How to Advance from Con to Cook, According to the Judges

Are you a home cook looking to make a career move into a professional kitchen? Here's how to do it.
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Geoffrey Zakarian

"If they really want to be a pro, they have to find the best chef in their area and go work with him or her on weekends and just get in there in the ring and step and ride the bull."

Katie Lee    

"Just go for it."

Richard Blais

"Spend one 14-hour day at a stove just swirling around and cooking. The next morning, think about if you really want to do that five to six days a week for 10 years."

Josh Capon

"Spend some time in a professional kitchen before you make the jump. Cooking for friends and family is very different than when it's a job."

Monti Carlo

"Go to your favorite mom-and-pop restaurant and let the chef know that you are willing to wash their dishes for free. If you keep your head down and do a great job, they'll throw some grunt work at you, like chopping onions or peeling potatoes. Stay focused, work fast, work clean and soak up as much as you can."

Scott Conant

"My best piece of advice would be to throw yourself into it headfirst and just do it. Dedicate yourself fully."

Marc Murphy

"Work in a restaurant or a kitchen before going to culinary school. You have to love the environment of a restaurant or it just won't work."

Alex Guarnaschelli

"This show is the jumping-off point. If you find yourself addicted to the electricity of it, you're going to have to address that. Trail in a kitchen. Do some extra cooking at home. If the cooking starts to speak to you, it may be time for next steps like culinary school or cooking classes."

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