Chef-school students protest ripoff on September 5, 2011.
People "lured" to follow their dreams? That point of view is difficult to swallow. No doubt the culinary arts are a "passion profession." Those attending culinary arts programs should be thinking in terms of long term careers rather than graduating to jobs providing instant monetary gratification. And certainly, in deciding to pursue a passion, students should have the best available information to trade off the demands and rewards of a given profession. It's silly to suggest, however, that the experience of two disgruntled students, participating in litigation, are indicative of the thousands of individuals now in culinary programs. Or that students do not receive value by attending and graduating from these programs. Many jobs don't offer generous compensation starting out, but that doesn't stop journalists, teachers, social workers, and others pursuing a career passion from making their professional start. Nor should it stop chefs, patissiers, sommeliers, or others with a taste for the food and beverage life. Students should pick the program that best suits their needs and interests. For some, that will no doubt mean low cost, publicly subsidized community college. For others, those interested in a more immersive and personalized education, a career college is the best recipe for success.