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California Culinary Academy

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I need more information about California Culinary Academy. I never got a chance to visit the school but I talked to the school representative: the class size is 32 students, is that too many?

What are my chances out there, as I am a woman and also Asian? I noticed that most of the chefs, sous chef and Executive chef are men! Please give me some information/feedback.
post #2 of 16
32 seems like a lot of students for one class. You can check out an online journal of a woman who attended CCA...point your broswer to http://casweet-thing.blogspot.com/ check out the Archives at the bottom of the page.

Best wishes.
Pastry Life Journal


When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.
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Pastry Life Journal


When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.
Reply
post #3 of 16
I go to orlando culinary academy and yes 32 is way too many. We started out with a class that size and they had to split us up b/c we weren't getting enough hands on time. Smaller classer are alot easier to work in!
post #4 of 16
Most schools try to limit class sizes to around 20. 32 is way too much, particularly for that school ( I'm not a big fan of CCA).
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your feedback.
Greg, why are you not a big fan? Please share...
post #6 of 16
Is the 25-30+ class size normal for most of the culinary schools? I had a phone interview with CCA in SF this week, and that was the number per class. Are there any culinary schools that have a smaller amount? I met with a school in Austin, TX that had 15. But I don't believe they had the same credentials compared to a Le cordon Blue program.
post #7 of 16
my class right now has 12 people in it :D
post #8 of 16
Stacy, may I ask where you attend school?
post #9 of 16
Wow! So you mean about half the people on PEI go to culinary school? Amazing. :D :D
post #10 of 16
I've seen a few of their instructional videos; if that's their curriculum, they teach bad technique. Now, from your info, it seems they have turned into a "factory" culinary school. Get as many in the door as you can (thereby lowering what little quality of education they had), get their money and spit them out.
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #11 of 16
Our classes are no larger than 15 students.


