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Time to fess up... who cooks professionally?

Some of the meals posted on here are really jaw-droppingly impressive. So much so, that I half wonder if we have some ringers among us. I got to thinking this after recently seeing a cook put together by one of my favourite posters, who regularly and frequently churns out dishes that simply appear too good to come from an amateur. 

Who amongst you makes a living from cooking, either wholly or in part? Pure curiosity. 


  • LeopoldstochLeopoldstoch Posts: 878
    Certainly do not make a living from cooking, but can confidently say I am beyond impressed, inspired, and jealous of several folks on here and their cooking skills! Love seeing what people are able to produce and come up with that inspires me to keep trying and keep refining my skill set.

    Brandon - Ohio

  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 2,405
    I worked at a steak n shake for 3 years in high school 
    I worked at chick fil a for two years in high school and zaxby's one summer

  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 9,918
    I worked at a steak n shake for 3 years in high school 
    I lasted 2 days as a fry cook at
    Thank you,

    Galveston Texas
  • smokingalsmokingal Posts: 1,025
    I worked at McD's for about two months in high school, followed by a very brief stint at a soul food restaurant.  Other than that 'professional' food experience, it's been nothing but science and tech.  I'm not sure I'd like cooking professionally.
    It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
    Egging in the Atlanta GA region
    Large BGE, CGS setup, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap,
    Arteflame grill grate
  • hvhunterhvhunter Posts: 35
    I slept at a Holiday Inn last night. 
  • CigarCityEggerCigarCityEgger Posts: 1,763
    I worked at Moe’s southwest grill throughout college. I opened and prepped food for throughout the day, so my Tex Mex is usually pretty solid. Made chicken fajitas on the Blackstone for a concert tailgate last weekend and everyone was blown away. To me it was easy as pie, but always appreciate the compliments 

  • GATravellerGATraveller Posts: 7,507
    I cooked at the Snowgoose Grill in St. Mary, MT a couple summers as well as a local wing/burger joint (Loco's) in Athens, GA back in the 90's.  I think everyone should work in the food industry at some point in their lives so they know what and what not to complain about when dining out.  

    "Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community [...] but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It's the invasion of the idiots."

                                                                                  -Umberto Eco

    2 Large
    Peachtree Corners, GA
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 8,047
    In high school I worked at Godfather's Pizza. In college, I worked at Pizza Hutt and Poppa Rollo's in Waco and was a bartender for awhile, so no real professional training.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 4,077
    I worked at Noble Roman's Pizza in high school. Won "Pie Master 1997" It was quite the regional
    ~ John - Instagram @hoosier_egger
    1-XL BGE, 2-LG BGE, KJ Jr, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 4,385
    I worked at Taco Bell in high school. The only “cooking” I remember is boiling the bags of meat and mixing boiling water with the dried beans.



     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • GATravellerGATraveller Posts: 7,507
    shtgunal3 said:
    I worked at Taco Bell in high school. The only “cooking” I remember is boiling the bags of meat and mixing boiling water with the dried beans.

    "Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community [...] but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It's the invasion of the idiots."

                                                                                  -Umberto Eco

    2 Large
    Peachtree Corners, GA
  • BattlebornBattleborn Posts: 1,421
    shtgunal3 said:
    I worked at Taco Bell in high school. The only “cooking” I remember is boiling the bags of meat and mixing boiling water with the dried beans.
    *Meat like substance
    Las Vegas, NV
    LG BGE, off-set smoker & various Weber's 
  • evie1370evie1370 Posts: 505
    Worked at Burger King in High School, then Frisch's as a waitress and a car hop (that last one shows you how old I am!). Agree with the above, nothing like working in the industry to make you appreciate servers/cooks. We always tip.

    I found out I loved to cook by watching Food Network. I was laid up after multiple surgeries during a trying time, and watched it to pass the time. Rachel Ray was my favorite-I watched her and said 'hey, I can do that'. And so I did, and continue to do so. Started with her recipes, changed them up then discovered BBQ then the Egg-and the rest is history. 

    Like others have commented I just like making people happy, and I really enjoy the process-the creativity-and learning new things. I would never do it professionally-it would take the joy right out of it.

    Medium BGE in Cincinnati OH.


    "I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but, by God, they frighten me. " Duke of Wellington, Battle of Waterloo.
  • johnnypjohnnyp Posts: 3,696
    I worked concessions at an AMC theater in High School.   I kept getting distracted and burning the popcorn.
    XL & MM BGE, 36" Blackstone - Newport News, VA
  • littlerascal56littlerascal56 Posts: 1,238
    Cooked for the gun club, but that was mostly outdoor grilling (burgers, brats, hot dogs).  Never had any complaints!

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++Weber 26" kettle

  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 15,434
    I worked at a country club, split shift some summers in the kitchen. I was 14-15 at the time. 

