This is my story and I am sticking to it.
Short version for those of you in a hurry: I was a doctor who went to culinary school to become a pastry chef and chocolatier, left medicine, and am now in the process of opening a chocolate and dessert shop.
If you have a little more time to kill: I remember from a very young age wanting to be a chef. Even before people like Rachel Ray, Emeril and Bobby Flay(next time I see you remind me to tell you a story about this one) made being a chef glamorous and worthy of celebrity. Even as a child there was something that seemed romantic and nurturing and creative about the profession. I don't particularly remember doing a lot of cooking ( although I always remember doing a lot of eating - odd, I might have gottten those two things confused and should have become a professional eater instead) None-the-less I got diverted from path and ended up in medical school. Before I knew it I was a medical resident and then finally out in practice in the middle of beautiful no where Kentucky.
Remarkable enough the entire time I practiced medicine I could hear the whispers of flour, butter, and sugar calling my name so I spent a lot of my extra time experimenting in my home kitchen, learning as much as I could from the likes of Julia Child and Martha Stewart. No, they weren't my only friends, but I knew I could always count on them - for dessert, anyway. i went through cookbook after cookbook soaking them all in and finally came to realization that I wasn't getting any younger. I moved to Bloomington eventually, started work as a physician at Indiana University Health Center, and began planning for the next step in my pastry education - culinary school.
"Do I need to go to culinary school to learn to be a chef?" is a question I get often from usually young and enthusiastic baking hobbiests. The short answer is no. Many fantastic chefs have trained their way to the top acquiring more experience than I will ever have. However, if you are a 38 year old professional who's life clock is tic tic ticking and want to move things along a bit, culinary school is a great way to go. A lot of experience and knowledge acquisition in a little bit of time. So, in the fall of 2003, bright eyed and cheeks of tan, I went to New York to train at The Institute of Culinary Education. Almost a year of shuttling back and forth evey weekend while I worked at the student health center during the week gave me a wealth of knowledge and the inspiration to do something with it! I came back to Bloomington full of sugar and spice (which added about 20 pounds to my othewise delicate frame) and a few months later BLU Culinary Arts, LLC was born!