Author Topic: About to do something very Antimustachian...  (Read 11237 times)

AJDZee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
About to do something very Antimustachian...
« on: June 25, 2013, 09:02:26 PM »
I've been going back and forth with this for a weeks now, but I've decided to go to culinary school on weekends and evenings. Just for fun!

I love food and cooking and I really want to know how to do it well. I don't plan on ever working as a chef so financially speaking it's a total waste. The program will take about 2 years and will cost $3,500. The tuition/supplies is tax deductible and I get to keep all the food made in class.... But that still doesn't justify the program haha

I'm only 29 and if I were to go back to school I SHOULD be doing something that's going to advance my career... and the true mustachians are saying "there are tons of sites you can learn recipes on the net FOR FREE"

Just thought I'd let y'all know and perhaps get a discussion going on

Undecided

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2013, 09:26:39 PM »
I've been going back and forth with this for a weeks now, but I've decided to go to culinary school on weekends and evenings. Just for fun!

I love food and cooking and I really want to know how to do it well. I don't plan on ever working as a chef so financially speaking it's a total waste. The program will take about 2 years and will cost $3,500. The tuition/supplies is tax deductible and I get to keep all the food made in class.... But that still doesn't justify the program haha

I'm only 29 and if I were to go back to school I SHOULD be doing something that's going to advance my career... and the true mustachians are saying "there are tons of sites you can learn recipes on the net FOR FREE"

Just thought I'd let y'all know and perhaps get a discussion going on

If you don't intend to pursue a career with it, are you sure the costs are tax deductible?

And, I don't see why it's anti-Mustachian, unless you think you could learn the same things without in-person teaching or in some other less expensive way.

rollie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2013, 09:32:31 PM »
Education costs are tax deductible up to a few thousand or even $5,000 depending on your circumstances. Everyone should take classes of some type if they can! I do. Lifelong learning is mustachian, as far as I'm concerned. Student loans aren't.

"The Lifetime Learning Credit This credit can help pay for undergraduate, graduate and professional degree courses – including courses to improve job skills – regardless of the number of years in the program.  Eligible taxpayers may qualify for up to $2,000 – $4,000 if a student in a Midwestern disaster area – per tax return."

Here is the link.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Five-Ways-to-Offset-Education-Costs
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 09:34:02 PM by rollie »

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2013, 10:47:08 PM »
I agree, it's not at all anti-mustachian.  (As long as you are paying for it out of your entertainment budget, and not e.g. borrowing on a high-interest credit card.)  As for school vs self-teaching, there are a good many things that are much easier to understand if they're demonstrated in person, plus you should be getting taste feedback from teachers and fellow students.  Unless I've missed something, there are still no smell & taste cards for the PC, or "Smell-O-Vision" apps for smart phones.

Finally, though you now say you don't have plans to make money cooking, who knows what the future might bring?  Could turn into a profitable side job, or retirement gig.

imustachemystash

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 413
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Seattle
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 10:51:04 PM »
Can you just limit the amount of dining out you do to compensate?  Dining out once a week for 2 years and spending $34 dollars each time is the same price.  With the class you will be learning lifelong skills. 

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8420
  • Registered member
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 12:34:36 AM »
I always wanted to do this

basd

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 186
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 02:22:29 AM »
I'm only 29 and if I were to go back to school I SHOULD be doing something that's going to advance my career... and the true mustachians are saying "there are tons of sites you can learn recipes on the net FOR FREE"
Yes, but with learning on your own it's much easier to slack or quit completely, and you get to meet new people which is always nice.

I do just the same, but with learning Italian. I've tried in the past to do this with online courses and audio books, but I haven't gotten nearly as far as I'm now, thanks to signing up for an actual class, with a proper teacher and fellow students. I even did an official (i.e., recognized by the Italian government) exam a couple of weeks ago. Still only the first level (there are seven or eight), but still.

And indeed, as long as it comes out of the fun budget, there could be way worse ways to spend your money..

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4313
  • Location: CT
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 05:54:33 AM »
I plan on keeping education in my budget post FIRE so if the class is cooking or if it is Chinese Literature it doesn't matter. I don't think this is Antimustachian.

