Pros: Instructors, Facilities
I attended J&W Culinary in Denver during the 2001-02 school year. While I was there I felt that the program was a very thorough and well-rounded program. The instructors were a pretty decent group of chefs with experience across the board, from cruise ships to catering companies to fine dining. After 12 years of being out of school and about 7 years of being out of the industry, my opinion of J&W and the program has not changed. I still feel like they offered me a good program.
However, my opinion on culinary school as whole has changed. Big name schools are not cheap. For me it comes down to this, if you will be graduating culinary school without student loans, get into the program you think is the best for you. If you will be graduating with loans, seriously consider a community college program. In the end, grilling is grilling no matter where the grill is located. Before I went to J&W I surveyed chefs in four major cities and asked them if the school mattered to them when looking for new cooks. Overwhelmingly the response was the school did not make that big of a difference, it was the passion of the individual. I graduated with $22k worth of student loan debt and walked into a $10/hr job. Eventually it became too much debt to dig out of so I went into food related sales.
Because this is a review of J&W Denver I do want to say again that they offered me a very nice program at top notch facilities. If you can afford a school like J&W, go for it. However, if you cannot get through without debt there is no shame in attending a local program. Neither J&W nor your local community college have a class on passion, either you have it or you don't, and if you have it the school on your diploma won't matter.