Someday...I'm hardly judging all CIA grads based on the negative experience I personally have had. I'm certaintly not trashing the program. My only problem with what I see is that it promotes a certain arrogant attitude. Maybe it comes from having shelled out criminal amounts of cash to go through it, maybe it's the name. I have had the honor of learning from guys that have come from very humble means that could cook ANY former culinary student under the table...and then at the end of the shift, instruct them how to clean. I think school is only good for getting the "papers", because sometimes you have to actually prove your worth to the industry on paper. Otherwise, it's not all that. H*ll, one of my favorite well-known chefs, Anthony Bourdain, would even concur on this note.
On the "ill-equipped" side note, what I mean is that, coming from a school that bosts such high and mighty skills of its grads and produces lack luster apprentices...I think people should seriously re-consider highering someone to a chef postion straight out of any culinary school. Make them make their bones, earn stripes their stripes first. Pomp and circumstance have no place in the kitchen. That crap died when American cooks took over and left the French to wallow in their self-preceived importance.
And on the "Knowledge vs. Experience" note, Agreeable, experience is more valuble than book knowledge. You can read a book about how to fight with a knife, but I seriously doubt you will be willing to take that knowledge into battle. So why all the fuss about which school one has gone to? Equally, I could list the chefs I have studied under and my knowledge base, but what really seperates the cooks from the hacks is perfection, speed, and consistency. CIA may tell you never to add cream to a beurre blanc. Ok, true, but are they telling you that beacause they imagine that your only application of this teaching will be in a prefectly controlled evironment? On the line, you learn that a touch of cream helps to stablize the sauce and able to hold it for several hours instead of having to make to order when you are turing your dining room over three times in an evening. I'd love to go on...perhaps I have a book in the making..."The Hardened Cook vs. The Pompass Know-it Alls". I'll get started on that right away!