new batch of students will be starting in culinary schools across the country.

A year or so ago, I wrote this open letter to recent pastry grads. With all the articles and open letters floating around the internet written by older cooks and chefs, I realized that their message was all pretty much the same. Every one of those letters I read talked about how “kids these days have no motivation” and the industry was way harder back when they were starting, and you need a thick skin and so on and so on.

A lot of it was true, and had very valid advice- but the tone, in general, I found really down and grim. I figured I would write one that came from someone NOT with long years of experience, but was young enough to remember when he was a graduate. Someone who will tell you what the culinary industry is like NOW, not thirty years ago.

So if you’re a new culinary/pastry student (or thinking of becoming one), this is for you.


An old picture of the author, heavier with a black apron.

We all started somewhere…

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