AJDZee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 08:15:17 AM »
Thanks everyone for the support! (I was half expecting to get chewed out)

Undecided - Because it's through an accredited college/university they can provide me with a T2202 and justification for employment isn't required. However if it was training at another institution there would need to be a link to justify... which is pretty subjective. I took an H&R Block personal tax class a few years ago and that was tax deductible!

rollie - Thanks for the link, I'm in Toronto so the that US program wouldn't help me, but i could look into a Canadian one that similar... I'm not aware of any bursaries that I would be eligable for though.

Jamesqf - Certainly not borrowing money for this! :) Thankfully I've never bought anything I didn't have the money for. That being said, if they allow me to pay with my credit card that's a 1% cash back bonus for me! But you bring up a good point that it needs to be worked into a seperate budget. Probably need to shave it off my entertainment & dining out budget.

imustachemymustache - You're absolutely right, good way to look at it! And with the help I should get from the tax tuition credits I'll only have to cut out a weekly $34 meal for 1.5 years.

dragoncar - Do it! :)

Basd - That's great! I've always wanted to learn Italian (or any second language for that matter) I tried Italian Rosetta Stone for a few months but, to your point, didn't keep with it.

matchewed - I'm right there with you - I think it's such a blessing to be in a country where you have the resources/institutions for lifelong learning. I plan on learning for the rest of my life! Few years ago I took salsa dance lessons. After that I took some project management courses (paid by my company). Then there was the H&R Block tax course. After culinary I think a language will be next! Either French (because I'm Canadian and ashamed I don't speak it) or Italian.

I would love to own my own restaurant/local farm when I retire, so hey, ya never know!

AJDZee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 08:17:13 AM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Or plan to in the future?

Or want to but have been putting it off?

Please share!

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4313
  • Location: CT
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 08:23:03 AM »
Mostly I just use the local library for my learning, it is free after all. But if there is a subject where I think the structure will aid in my learning I'll be more than happy to use a local school.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4803
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 09:28:55 AM »
I'm considering it, but I work for the state university system and so I could do it for free (credit courses only, nothing like cooking, sadly).

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2013, 09:57:58 AM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Or plan to in the future?

Or want to but have been putting it off?

Please share!

I'm not sure it counts as "educational classes" ... but I've taken woodworking and welding classes for purely personal interest.  ...though in both cases the one course was really a baby-steps starting point and I don't really have the equipment (yet) to put either into practice.  (Meaning: what small level of education I had has probably waned to almost nothing over time.)

Donovan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Location: Indiana
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2013, 10:13:31 AM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Please share!

I'm not taking accredited classes of any sort, but I did recently get a 1 month codeschool.com membership so that I can get up and running on web programming as fast as possible during my free time this summer. I know that I could have used various books to learn the same skills, but it would have gone much slower and I want to have an extremely good foundation done before August.

Of course, this only cost me $20 and I expect to make significantly more than that in return (software engineer learning a sought after skill and I am building my own site for passive income with the skill).  So maybe not entirely parallel to your plans.

I would love to take cooking classes of some sort in the future, but at the moment rely on trial and error (fewer errors over time) instead :p

Megatron

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 130
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2013, 11:35:13 AM »
I did a bartending/mixology class for 1k a few years back. I did it because I was living in the burbs near my first real job and I was bored. I never wanted to work in the field. I just thought it would be fun to learn but then I was able to use my skills at a few weddings and parties that the tips alone have pay me back many many folds.
As a foodie wannabe myself. I've always wanted to learn culinary arts. I've attended these underground foodie dinners hosted by people around town who were once culinary students with professional careers (engineers).  They do it a few weekends a year not to make money but they like to experiment and advance their art. usually they ask for a suggested donation to cover the cost but they have told me people have given 2 or 3 times that. You get a really nice intimate dinner with 8 - 10 new friends for way less than what you would get at a nice restaurant outside. Recently, I heard from my friend the engineer that she's going to quit her job to pursue this full time because it gives her joy. So who knows what your class will lead you in the future. In my honest opinion, I think it's totally worth it.

