I’m taking a break from living the life of a quintessential Silicon Valley drone, and I’m going to culinary school. I know, I’m about to become a cliche. Tech Worker Burns Out, Changes Career Path Mid-Life. The timing is right, and if I’m really miserable after graduation, I’ll start working my tech network again and get back on the treadmill.
I’ve considered culinary school for years, but I was never quite convinced it was the right thing for me. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to work on the line in a restaurant. I was also put off by the traditional curriculum that is still present in most schools – do I really need to learn how to make an aspic?
When I started reading about a new school opening in San Francisco, my curiosity flared up again. There are a lot of heavy hitters from the San Francisco food world behind San Francisco Cooking School. Jodi Liano, one of the founders, has an extraordinary network and a vision that suits me well.
With the encouragement of Larry and my friends, and inspiration and encouragement from the amazing people in my circle who work in food, I filled out the application, wrote an essay, asked for letters of recommendation, and had an in-person interview. And then I got the call from Jodi, telling me I’ll be one of 14 people in the first graduating class at SFCS.
Starting in January, I’ll spend six months immersed in cooking and the San Francisco food community. The first four months will be primarily at SFCS, followed by a two-month externship where I’ll work in a real restaurant. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to work in a restaurant kitchen for an extended period of time, but I’m looking forward to the experience. But the other aspect of the school that really intrigues me is that is also caters to folks like me who want to carve out an alternative career in food.
I don’t know exactly what that life in food looks like, but I have a few ideas germinating. In the meantime, I’d like to blog about my experience in cooking school.
Given that this veers off the path of my standard blog content, this will be the only post on the subject that will appear on the front page of Pork Cracklins or in my primary RSS feed. All other posts will appear under the “Culinary School” category, conveniently linked in the navigation bar at the top of the page. And the RSS feed, for those of you who prefer to consume in a reader, is here.