[COLOR=Red]Module 1: Weeks 1-15[/COLOR]Introduction to Culinary Arts
Food Safety
Culinary Skill Development
Nutrition
Meat Identification and Fabrication
Food Purchasing & Receiving
Baking & Pastry Skill Development
Breakfast & Lunch Skill Development
Module 2: Weeks 16-30Kitchen Staples and the Art of Seasoning
Wines and Beverages
Kitchen Management
Dining Room Management
Garde Manger
Culinary Leadership
Advanced Culinary Skill Development
American Regional Cuisine
Baking and Pastry Skill Development II
Culinary Internship
Module 3: Weeks 31-45Professional Table Service
Computer Concepts
Food and Beverage Cost Controls
Food and Wine Pairing
Techniques of Healthy Cooking
Regional French Cuisine
Asian Cuisine
Mediterranean Cuisine
World Cuisine
Module 4: Weeks 46-60Catering and Banquets
Menu Planning
Garde Manger II
Culinary Career Paths
Patisserie
Performance and Presentation
Culinary Internship II
Program Outline, Center for Culinary Arts
Day Program
Culinary Arts Course Descriptions, Day Program
INTRODUCTION TO CULINARY ARTS
Topics covered in this course include the
history of food and the food service
industry, the various types of food service
operations, culinary terminology, equipment
identification and the past, present
and future role of the chef.
FOOD SAFETY
This course is based on the National
Restaurant Association’s Serve/Safe
Food Service Sanitation course. Students
will learn about the causes of food
contamination and spoilage, food-borne
illness, safe food handling procedures,
and control methods for protecting the
customer. Students successfully passing
the National Restaurant Association’s
Education Foundation standardized test
will receive their Sanitation Certificate.
CULINARY SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Students start their kitchen training by
learning proper cooking techniques,
culinary terminology, and the proper use
and care of culinary tools. The production
of stocks, sauces, soups and meats as
well as efficient and safe knife skills will
be stressed.
NUTRITION
This course introduces the basic principles
of nutrition as they apply to different
food service operations. The categories
of nutrients are identified and their
importance in a balanced diet discussed.
The student will learn the evolution of the
USDA food pyramid and its significance in
planning wholesome menus. Product
labeling will be explained along with the
effect storage and preparation techniques
have on food’s nutritional value.
MEAT IDENTIFICATION AND FABRICATION
Taught in conjunction with Culinary Skill
Development, students will learn to bone,
cut and portion a variety of meat items
including poultry, beef, lamb and pork.
Students will gain knowledge in the
handling, receiving and storing of meats,
as well as learning proper inspection and
grading categories.
FOOD PURCHASING & RECEIVING
The duties and responsibilities of the
purchasing agent are crucial to the
financial success of any food service
operation. Students will learn about
ordering, receiving, and storage techniques.
The grading of fruits, vegetables,
meats, poultry, fish and dry goods are
reviewed.
BAKING & PASTRY SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Students learn the principles of baking
with strong emphasis placed on accuracy
and understanding formulas. The
science of baking will be studied and
production will include quick breads,
cookies, pies and yeast breads.
BREAKFAST & LUNCH SKILL
DEVELOPMENT
Students learn to produce traditional
breakfast and lunch items. Topics
include the methods and science of egg
cookery, breakfast flour products such as
griddle cakes and pancakes and crepes,
brunch production and presentation, cold
sandwiches, hot sandwiches, deep fried
products, wraps, burgers and condiments.
KITCHEN STAPLES & THE ART OF
SEASONING
The successful preparation of desirable
food in today’s commercial kitchens
requires intimate knowledge of the
world’s many kitchen staples including
herbs, spices, oils, extracts, flavorings,
and nuts. Product identification by sight,
smell and taste will be stressed.
WINES AND BEVERAGES
This course will explore the fundamentals
of wine and beverage management.
Wine production processes will be
discussed and students will have the
opportunity to learn through both lecture
and wine tasting. Discussions on grape
varieties, diseases and farming customs
are part of the course. Students will also
become familiar with alcoholic and nonalcoholic
beverages and the laws
governing them.
KITCHEN MANAGEMENT
Students will learn essential management
techniques used in the kitchen.
The philosophy, psychology and teamwork
aspects of managing a kitchen will
be stressed. Emphasis will be placed on
the importance of quality team management.
Culinary Arts Course Descriptions, Day Program, 2
GARDE MANGER
Good management of under-utilized food
items could dramatically increase
restaurant revenues. In the kitchen,
students learn to prepare pates, terrines,
sausages, and similar foods, and
arrange platters using fruits, cheeses,
vegetables, canapés and hors d’ouvres.
ADVANCED CULINARY SKILL
DEVELOPMENT
Now that students possess basic
knowledge about proper cooking techniques
and sauce preparations, students
will be asked to apply those techniques to
more complicated dishes using more
specialized ingredients. Emphasis in this
course is placed on beef, veal, seafood
and shellfish preparations. Students will
be taught proper plate presentations.
AMERICAN REGIONAL CUISINE
In this course, students will learn to
prepare dishes representative of the
different regions of the United States.
Regional food items typically reflect the
history of the region and the food items
that are grown and harvested in that
region. From the Northeast to the
Southwest and all point in between, this
class will feature some of the best that
America has to offer.
DINING ROOM MANAGEMENT
Communication between the back of the
house and the front of the house and
communication with customers are focal
points of this class. Techniques and
procedures that ensure quality service
and management of the dining room are
stressed.
CULINARY LEADERSHIP
To move up the culinary career ladder,
chefs need to be good motivators,
teachers, managers, thinkers and
leaders. Students will learn the importance
of effective communications to train
successful employees. Topics including
training objectives, instructional delivery,
orientation training, training technology
and psychology will be presented.
BAKING AND PASTRY SKILL
DEVELOPMENT II
Advanced baking and pastry techniques
will be presented to students. Pies and
tarts, rolled-in dough products, such as
croissants, pate a choux and specialty
yeast breads will be produced.
PROFESSIONAL TABLE SERVICE
In most classic fine dining restaurants,
tableside preparations are the show--
flames and all. The techniques of proper
tableside service will be presented, and
practiced with classic items which may
include Steak Diane, Sautéed Cornish
Game Hen, Caesar Salad, Cherries
Jubilee, Crepe Suzette, Bananas Foster
and Steak au Poivre.
COMPUTER CONCEPTS
Using Microsoft Word and Excel, students
will work within the windows-based
environment utilizing applications most
important to their careers. Computer
exercises include developing a cover
letter and resume to get prepared for the
job market.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE COST CONTROLS
This course examines the current
methods and principles of food, beverage,
and labor cost controls for food
service operations. The relationship
between cost of goods sold, revenues
generated, and net profit are explored.
The student will see how cost decisions
are made and learn how managers react
to different industry trends.
FOOD AND WINE PAIRING
Students learn the proper guidelines of
matching specific wines with specific food
items. Pairing wines and food items
properly leads to a great dining experience
for customers.
TECHNIQUES OF HEALTHY COOKING
Can a chef prepare food items that are
healthy to eat, yet pleasing to the palate?
In this course students will learn to use
techniques and ingredients that satisfy
the healthy customer's desire for flavorful
food.
Culinary Arts Course Descriptions, Day Program, 3
REGIONAL FRENCH CUISINE
Students prepare classic French recipes
indicative of specific regions of France.
Students will gain an appreciation for
regional influences on food and how they
have sculpted what has become the
“classic cuisine” of the world.
ASIAN CUISINE
Students learn to prepare regional dishes
of Asia. Emphasis will be placed on
ingredients, flavor profiles, preparations,
and techniques representative of the
cuisines of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam,
Thailand and Indonesia.
MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE
Prepare, taste, serve, and evaluate
traditional, regional dishes of Europe and
the Mediterranean. Emphasis will be
placed on ingredients, flavor profiles,
preparations, and techniques representative
of the cuisines of Spain, Portugal,
France, Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, and
Egypt.
WORLD CUISINE
Students in this course will visit a wide
variety of culinary destinations. As such,
they will prepare, taste, serve, and
evaluate traditional dishes from the
British Isles, Africa, Germany, Mexico,
South America and the Carribbean.
CATERING AND BANQUETS
Catering operations represent a large
percentage of business in culinary arts.
Students learn to integrate cooking and
event management skills to create the
“perfect” event. Topics of discussion will
include equipment, staffing, start-up,
business practices, and planning menus.
A variety of catering menus will be
produced for a number of different catered
events.
MENU PLANNING
Here, students will develop a practical
working knowledge of menu planning and
design. Color, layout, cost and merchandising
of food will be taught to the student
as part of this course. Several menu
types will be presented and discussed.
GARDE MANGER II
This course refines the student’s skills in
charcuterie and sets the emphasis on
cold displays where food texture, color,
artistic creativity and complimentary
flavors are orchestrated to achieve
optimum eye and palate appeal. Classic
production techniques are paired with
today’s trends and restaurant requirements.
CULINARY CAREER PATHS
Through group and individual sessions
with the instructor, students will receive a
professional assessment of their skills
as those skills relate to future employment
opportunities.
PATISSERIE
From egg foam cakes to angel food,
chiffon, meringue and high ratio cakes,
students will learn to bake, assemble and
decorate cakes for restaurant menus and
special occasions. In addition, students
will create specialized dessert sauces
and learn beautiful plate presentations.
PERFORMANCE AND PRESENTATION
As part of this capstone course students
will plan and prepare a multi-course
dining event for paying guests. Students
will be responsible for every detail of the
event from menu planning to menu
costing, food preparation and service.
CULINARY INTERNSHIP I & II
Work experience provides the student
with an opportunity to apply the skills and
knowledge developed in the classroom
and apply it. This is an exciting and
extremely worthwhile course designed to
build confidence and provide practical
experience for the chef-in-training. CA215
requires 135 hours of on-the-job work
experience and CA315 requires 135
hours of on-the-job work experience
during the fourth module.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #12 of 16
When I was @ NECI our class size ranged from 7 - 10. My new school The French Pastry School we have 16 the class is still small compared to other schools.
Pastry Life Journal