russianswinga

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 210
  • Age: 36
  • Location: San Diego, California, USA
  • Truth is just an excuse for a lack of imagination
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2013, 11:53:49 AM »
It's a HOBBY - as far as I know, you're allowed to have a hobby so you can lead a normal life :)
Your expenses are flat and calculated - that's more than I can say for my hobby.
I compete in ballroom dance. At my peak, I was spending about $500/month on lessons, competition fees, tuxedoes, etc etc
I've cut that back significantly after finding this forum and growing a 'stache. I don't regret the money spent at ALL, I'm just better about it now.
So go do it!




rollie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2013, 12:22:08 PM »
I take classes on poetry writing (definitely not going to make any money doing that!). I also sometimes take dance classes (flamenco and tap), or local classes on useful things (building solar panels).

I am a writer as a profession, (both non-fiction and fiction) though, so I guess the added poetry writing skills could help in some obscure way.

Russianswinga, great pictures!


AJDZee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2013, 12:36:53 PM »
Ya know, I've never had a library card ...and I think that needs to change! There's a tiny library right down the street from me.

Another free distance education resource that I've been meaning to look into is iTune U... where you can listen to podcasts (lectures) of entire unitverity courses around the world, I believe. I think that would be great for certain educational interests.

The welding and web coding seem like very luctrative hobbies, great decisions.

I'm excited to see what (if any) paths a culinary certificate leads me down... those local dinner parties sound right up my alley! I grow a lot of veggies in the summer months so I think fine foods that were harvested right before they were prepared, and by the same hands, brings an bit extra novelty to the dish.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 12:56:34 PM by AJDZee »

swick

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2884
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2013, 02:06:49 PM »
I'm currently Taking my Registered Aromatherapists certification. Started out as just a hobby I wanted to learn more about - but it has saved us LOADS of money so far in medical and vet bills. Also will give me the option of earning an income from home, anywhere we go. I quite enjoy it and would be happy to do it well into FI.

banksie_82

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2013, 07:51:02 PM »
Has anyone else tried one of the ‘Massive Open Online Course’ (MOOC) available? They are completely free and all you need is a web connection to download video lectures and do the tests/assignments.

There are a few websites that offer courses, like Coursera, edX, etc. But the actual courses are run by world class universities (think MIT, Harvard, Berkely, ANU) with the professors who teach and research in the particular field giving the lectures and setting the workload.

I recently completed a Macroeconomics course, not because it’s related to my field, just because I was interested. I found the academic level at about what you would expect a first year undergraduate degree to be in Australia (and I assume most first world education institutions). So it takes some discipline and time, but easily achievable.

They are run more like traditional classes, with start and finish dates, material released weekly and deadlines for assessment. So the timing needs to line up with your personal schedule but it keeps you on track with a goal at the end.

I’d defiantly recommend looking into them for anyone who just wants to further their knowledge in a particular field.

Frugal_in_DC

  • Guest
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2013, 08:13:01 PM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Or plan to in the future?

Or want to but have been putting it off?

Please share!

This Fall I hope to start a fine arts certificate program that should take around three years to complete. It's offered by a local county so tuition is pretty reasonable. I took a couple of introductory classes already and thoroughly enjoyed them. I thought about it for several months and went back and forth before deciding to go for it. Now I can't wait to get started!

Donovan

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Location: Indiana
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2013, 05:00:17 AM »
Has anyone else tried one of the ‘Massive Open Online Course’ (MOOC) available? They are completely free and all you need is a web connection to download video lectures and do the tests/assignments.

There are a few websites that offer courses, like Coursera, edX, etc. But the actual courses are run by world class universities (think MIT, Harvard, Berkely, ANU) with the professors who teach and research in the particular field giving the lectures and setting the workload.

I recently completed a Macroeconomics course, not because it’s related to my field, just because I was interested. I found the academic level at about what you would expect a first year undergraduate degree to be in Australia (and I assume most first world education institutions). So it takes some discipline and time, but easily achievable.

They are run more like traditional classes, with start and finish dates, material released weekly and deadlines for assessment. So the timing needs to line up with your personal schedule but it keeps you on track with a goal at the end.

I’d defiantly recommend looking into them for anyone who just wants to further their knowledge in a particular field.

