The writer investigates the financial realities of attending culinary school, and the hard life of a working chef:

“Chef Brad Spence wouldn’t go culinary school if he had to do it all over again. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, the chef/partner of Philadelphia’s Amis moved to New York City, where he made $8 or $9 an hour. Even though he was getting help from his dad to pay off the student loans, Spence says he “could barely live” between the low salary, high rent, and regular loan payments. And that’s the norm for New York City line cooks. Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen says that generally cooks can expect a raise of $1 a year, meaning one can hope to be making $20 an hour 10 years into a career. That’s still not very helpful for someone who needs to pay off tens of thousands of dollars in culinary school debt.”