    It was a very private country club which had super wealthy blue blood money representing all its members.

    On a July 4 holiday the club was having a celebration, open invitation to all its members (mid 700s) for BBQ.

    The chef, and his helper quit that weekend, for another job at a country club out west.

    It left just myself, some poor guy doing salads, and the club manager.

    I became chef for a day. A very long day.

    Liquid smoke is your friend.

    We fed about 600 people that day. I cooked, kept filling serving pans and delivering them, keeping them full and lines moving.

    It was that day I decided I wanted to learn to cook. I did know, however, I did not want to cook there.

    I had always helped out in the kitchen in the boys home, where I was raised, which helped me get the Country club summer job.

    That is all I got.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • dannysdannys Posts: 91
    I've never cooked professionally but I trained to become one. If the working hours, working conditions, and pay was better I might have considered it as a job. But engineering pays better.

    I did get to work with a couple of famous chefs for charity events.
  • speed51133speed51133 Posts: 464
    I'm blown away by the amount of money spent on cuts of the recent A5 posts....
  • THEBuckeyeTHEBuckeye Posts: 4,210
    I worked 5 years at a seafood and steak restaurant in San Antonio between '81 and '86.  Started off as a dishwasher.  Then busboy.  Assistant cook, prep.  Then head cook, food manager (managed inventory).  All three of my siblings worked there too at one point or another.  

    Small chain called Pelican's Wharf.  There was one in Austin also, I think another in Corpus Christi.

    Learned a lot, tough work.  Basically a head cook and backup cranked out everything from the kitchen.  

    Our bread and butter was king crab, PR and steaks.  We had a myriad of fresh fish and the lobster was only Australian rock tails.  We made everything from scratch except for stuff like ranch dressing, we mixed the Hidden Valley powder with mayo and buttermilk.   I probably made several thousand cheesecakes, hundreds of gallons of chowder and contributed to the genocide of more crustaceans and shellfish than I care to remember.

    I could write a book about those years.  Got laid the first time, wrecked my Z.  Your shoes would get funky working in the kitchen.  Practical jokes, friends, partying.  My first big fight. 

    Did I learn to cook?  No, not really.  I learned how to do the job and haul ass. Not that I consider myself a chef to this day, I really started to really learn after I met SWMBO over 20 years ago when I started cooking again after a hiatus. 

    Also I cooked later in college for Olive Garden.  Maybe 5 months.  Met my first wife there.  Job sucked.  Corporate America at that position is just a commodity job.  I imagine it was as close as it gets to working a low level job during the industrial revolution in the late 19th century. 

    Also waited tables and tended bar.

    Nothing like working in the industry to give you the empathy to tip well, even if you can't afford it.  I always tip well, even if the service is sub par.  Everyone can have a bad day.  It just might be 15% in that case.
    New Albany, Ohio 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 32,777
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • xfire_ATXxfire_ATX Posts: 748
    I worked in a Grandys as a fry cook in HS- I took the job in the winter and only kept it until the pools opened and I went back to life guarding (no job pays as well for so little work).  I had like 4 min of training and was throwing chicken into a fryer- scared the He!! out of me.  At one point I could crack two eggs in my Right Hand and one in my left as I went.

    My neighbor is a Chef runs a business out of his house- in home demonstrations, on site cooking and such and occasionally we will partner on something- I egg it he uses that as part of something later.  Brisket Chili, He takes all my chicken bones and makes stock for Jambalya.  I am cooking a brisket for him tomorrow for his 50th bday party.
    LBGE, Charbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Old Weber Kettle, Yeti 65, RTIC 20, Too many Yeti/ RTIC drinkware vessels to mention.

    Not quite in Austin, TX City Limits
  • Cookbook_ChipCookbook_Chip Posts: 1,283
    My first ever job was Mickie-D's.  Two weeks and outta there!  But I sure learned to run a cash register after adding up the items on paper and looking up sales tax on a chart.  Wow.  Now I print cookbooks.  WAY easier.
    Lovin' my Large Egg since May 2012 (Richmond, VA) ... and makin' cookbooks at
    Stoker II wifi, Thermapen, and a Fork for plating photo purposes
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 7,573
    One winter holiday season at Disney World I worked underground at Tomorrowland Terrace.  Two of us would take 144 hotdogs (I use that term loosely) that were frozen together as a solid block of ice and put them in a bath to thaw just enough to separate from each other and have no attached ice crystals.  Once thawed, we would place each dog into a bun.  Then each bun into an individual foil bag.  Then 48 foiled dogs in buns onto a rack.  Then stack the racks so they could be put into an oven.  So, based on that experience I think I'm like 1 or 2 credits away from a degree in cheffing.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,325
    Somehow, I don't think the OP was interested in your high school exploits at a burger or pizza joint. "Boiling bags of meat" has to be the prize winner though!

    Any real cooking training or experience here?

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

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