I have taken several of these courses (started with Udacity when they first opened, and have taken about 8 total from Coursera or EdX as well since then).  While I admit that they are awesome, sometimes they are not exactly the right tool for the job.  It just depends on what you want to learn and what they have available at the time.  The seem to focus heavily on introductory style courses, which works fine if you are using them to get general knowledge about a new field, but is significantly less useful if you are looking for specific detailed knowledge (for example, I don't know of any Coursera or EdX class at the moment that focus on, say, kernel level programming or advanced psychology).

odput

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
  • Age: 33
  • "I reject your reality and substitute my own"
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2013, 05:31:50 AM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Or plan to in the future?

Or want to but have been putting it off?

Please share!

I've been wanting to take a class on AutoCAD for awhile now...does anyone on here know of a good online class that also provides the software (I don't have a copy of it as yet)?

Villanelle

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2518
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2013, 05:38:56 AM »
When my husband gets out of the military, he will have some or all of his GI Bill left.  We have discussed him taking a cooking class and me perhaps going to massage school.  It would be entirely for fun (though there is a chance I'd turn the massage thing into a side hustle).  In the case of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, we'd actually *make* money doing this.  In addition to covering school (up to a certain dollar amount and a certain number of months), if it is used after he is no longer active duty, there is a housing stipend. So it would be silly for us not to use it in some manner. 

I may end up using some of it while he's still in to get myself a Masters, we there's no housing allowance with that since he already gets a housing allowance for being active duty.  But whatever is left will be put to good use when he gets out.  We learn something and make money doing it.  Win/win!


Rickk

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2013, 05:49:40 AM »
I've been wanting to take a class on AutoCAD for awhile now...does anyone on here know of a good online class that also provides the software (I don't have a copy of it as yet)?
AutoDesk offers student versions of their software.  My kids use AutoDesk Inventor for designing 3D parts for print out on a 3D printer, it is the same version as the professional except you are not allowed to use it for professional use, and I think printouts have a watermark. 
They didn't need to provide any paperwork to the company to get it, just agree that you are a student and download the software.  I assume you can download their other software packages as well (if you are looking for the 2D AutoCAD).
Sorry - don't have any leads on the online classes.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4762
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2013, 06:00:10 AM »
I am shortly about to start lessons in horse carriage driving. Just coz I always wanted to. No mustachian purpose unless we run out of oil.

aclarridge

  • Guest
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2013, 06:11:27 AM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Or plan to in the future?

Or want to but have been putting it off?

Please share!

Not me but my wife has taken cooking classes at George Brown College (we're also in Toronto). Not sure if that's where you're going, but I think it might be cheaper than $3500. I think it's ~$650 for the first main cooking class, part of the reason it's so expensive is you need to buy the uniform. After that classes range from $250-$450 and you can take your pick from a ton of them. Then there's a whole separate stream on baking. If you want any more info about it let me know.

AJDZee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2013, 07:27:18 AM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Or plan to in the future?

Or want to but have been putting it off?

Please share!

Not me but my wife has taken cooking classes at George Brown College (we're also in Toronto). Not sure if that's where you're going, but I think it might be cheaper than $3500. I think it's ~$650 for the first main cooking class, part of the reason it's so expensive is you need to buy the uniform. After that classes range from $250-$450 and you can take your pick from a ton of them. Then there's a whole separate stream on baking. If you want any more info about it let me know.

That's exactly where I'm taking it! I'm planning to do the Culinary Arts Certificate... unfortunately not the one that can eventually get me certified as a chef (to be a chef you have to do a few semisters full tiime which doesn't work for me)

You're right that first class is ~$650-700, and the others aren't as expensive. I sat down and planned out which classes I wanted to take (pick 6 out of their list of ~15) and the whole kitten kaboodle added up to $3,500. Maybe prices have gone up since your wife went, or I'm picking classes that cost more?

How did your wife like the program? Did she feel it was a good experience and worth the time/money? Any courses that stood out that she loved or would not recommend?

maryofdoom

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 221
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Southwestern PA
  • Jeopardy! loser since 2010
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2013, 09:50:17 AM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Or plan to in the future?

