the in-box

Am I Too Old to Throw It All Aside and Become a Cook?

Michael Psilakis doesn't care how old you are - if you buckle down and work.Photo courtesy Bullfrog & Baum.

Dear Grub Street,
I'm a religious reader of Grub Street and a major foodie who watches the industry like a hawk … I'm 44 and stuck in a job I hate. What I really want is to be in a kitchen creating amazing food and enjoying the camaraderie that I see there. I have enough savings to live on for a while, so the money isn't that important to me, but do I need to go to a cooking school? Or am I just too old?
Keith

Keith,
You’re never too old to follow a dream, and God knows the cooking schools will always be glad to take your money. Granted there are chefs out there that refuse to take an older beginner under their wing: One we know frequently rails about how “the freaking cooking schools are always sending me old people, and I can’t have old people in my kitchen!” Technically, that’s discrimination, and it’s good to have federal law on your side. Other chefs are more understanding: Michael Psilakis of Anthos says, “Don’t worry if someone might think you’re too old. We need people who can work hard and listen to instructions. We don’t care what age they are.”

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