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LCB in Minneapolis

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi. I was just wondering if anyone can give me any info about the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis. Any info is appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 17

LCB Minneapolis

Hey Bethap,

I live in Minneapolis and did some research a couple of years ago because I was interested in attending LCB up at Brown College.

I was really turned off by the approach of the person I met with (whose name I don't remember). Basically, I went in for an informational conversation, and by the end of this discussion, the dude was trying to get me to pay him $100 to secure my spot in the next class in 2 weeks and whipped out a chef's jacket for me to try on. I had expressed that I was only there for information and was still exploring my options, but he was really aggressive about selling the school to me. In my opinion, if it were such a great school, would they be so eager to enroll some random person who chatted with them for 30 minutes??

Additionally, the facility was small and I thought the resources were basically non-existent.

A friend of mine is a cook at a local restaurant and I spoke to her about LCB. She told me that they had hired 4 people from LCB recently and all of them had either left or been fired within 30 days. I think that speaks for itself!

Best of luck,
Michele
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi Michele,
Thanks for the info. I'll definitely keep what you said in mind. Some guy from LCB called me but I was in class or work and I didn't get to talk to him. He seemed really nice. From what I've read online, LCB isn't affiliated with Brown College anymore and they have a new facility. I may be wrong but I think that's what I read. Here's my situation: I graduate in May with degrees in biology and English and I want to move to Minneapolis. I'm in West Virginia now. Anyway, I'd like to get some kind of culinary degree because it's something I've always wanted to do. I'd like to find a program in/around Minneapolis that offers a part-time option of going to school. I can't go full time because I have to work. If you can give me any info that could help me, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
Beth
post #4 of 17
The LCB school in Chicago is just as pushy. I do not want to be sold a culinary education like the way I am sold a car. I finally told them I wasn't going to attend and the phone calls and emails continue. I am no longer a fan of Le Cordon Blue education.
post #5 of 17
Beth,

If you are really set on coming to Minneapolis, there are basically 3 culinary school options: LCB, Art Institute, or Minneapolis Community & Technical College. You'll receive a culinary education of some sort at all of these schools, it just depends on how much you want to pay. LCB & Art Institute are quite pricey and to be honest, I don't think that either are worth the money.

MCTC might be a nice option for you. It is a solid community college and they offer an associate's degree in the Culinary Arts. I have never taken culinary classes there, but I have taken other courses and have been quite impressed with the quality of the faculty and facilities. I had a great experience at MCTC and would recommend it highly to anyone. AND, you can't beat the price. It is extremely reasonable, FAR less than the other two options.

Of course, MCTC doesn't have the name that LCB or even AI have, so if I were you I'd ask myself what I want my degree FOR. Are you interested in it purely for education's sake? Do you want to get a job with a high-profile establishment afterwards? All of these factors will play a role in your final decision.

If you want to succeed in the culinary industry and want a job with a high-profile restaurant or hotel...I wouldn't recommend any of these schools. However, if you want a basic education and are willing to take that and work your way up the ranks, MCTC might be a good fit for you.

I hope this helps!
Michele
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi Michele,
Thanks for the info. I know that I don't want a career as a chef. I just want to learn the proper way of cooking and be able to wow my friends and family. I feel that a lot of culinary arts is exactly that-ART- and I'd love to be able to produce it. I really don't want to pay $30000-40,000 to learn how to cook if it's not going to be my career. I've looked at the schools you told me about and MTCC (?) looks feasible. I've found some other schools that have culinary arts programs near the Twin Cities. There is St Paul College, Hennepin Technical College and a couple others. Have you heard anything about these?
Also, do you like living in the Twin Cities? I'll be moving there this time next year and will appreciate any advice you have for me. Thanks! Beth :smiles:
post #7 of 17
Beth,

If you don't want to be a chef, then MCTC or another community college is definitely the way to go. Bear in mind, of course, that these are 2 year programs. Do you want to spend that much time learning how to cook? Or would you rather just take some classes casually, at night or on weekends, for instance? If the latter appeals to you, then I might suggest taking recreational cooking classes as an alternative to a degree program.

For instance, I work at a kitchen store here in Minneapolis (www.kitchenwindow.com) that has a cooking school attached to it. They offer great classes all year round, including some basics, like a 4-part Intro to Cooking series, along with a 2-part Knife Skills series. There are all sorts of other classes, too...like sushi, indian cuisine, cake decorating...you name it. Classes are about $60-$70 each and are about 3-4 hours long. Just something to think about.