When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.
Reply
Pastry Life Journal


When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.
Reply
post #13 of 16

i'm a graduate of the CCA

Dear concerned about class size,
i graduated from the cca in 2000, a woman my self i do think that 32 students is a large class size, however you'd be surprised how quickly people will drop off and the class isze will get smaller. When i attended we had a class size of around 22 and that was fine. Also a bit more advice if i may, having gone there was a great experience but you can receive the same credential from several junior colleges in the bay area, they won't be cordon bleu accreditted, but it's the same class work and information. it all about where you get your experience, i personally hire based on skill set, do your time in the kitchen and work your butt off. Good luck with your future please feel free to ask any other questions if you need to.
post #14 of 16

...

you get out what you put in...even if there are thirty people to a class, chances are that ten of them are taking it seriously. CCA does seem to be accepting any and all students, but a quality education can still be found there. They recently built a second campus also...I think to ease the crowding.
post #15 of 16

Neci ?

Tytitan, I am looking at NECI right now. I'm interested in the culinary arts program (I know you are pastry) but I'm wondering if you know anything about the program, and if you could recommend it? You know, the general stuff. I just haven't heard anyone's opinion of the school. ANY information would be appreciated.

Thanks so much.

Heather
post #16 of 16
NECI's Culinary program is great. I had to take a few classes on the hot side and I have close friends in the program as well. I think the best thing about NECI is that all the way through the program you're cooking in real kitchens..that's why it's so expensive...lol.

The classes are small like I stated before. You rotate through different kitchens ever 2 1/2 weeks so that means your schedule changes as well. Take for example.... When I had AM CAFE (Breakfast and Lunch) class started at 6 and ended around 2 I think. Then you have PM CAFE (Dinner) that starts at 2 and last until 7 or 8...can't remember. But you get the point.

If you have any more questions fill free to ask away. :)
Pastry Life Journal


When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.
Reply
Pastry Life Journal


When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.
Reply
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