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Ask a Foodie: Advice on Becoming a Chef

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jean_victor_balin_toque1Q. My daughter Loren wants to be a chef. Any suggestions/advice?  — Valerie

A. If your daughter is in high school, have her check to see if there is a culinary program. Many schools have these and they are great for learning basic techniques.

If she’s ready to get a job, she could try working at a restaurant. We would suggest an independent restaurant, rather than a chain, because so much of the food at chain restaurants is not made from scratch in-house. She could also work in a non-restaurant setting, such as for an agency like Meals on Wheels, which prepares food for the elderly and housebound.

If she is serious about going to a culinary school, she has two options in San Antonio, the Culinary Institute of America at the Pearl Brewery and the culinary program at St. Philip’s College.

She should check out the entry requirements of each as well as the numerous scholarship opportunities available, not just from the schools but from organizations such as Les Dames d’Escoffier, which helps women who want to pursue a culinary career.

Most of all, encourage her to cook as much as possible at home. And cook with her. In addition to helping her with her career, you’ll be giving her something of yourself.

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