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From Alabama Culinary Arts To The Food Network

Nov 25, 2007
Do you drool over the delectable dishes made by your favorite celebrity chefs on The Food Network? Many people watch those shows and wonder how those chefs got so lucky as to find themselves in a position where they work in amazing kitchens, cook their own set of recipes and get paid to be seen doing it all on television. How exactly does one go from an Alabama culinary arts program to a Hollywood kitchen? It's not magic. It takes hard work, dedication to developing a culinary career and a little bit of charisma. It's something that anyone can do if they set their minds to it but only a few ever get motivated enough to make it so far.

The first place to start is getting an education in cooking. Perhaps not all of the chefs on The Food Network went to a culinary arts program but most of them did. If you looked at their resumes, you'd find that it didn't matter whether they went to a well-known chef school in a city like New York or to an Alabama culinary arts school that few had heard of. The point is that they started the classes, finished the program and learned everything that they could along the way. Someone who is going to make it all the way to The Food Network has to be committed to taking advantage of every lesson that is offered both inside and out of the classroom.

Education alone won't suffice, though. You also will need to get experience in the real world. Most chefs work their way up the ladder. They start out as assistants. Eventually, they become the head chef of a nice kitchen. From there, they move up to running the kitchen in a better restaurant. And these days, they may go from there to a position on a television show where they can just cook without having to serve anybody at all. They are willing to start at the bottom but they also make active efforts to move up. You have to know when it's time to say enough is enough and take the next leap up that ladder.

As you're out there getting this education and experience in the culinary arts world, you should be networking with as many people as possible. Leave a lasting impression on the chefs who teach the classes that lead to your degree. Remember to go the extra mile to make sure that bosses at all levels of the job remember who you are. The food that you cook is important but the connections that you make are what will often get you the jobs that you desire. You should make it a point to network at events and meet influential people in the food business. Make sure that you're attending some events, which are related to food on television so that you can build up your connections in that specific area.

What all of these different steps have in common is that you have to have confidence in yourself to make them work. If you're the kind of person who thinks, having an Alabama culinary arts degree is one that no one is going to care about, you'll sabotage your chance at starring on food TV before you even get started. If you decide that you'll make the most of each opportunity and use it to show off your unique talents, you're already a star. The people who have celebrity personalities are the ones that will be able to combine their love for cooking with their desire for a spot in the spotlight.
About the Author
The Culinary Institute of Virginia College offers an outstanding Alabama Culinary Arts program. Please visit http://www.culinard.com/.
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