If you want to be a doctor, you go to Johns Hopkins. If you want to be a lawyer, you go to Harvard or Stanford. You want to be President (either of the United States or some massive, multinational corporation)? Then you should probably consider Yale, where all those goofy secret societies that really control the world do their recruiting. You know, like Skull & Bones, Scroll & Key, the Freemasons or the American Society of Cable Television Executives.
No, not that CIA. The other one.
But if you want to be a chef and you don't want to become one the hard way (by actually, you know, working your way up through the ranks and earning that Bragard jacket with the black button covers), the place you want to go is the CIA--the Culinary Institute of America.
And lucky you, the CIA is rolling through Seattle on a recruiting swing in just a couple weeks.
This came in just today from the folks at the Culinary Institute:
"It's no secret that with 13 million people working in foodservice, the industry is one of the largest private-sector employers in the United States, and--according to the National Restaurant Association--is expected to add another 1.8 million jobs over the next decade. Anyone considering a career as a chef, baker, or other foodservice industry leader should attend The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Admissions reception in Seattle."
Nice pitch, right? And at least when it comes to the numbers, they're probably within shouting distance of correct. Food service and bar tending are two great ways to survive a terrible economy. While not exactly recession-proof, people will always need to eat, even when times are bad. And when things get really shitty, they drink even more. A man (or woman) who knows how to bone a chicken, hump a fryer, mount a sauce and shake a decent martini will never want for employment, no matter how bad things get. And while I am not one who generally lobbies in favor of C-school (work is the best education there is, and you'll learn more in one week on the line than you will in a year of classroom education), I understand that, these days, folks need every leg-up they can get.
So, here's the pertinent information, straight from the school: "The reception will be held at Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, at the Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California Ave. SW., on Tuesday, November 16 at 7 p.m. Aspiring culinarians will have the opportunity to meet CIA representatives and learn about the college's range of degree programs, educational benefits, and scholarship opportunities. The evening will be hosted by CIA graduate Michael Chase '97, executive chef of Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering."
Mark it on your calendars, kids. While a degree from the CIA will not guarantee you work or make you the biggest badass on the line, it will give you a solid grounding in the basics so that when your chef screams at you to "prep a flat of motherfucking buttons on the fly," you might have at least some idea what he's talking about.