Or want to but have been putting it off?

Please share!

The classes I want to take are mostly embroidery-related. The Embroiderer's Guild of America (EGA) runs correspondence courses, where you get a booklet of instructions and sometimes a kit in certain techniques that you'd like to learn. Right now, I'm working on a silk and metal embroidery piece with blue Japanese flat silk and real gold threads.

This is what it'll look like when it's done:



However, these classes can get quite expensive. I spent $50 for the text, $70 for the kit, and probably another $75 for miscellaneous materials (stretcher bars, a tekobari, and a mellor).

I would LOVE to take some classes from the Royal School of Needlework, but that will need to remain a someday dream, as they are FUCKING EXPENSIVE.

pbkmaine

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8257
  • Age: 62
  • Location: The Villages, Florida
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2013, 10:11:47 AM »
DH and I are headed to our third course at Cornell Adult University. They have week long courses on everything from sailing to Goethe. I took landscape architecture first year, bookbinding the second, and will be taking Italian cooking this time. DH has done birdwatching and photography. It's not cheap, but it's fun and has given me some great skills.  When I am fully retired, I plan to make use of our local college. Townies can audit courses there for free. 

rockstache

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5777
  • Age: 2015
  • Location: Northeast
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2013, 11:37:08 AM »
I really want to learn Hebrew. I have been studying on my own and listening to podcasts, but I think I am going to take a class soon.

basd

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 186
  • Location: Netherlands
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2013, 11:53:58 AM »
I really want to learn Hebrew. I have been studying on my own and listening to podcasts, but I think I am going to take a class soon.
Highly recommended, it's way more motivating and fun that way!

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2013, 01:21:53 PM »
I've been wanting to take a class on AutoCAD for awhile now...does anyone on here know of a good online class that also provides the software (I don't have a copy of it as yet)?
AutoDesk offers student versions of their software.  My kids use AutoDesk Inventor for designing 3D parts for print out on a 3D printer, it is the same version as the professional except you are not allowed to use it for professional use, and I think printouts have a watermark. 
They didn't need to provide any paperwork to the company to get it, just agree that you are a student and download the software.  I assume you can download their other software packages as well (if you are looking for the 2D AutoCAD).
Sorry - don't have any leads on the online classes.

There are also student versions of Pro/Engineer (now called Creo somethingorother) and Solidworks. For Pro/E I had to fill out a form stating that I was a student and it was free. Solidworks looks like it's $150 for a 12 month Student license, but I know they used to give out free copies if you promised to take their entry level certification test ($100, so I guess it counts as more of a discount than anything, if still available). As to your specific question, I doubt any online course would give you a license for any software you couldn't already get for free on your own.

If you'd use it, I might have a copy of my old (not that old... 4 years ago) Inventor textbook you can have. It would be at my parents' place if I still have it, but I could try and scrounge it up next time I'm there. It would be just as thorough as any introductory online course.

aclarridge

  • Guest
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2013, 01:56:01 PM »
Is anyone else taking part-time classes for personal interest only?

Or plan to in the future?

Or want to but have been putting it off?

Please share!

Not me but my wife has taken cooking classes at George Brown College (we're also in Toronto). Not sure if that's where you're going, but I think it might be cheaper than $3500. I think it's ~$650 for the first main cooking class, part of the reason it's so expensive is you need to buy the uniform. After that classes range from $250-$450 and you can take your pick from a ton of them. Then there's a whole separate stream on baking. If you want any more info about it let me know.

That's exactly where I'm taking it! I'm planning to do the Culinary Arts Certificate... unfortunately not the one that can eventually get me certified as a chef (to be a chef you have to do a few semisters full tiime which doesn't work for me)

You're right that first class is ~$650-700, and the others aren't as expensive. I sat down and planned out which classes I wanted to take (pick 6 out of their list of ~15) and the whole kitten kaboodle added up to $3,500. Maybe prices have gone up since your wife went, or I'm picking classes that cost more?

How did your wife like the program? Did she feel it was a good experience and worth the time/money? Any courses that stood out that she loved or would not recommend?

