That's the title of an article in the Online Ledger by Kim Severson. It kinda goes like this:
"Mr. Park wanted to be a chef. So like tens of thousands of other young people who grew up in the age of kitchen celebrities like Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse, he enrolled in culinary school.
Two years after graduation, all the “Bam!” has been drained from the dream. Mr. Park makes $10.50 an hour at a bistro in Austin best known for its French fries, trying to pay down his student loans. While he dodges phone calls from the bank, his mother helps him make his $705 monthly payments, almost twice his weekly take-home pay.
“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” Mr. Park, 29, said before starting another night shift at the Hyde Park Bar and Grill. “I put my degree on applications, and they make fun of me for it.” "
What Ms. Severson doesn't know, or doesn't care about, is that, in my opinion, Mr. Park is a lackluster cook. How do I know this? Because he managed to lower my grade in a class when I had him for a partner. After that experience, I made sure that my class partners were set up weeks in advance to avoid dealing with him again. I'd describe him as worse than lackluster, but he may have improved after graduation… maybe, but probably not. And in school, he really sucked; once again, that is simply my opinion. And I documented this in a few of my old culinary school posts. Here are a few of them:
An introduction to my Partner from Hell
Good use for a saute pan
Wanna pan-fry his head…
I will never partner with him again!
Read the second paragraph
Read the second paragraph here too
Read the second and fifth paragraph
I finally got tired of even thinking about him by our third class and ignored him as much as possible after that. Why did my name for him change so much? At first, some of us at school thought that he was 'chemically enhanced', but it didn't take long to notice the strong odor of alchohol that wafted off of him almost every day.
Now you're asking yourself, what does any of that have to do with crushing student loan payments that were completely unexpected? They weren't unexpected. I know he had to sign the same disclaimer that I did… the one that stated that we'd be LUCKY to make $20,000 a year after graduation. And 16% interest on the loan? <cough>STUPID!<cough> You never sign something you don't understand, 'specially if money is involved.
My final and most important point is that many of us knew that culinary pay sucks when you start out, and for many, the rest of your career. We didn't go to culinary school to become the next celebrity chef–we did this because we're insane–or passionate about food–depending on your point of view. But if Rick's work in the culinary field is anything like his work in many of his classes, I'm not surprised that he's having problems. He liked food, he just didn't seem to be any good handling it (yes, I'm still upset at him for dragging down my grade). I think the only thing I regret about culinary school is physically restraining one of my classmates when she was ready to slam Rick upside the back of his head with a frying pan. That would have been worth the money.