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Information on Washburne

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was wondering if anyone here goes to Washburne Culinary Institute (in Chicago), or knows someone who does/did. Has anyone worked with graduates from their program?

I know, I know - the overwhelming advice will be to attend Washburne, and avoid the expenses of the other (more expensive) schools in/around Chicago. But, while I'm all for getting a good educuation at a good price, I wouldn't want to get a bad education at a good price. I hope I'm not coming off as a price snob, as I don't mean to be.

An earlier post about Washburne said that it teaches people how to cook, just like the other schools. Is that fair to the other schools? Do they teach more than just how to cook?

post #2 of 6
my multiple email requests to the inst have turned up a goose egg

yes they are a comm. college, so that might be expected

but that kind of attitude (which I had also gotten from kendall) tells me that either they are really good and are overwhelmed
OR they don't give a flying #*@% about students
post #3 of 6
Dan and liv4fud,

I too have been trying to get more in depth info on Washburne. Each e-mail or voicemail sent/left by me, gets me the same pamphlet and flyer. I have never seen any info besides what's on the website. I have an older aunt who went there when they were still a trade school and only offered a Certificate program and for what it's worth, she ran a high school cafeteria kitchen.

On the other hand, I have had in depth conversations with the several counselors and the Director of Admissions at Kendall. They have all called and e-mailed me personally. I was actually surprised when I spoke directly to director, no secretary or assistant, he picked up the phone and talked to me for 10-15 minutes. I told him the schools I was considering and of course he "sold" Kendall to me, but he also wished me well, whatever my decision was.

Up until recently, I too was dead set on going to Washburne for an Associate's and transferring to Kendall for a Bachelor's, but, after crunching the numbers, there is not a huge difference in price between starting a Washburne and transferring to Kendall versus going to Kendall for the full 4 years.

The thing that's making me lean more towards Kendall is that while Washburne teaches you how to cook, Kendall teaches how to build, promote, run and sustain a food-related business. I know it's corny and almost verbatim from the website, but, it is exactly what I'm looking for and if they are offering EXACTLY what I'm looking for why do something else....

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I also had a great experience working with Kendall's admissions department. Keep in mind, though, that their entire job is selling their school to potential students. Granted, I think that they have a fantastic product to back up their sales pitches, but still, something to think about.

Also, as I read about restaurant openings around Chicago, I see Kendall's name pop up a lot more often. I know, I know - it's the person not the school that will bring success (and there are countless people, on this very forum, that are tremendously successful, and who did not attend Kendall, or any other culinary school). Also, I just a read a thread about how there will always be local businessmen hoping to cash in on a "hot, young talent", and then those are the restaurants that close most quickly. So... in a lot of ways, it's all just a crap shoot.

This has suddenly taken a more pessimistic tone than I wanted. Oops!

At any rate, thanks for some information on Washburne, Sean. My own culinary school plans are on hold for now. It's a tough industry to break into in the first place, but can be tougher still when you're trying to balance the costs of school or the salary of a prep cook in addition to exisiting financial obligations.

Best of luck, Sean, sorting out your own path.

post #5 of 6
My brother went there in the late 70s or early 80s. He did pretty well for himself: he was executive chef at Deere and Co. headquarters, opened a hugely successful French restaurant (which a failed marriage took from him) and now has a popular bistro and catering business. It wasn't all there was to his training and preparation, but it seems to have given him a solid start.
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post #6 of 6

Illinois Community Colleges


Washburne Culinary Institute

Edited by TheUnknownCook - 4/12/11 at 3:04pm
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