She likes it and thinks it's worthwhile. She has taken intro cooking, intro baking, Mediterranean, and I think one other one. Intro cooking is best value in terms of how much extra food you get to bring home if you're not shy. I am not totally sold on the extra classes aside from the introductory ones, the reason being it seems like they are mainly following recipes, and a photocopy of the course notes could theoretically achieve the same thing. However, my wife cooks even more since doing the classes, so we are saving money on not going to restaurants (and we eat really well). If this trend persists, I could probably consider it a pretty fantastic investment.

Oh and you'll need to buy a bunch of cooking gear for the classes - best place we've found to get this is Tap Phong in Chinatown. They have everything and they give students a 10% discount. Also get a Henckels chefs knife there, the one with the yellow handle, it's awesome and it's only like $35 I believe. For the intro to cooking class, I think we spent about $80 total at that store to get her properly equipped.

Also don't forget to download your T2202a from George Brown at tax time next year and claim your deductions.

Left

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2013, 02:22:13 PM »
I'd take the class if you like it, not any different than buying a gym fee when one could do it at home....
And "youtube" learning can't teach you more than what you learn mimicking what you ie, cooking has more than just looks, namely taste that would help with other people to give critique. You learn combination of flavors too, and might learn to use ingredients you other wise wouldn't have known about/thought to use.

on a side note, you could get a part time job at local places to improve your skills if you didn't take a class. I spent a summer doing that, I "part timed"/volunteered around a few local kitchens/bakeries (restaurants didn't want me), and I learned how to make what they made. On the condition that I didn't use their "secrets" to profit myself. I mainly did this because I was in college and didn't know how to cook for myself so I learned to cook doing this.

For supplies, eh :S I used passed my downs from friends/family...

AJDZee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2013, 10:21:18 PM »
FI40 - for sure won't forget about the tax slip, I've worked that into the numbers from day 1. haha I know the knife your talking about its very common in commercial kitchens, I'll look into it. But when I bought my condo a few years a go I bought a really good set of knives with the intention I will use them for the rest of my life. But I think I will need some sort of case so I'm not some 8" chef-knife-wielding lunatic on the subway!

Thanks for the class recommendations. I was thinking I'd take French, Mediterranean, Italian, Spanish, Butchery and Vegetarian. And I will show up with tupperware to bring everything home!

eyem - I'm not holding my breath but if this turned into a little part time job like yours that would be so great!

Maybe I should make a goal to make back the tuition, in some form or another (I.e. saving money on not dining out, or getting part time work) within 2 years of completing it...

rtrnow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2013, 07:50:38 AM »
DO IT!!!!

I say this as a IT researcher who will be finishing culinary school in the fall. Food is where my love has always been, but I reached a point where I wanted more in depth and targeted learning. Culinary school has been great for learning, meeting a lot of cool chefs, and meeting and making contacts in the industry. I'm a bit different than you bc I do plan to make money cooking. I have my stash almost where I want it. At which point I plan to leave this career behind and supplement my income with part-time food work. The one thing to be aware of is that you are starting a program to train you for a professional kitchen. Don't expect to just have fun cooking. There is lots of classroom work (papers, tests, etc) as well as lots of cleaning, taking the trash, etc. etc. Not to discourage bc I love it but know what you're getting into.

aclarridge

  • Guest
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2013, 11:10:12 AM »
FI40 - for sure won't forget about the tax slip, I've worked that into the numbers from day 1. haha I know the knife your talking about its very common in commercial kitchens, I'll look into it. But when I bought my condo a few years a go I bought a really good set of knives with the intention I will use them for the rest of my life. But I think I will need some sort of case so I'm not some 8" chef-knife-wielding lunatic on the subway!

Thanks for the class recommendations. I was thinking I'd take French, Mediterranean, Italian, Spanish, Butchery and Vegetarian. And I will show up with tupperware to bring everything home!

eyem - I'm not holding my breath but if this turned into a little part time job like yours that would be so great!

Maybe I should make a goal to make back the tuition, in some form or another (I.e. saving money on not dining out, or getting part time work) within 2 years of completing it...

No problem - sounds like you're in for quite the culinary adventure!