Regarding St Paul College & Hennepin Technical College, I don't really know anything about those schools, so I can't comment.

Yes, I do love living in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis specifically. It's just a great place to live. There's a lot of culture and the great rewards that come with city living (good food, theater, etc) but also is small enough that its not overwhelming. It's also extremely clean and really beautiful. Spring, Summer & Fall here are just amazing. I've lived here 4 years and really do love it.

The only downside is the winter, of course. We really get our behinds kicked every winter, so keep that in mind. Winters are long and very cold. They can be hard to get through. That's basically Minnesota's major downfall. But if you don't mind the cold, you'll be fine.

Why are you moving to the Twin Cities? If you have any questions I'm happy to answer them.

Best of luck,
Michele
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi Michele,
I had thought of taking recreational cooking classes but wasn't sure they would be professional caliber. The store you work looks great. I would love that place. I've also thought of buying the textbooks used in culinary school and learn from that. It's not the same as having a prof. chef assisting you but I'm sure I could learn something from it. I think it may be the competitiveness in me that wants to have a degree so I would know the proper way to do things. All of your suggestions have helped and I appreciate the advice.What's your culinary background?
I'm graduating this year and I've been doing research on places I may like to live. Minneapolis seems to have what I want. I want a large city with plenty to do, theatre, museums, great restaurants, a zoo, excellent healthcare, good higher education in case I want to pursue a Masters, a vet school so my dog can have the best healthcare as well as other things. As for the winter, I love snow and cold weather. I've never experienced like in Minnesota, but I think I could deal with it. I want to go some place totally different from here in WV. I love WV-it's beautiful and the people are the nicest anywhere. It's my home, but there aren't many opportunities for young people. Jobs are scarce (it seems like) unless you work at McDonald's or Wal-mart. My best friends have moved South to Georgia and NC. I don't want to move south because I can't stand the hot summers. It's too hot here in WV. I want some place totally different. I've been through a lot here. I have had a serious car wreck, my mother's illness, and dealing with the aftermaths of those experiences. I guess I just need to get away and experience something totally new. I don't know anyone in MN, but something in my heart (I know it's cheesy) is telling me to go to Minneapolis. I don't know why. People look at me like I'm crazy when I say I want to go there. Everyone I've talked to that has been there or lived in the Twin Cities have nothing but good things to say about it. I've been to Rochester many years ago and I don't remember much about it. I plan on visiting the Twin Cities area before I make my final decisions. Again, thanks for the advice so far and any Twin Cities info you can give me (recommendations on where to live, etc.) will be appreciated. I have to go to class now and I hope to hear from you soon.

Beth
post #9 of 17
Regarding Saint Paul College and Hennepin Tech, I've known or worked with grads of both; the majority were good cooks. The two Hennepin grads that used to work for me didn't exactly give it ringing endorsements. I've always heard good things about Saint Paul College, though.
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post #10 of 17
Hey Beth,

Glad my advice is of some assistance. Heh, my culinary background? Well....basically, I have no "formal" training but have been cooking for years and after I graduated from college, decided to get some restaurant experience before plunging into culinary school. (I've been dreaming of culinary school since I was 18!) So, I've spent the last 4 years working in restaurants, trying to figure out if culinary school was what I really wanted to pursue. (Didn't want another useless degree, you know?)

Anyways, after years of research I am ready to take the plunge and am starting at CIA early next year. Woohoo!

Based on what you said, Beth, I think you'll just be as happy as a little piglet here in Minneapolis. Seriously. You're gonna love it. Life sure will be different than West Virginia and you'll have plenty of culure to keep you occupied. I admire your desire to travel and see more of the world, that's awesome. Moving across the country by yourself is scary (but exciting!), so you're a courageous young woman! I wish you much success and happiness.

What are you looking for in a neighborhood to live in? What kind of apartment do you want? Again, I'd be happy to help and give advice in this area. (I've done lots of moving around the country myself, so I understand your need for information). Whatever I can offer, I am happy to. Feel free to send me an email at michelesalami@mac.com, as I think we've gotten a tad off-topic here! :)

Best,
Michele
post #11 of 17
I know quite a few HTC grads. Sounds like they had fun there, but as always, they needed some technique advice... even those who had been out a while. It's all in where you choose to work after you graduate. They never wore their diploma on their sleeve though like some folks who went to more, uh, "prestigious" schools if you know what I mean. :)
post #12 of 17
Thanks for considering our nice little big small town. :) Correction, we have two zoos, one free, on pay. In fact I'm taking my little one to Como Zoo today. Our unemployment here has been way under the national average recently... even during the bad years it maxed out at 4.5% or something.

