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Should I go back to Culinary School so I can get these jobs in the resorts and  Lodge's out in the middle of no-where in Alaska and the Carribean Islands and such?

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Hmmm...I sometimes work in those lodges without a culinary degree, but I have more than 20 years cooking experience. Are we talking local community college or big name culinary school? The latter will run you more than $25,000. Is culinary really what you want to do?...(I still say I'm working in kitchens until I find out what I really want to do)

If you are just looking for ways to get onto those places, have you ruled out the housekeeping/server route? Most of the smaller lodges it's a combined position. And the years/experience level would not be as competitive as trying to work in the kitchen without either the paper degree or equivalent experiences.

a culinary degree will help you, but it's not absolutely necessary. I've cooked / worked Alaska, Virgin Island and national parks and have only on the job training.

thank you

I was wondering about this, as I only have my life experience in cooking, never really in a restruant setting, in a kitchen where I was in charge, not even dish washing, except in the military, and they called that KP Duty.

I only have trucking as my old career, I can drive anything pretty much, but how will this get me where I want to go , my resume is filled with trucking, nothing in Customer Service, nothing in Kitchen, or management, thou I did run my own trucking company for 10yrs, I went under thou, the economy got the best of me. 

At 48yrs old I want to have a job that I will love and enjoy, no more road exhaust and grime for me, but it seems too hard to get replies to my resume's and app's, no one called back and follow up calls have gone to the sorry we are full routine. 

but thanks everyone

Going back to school is always a good thing--learning is a good thing. I went back to school just a few years ago and got my nursing degree and RN--went to work after graduating and found out it wasn't for me. Lot of time and money invested--glad I have the training but don't desire to work as an RN.

I see you have trucking experience. There are many positions for drivers especially with CDL's in the seasonal realm. Do you not want to work in this capacity? 

As for the food service aspect--you have to look at it from the employer's view point. If you have no current/recent experience in this area the best you can hope for is a dish washer job or a busier (not much training to learn). If you are miles from towns and civilization an employer can't get a replacement right away if someone doesn't work out, so they are most likely going to hire people that have some experience and recent at that. Seasonal seasons are short in many cases and it is hard to learn on the fly. You might want to get a food service job now and get some experience before signing on to do this at a place out in the wilderness or boonies--what if you don't really like the work and hours that is involved in these positions? 

I'm retired military and I did my share of KP in my younger years before it went away in the service. I did a day of dishwasher duty this past season in the employee dining hall (due to personnel shortage) and it was the hardest work I did all season (except opening and closing duties for the resort). It gave me a great appreciation for the people working in the employee dining room as well as other food service people in the resort for guests.

I have been in kitchens cooking for thirteen years.  I started at a sub sandwich place at 15, and eventually made my way to a worldwide known country club in Florida.  Everyone there had a culinary degree except for me, but I have the experience.  Also, and I am not saying this to you as I do not know you, but many that have culinary degrees can make a great dish and know recipes but can not work the fast pace of a kitchen line.  The hours can be long, and when you have a restaurant full of people it can be very stressful.  It is a job that does not get a lot of recognition so you must love it to stay with it.  I agree with Don.  I would try and get a job locally and see if you enjoy it.  That may mean being a dishwasher at first.  When I was 21 I worked as a dish washer for six months in my first "real" kitchen, and by that I mean everything from scratch.  After 2 years I was running the line during my shift.  If it is something you enjoy after getting some experience a degree wouldnt hurt, usually.  I have worked in places where employers shy away from people with culinary degrees for various reasons,but on the opposite os that there are places that almost exclusively hire degree holders.  

 No Driving would be acceptable to me, van or shuttle driving, anything on wheels, and I applied, just waiting, it is nerve wracking not getting responses, sorta, mostly sad that I am not getting any nibbles, and yes I do see it from the employers side, that is why I am worried a bit. 

 I think Culinary school may not really be what a 48yr old may want to do, thou the Ft. Lauderdale school is in a great place , a place I wish to live anyway, and they claim to have plenty of cruise ship jobs for their students, but 35k is pricey. Can I take being with , to me kids all day, probably, I do love to cook and am easy to get along with, I no longer play games and such, I just roll with the flow now, wanting to do nothing but enjoy my time left here and have fun and make people smile everyday, as well keeping the smile on my face, corny I know , but it is so much more enjoyable these days with this new attitude I have acquired

Thanks again. 

I was wondering, if you are willing to take some time (and the school route would be about 2 years), if you are willing to take that same time at a larger resort? Places like the Princess resorts or Aramark? They usually look for drivers every year.

It's just that sometimes the first seasonal position does not always work out for people...and the first time being that remote does not work out for people. So it's actually a huge financial risk for a small remote lodge to take. That probably has more influence than what is on your resume. For the larger companies, that risk is somewhat spread're one driver out of 10, instead of 1 out of 2.

But once you have shown that you can do well in seasonal work, then making that extra step is easier. And there's several places in the lower 48... like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon that need drivers, that are somewhat remote, too.

Yes that makes great sense, but I lived in Kenai before, and Homer, and guess maybe I need to go back there and do some applying in person, would this work?


Amyone know if face to face would work in this scenario, or even maybe going to Anchorage office , if I remember there are a few major outfit with office's there. Holland-America Princess being one I think.

Thanks all


Don't get discouraged. I'm 59 and last year was my first year at one of the seasonal jobs. Even Alaska looks for drivers and if you have a CDL all the better. I was waiting at this time last year thinking I was too late or not the right fit as I had got some robo emails form big places that said they already filled their positions. Then I started getting calls and had a few to choose from. I ended up choosing one exactly where I wanted to spend my summer and it was great--even got asked back for this year.

As for the cooking--I love to cook and did quite a bit as a flight steward in the Air Force. When I went back to school I choose nursing because it was a great travel job and you could work contracts from 4 weeks to 9months. I loved the school and learning all about medicine... but then did not like the job after graduating. Back then I was thinking of going to culinary school but in my mid 50's I thought I was too old to pursue having my own place and I didn't want a job that was 6 - 7 days a week and long hours. If I had to do it over again, I would have gone to the culinary school. I don't practice nursing at home but I could always cook for myself and friends even if I didn't go to work after school.

One other thing about seasonal jobs--they are not like regular jobs. There is so much you have to take in to consideration. You are away from much of what you are used to. There may not be TV, the internet will be slow and sometimes out, town can be 30 minutes or hours away. There are lots of young people and you may room with one or be in a dorm with many and it might not be as quiet as you expect or are used to, It is important to embrace the experience from the start. Go with an attitude that you are going to try and fit in and be friendly towards everyone--but don't forget to act your age too. By that I mean the people you work for expect that of you as well. You aren't going to a job like this to make a lot of money or climb a ladder--you are going for the experience and to see and partake of the area. Good luck!

Both Aramark and Princess have listings at Coolworks...and I just looked and both of their jobs available listings on their sites have drivers wanted. I would personally pick Princess first, but Aramark driving jobs look interesting too. Applying online is easy for both...not sure what is open up there when as far as offices to apply in person...unless you wait until the season actually begins which might be way too late.


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