So you're thinking about fulfilling your culinary dreams by going to culinary school and getting a dream job on Food TV. Turns out you're not alone. Right now, a record number of aspiring chefs are enrolling in culinary school (some of which charge more than $20,000 a year). However, many graduates are finding themselves up to their eyeballs in debt, working long hours, making low wages at entry-level jobs. To learn more about it,

Industry observers say celebrity chefs like Rachael Ray and Emeril Lagasse — with his trademark exclamation, "Bam!" — helped launch the craze. The rising popularity of cable TV's The Food Network and reality shows like "Top Chef" and "Hell's Kitchen" are fueling it.

"It looks really fun on TV," said Tim Ryan, president of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., one of the country's premier training grounds for chefs. "You've got an audience adoring you. You say, 'Bam!' and throw some stuff on a plate and everyone goes nuts.

"That's not what happens," he said. "The work is long and hard. There's a lot of pressure."

So, if you're thinking about enrolling in culinary school, you may want to really consider the reasons why. The percentage of would-be chefs are up, and so is the number of food service jobs, but unfortunately the number of chefs and head cooks has stayed the same.

Source: Inside Bay Area