Don't like driving? Get a bicycle. Twincities has one of the best systems of commuter trails in the nation and it's getting better this year. It's a great way to stay healthy while saving money. It also lets you eat a lot more! ;)
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyone's advice about school and Minneapolis. Any other info about the Twin Cities you think I should know about, please feel free to let me know!
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
From comparing Minneapolis community college culinary programs, St. Paul College seems to have a more well rounded curriculum. I'm just not sure the offer evening classes.
post #15 of 17
I just went through the interview process at LCB MSP and pretty much all that was said remains true. The guy I met with wasn't so bad as to being very pushy, but it was apparent he had an agenda in mind. I tried to make it vividly clear it was exploratory information gathering at the time, but it either fell of deaf ears or was ignored.

One benefit I would have had was transferring credits in to cover general education courses. Taken them already, so I would have been 100% focused on the culinary courses.

There were two aspects that led me away from LCB. The first and foremost was tuition cost. My "advisor" was trying to get me to enroll as tuition was going up, and if I enrolled at that time, I would be locked into current pricing. Current pricing for the complete course (including general ed courses) was $42,000.00 USD! Now, that did include all books, 6 uniforms from head to toe (including footwear), a complete set of cutlery and cooking utensils, and a luggage cart thing like pilots have to store it all in. Still, $42K is hard to swallow fo 15 months of education.

The second thing was time. Course would be Monday through Friday from 6pm to 10pm. Problem is I work and get up at 6am and work until 5pm. Five 18 hour days in a row for 15 months would quickly equal burn out.

LCB seems to be a heck of a program. Barring those two things, I would have done it. International chefs each with their own flare, as instructors. Training to function and operate in 3 start and up restaurants. But not for a working adult, and not for the poor either!
"Life ain't always beautiful; Sometimes it's just plain hard. Life can knock you down, it can break your heart. Life ain't always beautiful: You think you're on your way. And it's just a dead end road, at the end of the day. But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise. And...
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"Life ain't always beautiful; Sometimes it's just plain hard. Life can knock you down, it can break your heart. Life ain't always beautiful: You think you're on your way. And it's just a dead end road, at the end of the day. But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise. And...
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post #16 of 17
i finished coursework at LCB in mendota heights on 30 september; i did an externship as required by the school and now have a good job at graves|601 in downtown minneapolis.

i am always a little dismayed to hear all the negative things about LCB, its teachers, and the students. i have never been to another culinary school, but i'm quite sure that every single one out there has its good points and its bad, its good instructors and not-so-good-ones...and students who do the school proud, and those that should never have been near a stove in their lives. i understand that my school has its shortcomings - quite a few of them, actually - but i think that negative things can be said about any institution.

i've always believed that an education can be great, no matter where you are. it's all in how much work you're willing to put in. my chef-instructors were all willing to put in 110% (there were a few nights when we were there until the wee hours of the morning) to help the students - any student - learn as much as they could.

i hope that students, from any school, can be seen for what they're worth on an individual basis, and not always have the shadow of their school looming over their shoulders. i know that's not always how it works, but it's my hope, anyway :).
post #17 of 17
I've nothing bad to say about LCB. Under different circumstances, I'd likely have applied. Frankly it came down to cost. I can't float that big of a student loan, if I could even get it. Also, like i said, the scheduling would be murder for me. Again, under different circumstances, the schedule could work.

On the contrary, I was beyond impressed with LCB's interview/tour of the school for prospective students. Met a couple of the instructors as well. The admin counselor was great, and not overly pushy. Assertive, but I don't think he crossed the pushy line.

Again, I've nothing bad to say about LCB, and in different circumstances, could have been enrolled there myself.
"Life ain't always beautiful; Sometimes it's just plain hard. Life can knock you down, it can break your heart. Life ain't always beautiful: You think you're on your way. And it's just a dead end road, at the end of the day. But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise. And...
Reply
"Life ain't always beautiful; Sometimes it's just plain hard. Life can knock you down, it can break your heart. Life ain't always beautiful: You think you're on your way. And it's just a dead end road, at the end of the day. But the struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise. And...
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