We got this blade guard, and really like it (used to be available at Tap Phong, but now they have a worse one in my opinion that is magnetic).
http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-47302-Cutlery-BladeSafe-6-Inch/dp/B0000CFBB6

senecando

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 486
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Madison, Wi
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2013, 11:48:09 AM »
I took a few different programming classes for "fun" a while back and just put them on a resume for a job. I was never expecting that. It came up in the interview, too. That's a bit different, maybe, but I would say that these things have a habit of coming around and being useful when you least expect them.

ep114

  • Guest
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2013, 02:42:55 AM »
I love classes, hobbies, cooking...all of the categories that we're discussing here. I especially love to cook.  But I'll take a contrarian view- culinary school  doesn't sound very fun, or the best way to become a great home cook.  Of course, fun is really subjective, so i can't determine that for you, but have you ever worked in the restaurant industry?  It's a noble profession, but really really hard work and so different from cooking at home.  IS the program you're considering primarily to prepare people for restaurant work?  And you don't get to chose what you'll learn either.   Have you talked to culinary school students?   The people I know you've done it have said it's hard hard work and some have dropped out.

Also, you can learn so much on your own.  Think of every great cook you know, chances are that's how they learned.   
And it can be really fun. You can get a different cookbook from the library a week, start a cooking club with friends, commit to cooking your way through one great cookbook, ask all of the good cooks you know to teach you a dish (99% of them will be sooooo flattered and love it)  And learning to cook is a bit different than learning a language for example.  You only need to develop a style that you love, and those that you live with if that's the case. If you learn a language you probably won't want to make up your own to suit your tastes, you need to be understandable.   But cooking gives you a lot of flexibility.

AJDZee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
Re: About to do something very Antimustachian...
« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2013, 05:47:39 AM »
I love classes, hobbies, cooking...all of the categories that we're discussing here. I especially love to cook.  But I'll take a contrarian view- culinary school  doesn't sound very fun, or the best way to become a great home cook.  Of course, fun is really subjective, so i can't determine that for you, but have you ever worked in the restaurant industry?  It's a noble profession, but really really hard work and so different from cooking at home.  IS the program you're considering primarily to prepare people for restaurant work?  And you don't get to chose what you'll learn either.   Have you talked to culinary school students?   The people I know you've done it have said it's hard hard work and some have dropped out.

Also, you can learn so much on your own.  Think of every great cook you know, chances are that's how they learned.   

Thanks kbr195 for voicing the other side of it - much of what you just said I was telling myself when working out if I should do it.
You are absolutely right about the REAL life of being in the food industry, it's not glamorous like you see those celebrity chefs on TV. (WTF Paula Deen??)
I know this from first hand, my first summer job was in the food industry. I was a dish washer/bus boy for a nice local restaurant. In the 3 years I was there I saw how grueling it was for the cooks/chef.

They offer a few different programs but the program I'm taking is not 'geared to prepare you to work in the industry', it's just for people who want to be great cooks at home. There are 3 compulsory technique courses but then you get to choose the 6 electives you want to take (I'm thinking BBQ, Butchery, French, Southern Italian, Spanish and Vegetarian, if anyone was interested! haha). The classes aren't graded and it's a very relaxed atmosphere, very different from their program for people who want to work as a chef. There was a lot of courses if have to take which would be a complete waste of time/money ( college English, computer skills, restaurant math, etc) ... I'm sorry I don't need to spend $300 boning up on my computer skills.
So I get to choose what I'll learn, it's a great relaxed atmosphere, the trade off is it can never be used to become a Chef.

I love your idea of rifling through cook books at the library. I should give that more consideration... I just worry the way I am, I lack the discipline to learn as much as I would at a school. The tuition is a penalty I pay for lacking a discipline! haha but if after a class or two I'm not blown away by the program I won't take any more courses and I'll start your library idea.

UPDATE: I've officially signed up for the first class! I start in late September, so unfortunately have to wait 2.5 months. If I do the whole course will be roughly $3200 and if I time the classes right I figure I should get about $800 of that back in taxes. I'm also hoping each class will be able to replace two meals, which will save a bit there too... you see, I'm walking ya through my train of thought that (attempts to) justifies this expense haha