In kitchens, cooks come and go. It is a merry-go-round with new prep/line cooks coming in and old ones going out. It is actually very difficult for a chef to find that one new cook who is going to be different than the many others who have come and gone so many times before. Chefs have an immense workload and a vast amount of tasks to keep track of. This is mentally exhausting. To have a line cook that they know 100% of the time is going to do the right thing, even when nobody is looking, is priceless. I can not begin to tell you how much “babysitting” has to go on in some kitchens to ensure that all of the minor details that make a kitchen great are always being tended to. Much more than any culinary arts degree, chefs are looking for potential. Ask any chef if they would rather have a cocky culinary school graduate or a humble and optimistic non-graduate and I am willing to bet most if not all of them would chose the latter. Apply for a job just as you would as if you had prior culinary training. What I would recommend, however, is showing great persistence, commitment, and a desire to learn while doing so.