Pursue a dream or embrace a talent

I was up late one night last week and got one of those wild hairs. I started poking around the Texas Culinary Academy’s website and decided to write in.

I don’t remember exactly what I wrote but I said that I am almost 30, I have a full-time job, wife, mortgage and don’t want to find myself on my death bed thinking: “I wish I’d pursued my dream of being a chef.”

I received this response via e-mail a few days later:

Josh Janicek,

We do not have enough information to determine your acceptance to this school. One of our admissions representatives will contact you soon to discuss your application to our school.

Thank You,
Texas Culinary Academy
(888) 553-2433

Four years ago Vidbook.com closed its doors for good. I was unemployed. I drove my motorcycle to the Texas Culinary Academy and spoke with a student advisor as I thought it might be a good time to pursue a new life in the F&B industry. He was a great guy and we had a nice talk. He showed me around the school and briefly explained the programs that are offered at the school. He also showed me the bottom line. Culinary schooling is expensive. I may be off a little, but I think the chef program cost was to the tune of $30,000 for an 18-month associates program.

At the time, the TCA offered full-time schooling only. That meant I’d have to get a loan for $30k, attend class for six to nine hours a day and somehow find a job that paid somewhere around $500 a week so we could barely survive on our two incomes.

I put pen to paper and couldn’t justify going back to school. I had just graduated from college, married and consolidated both of our student loans. Combined we already owed $30k to the U.S. Department of Education.

Being a chef could be painstaking and financially unrewarding. I could just continue to cook for friends and family. I could try my hand at being a personal chef

I love to cook for Elise and myself. I love to cook for friends. If I was paid for my knifetime, that would be top drawer peachy.

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