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Which School?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have done many hours of research on different colleges, CIA, J&W, LCB, and others. Since some of you here know allot about the whole industry I would like you to give me a recommendation on a good school.....if....Money was not an issue.

Thanks...I am open for discussion if anyone wants to ask a question about me or a background before they answer. :)
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post #2 of 18
Egirl... I have done a little research on some of the schools in my area, the CCA in San Francisco, the CIA up in Napa (and NY), and come to find out, Diablo Valley College (a JC of all things) in Concord, CA.

The CCA and CIA programs (Le Cordon Bleu for CCA) run about $10,000 per semester. While these culinary school are hardcore, and have formal interm/externship program, they are very expensive. (Not just the tuition, but the commute/housing in those areas costs quite a bit as well.)

The Diablo Valley College is the school I will be attending in January of '07... They have certificate courses in Restaurant Management, Culinary Arts, and Pastry Chef... I have spoken with the course instructor, and he says that the program there provides a well rounded education (including all the basics) for each area. he does admit that the program at DVC isn't as advanced or sophisticated as the other schools, but that brings me to my next point...

After talking to a few Chef's (my uncle being one of them who studied in France, the CIA in NY, and other locations) It occured to me that fancy schooling isn't necassarily required for success in this field. In my current field, (IT, the one I am about to leave), technical certifications at a minimum are critical for any type of employment, but I am finding out that this isn't necassarily the case with Culinary Arts.

Many Chef's started out in the business either through a family owned restaurant, or through internship/employment at various restaurants. (All the while absorbing knowledge and techniques of the business)

I am going to attend the DVC program because 1) It's $26 a unit and 2) it will fill the gaps in terms of what I don't know academically about the business. While I am in school, I will be interning at either a succesful restaurant or a good established caterer. Through this combination I believe I will come to understand what is involved in this field.

(By the way, my Chef uncle is the one who told me about the DVC option as he has always noticed that they are represented in many Culinary Conferences that he attends as a professional)

I hope that helps!

-Jason
post #3 of 18

Selecting a Culinary School

hi,

well there are many options in live today about culinary schools. It is more a question, were in the world, would you like to study, as the world shrinked that much. Just read some of my reasent posts, about culinary History (Careme and Escoffier). Well free like that you should tell your mom and dad, that is where i do want to study. Any country in this world, as long as you will learn basics right and more culture. Go for what ever school you select in America, Europe, Asia or Australia. But watch out of schools just with the greed of money.

regards
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks

Thanks! I learned allot, I was more wondering which was better, La Cordon Bleu, Johnston & Wales, CIA or various Art Institutions. Chef Kaiser I think I would like to stay in the USA, I’m hoping to stay with a relative. So I was thinking, Minnesota (Twin cities), Colorado (Denver or around Vail), Arizona (Scottsdale area), Idaho (Near University of Idaho (Moscow)), or Pennsylvania (Lancaster).

Those are the areas that I was thinking but if I find a school that I like outside of those areas I may go there....I hope that all helps. :look:
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post #5 of 18
Egirl, I am not sure if there is any right answer to your question... (not trying to sound negative or anything) If you want to know the best of all the "prestigious" schools, then I would say that the CIA in NY would be your best bet here in the USA (They also have a Napa, CA campus)... But again, I want emphasize that this is simply my opinion and I don't know that you could get an overall agreement here about which is the "Best"...

From what I have learned, there are a few "hot spots" in terms of where to go to expect culinary excellence... to name a few would be France, New York, San Francisco, and as wierd as it sounds, the Napa Valley in California. (wine central).

I don't know of any "notable" culinary schools in the states you mentioned, but I am sure there are some out there. As I said I myself will be attending culinary school at a Junior College in the east bay california.

-Jason
post #6 of 18
I'm at NECI right now and I really like it...although it is quite pricey.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Choose!

Noobchef, you are probably right, some questions just don't have definitive answers. Thank you for sticking through my probable incompetence with culinary schools. I have now figured out that I should choose what I want out of College before picking a college....although...I do have a couple of years before I even have to chose, still I need to know what I want my Bachelors degree and, what kind of Chef I want to be. I appreciate your answers, comments and suggestions.

Thanks:chef:
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post #8 of 18
hey i live in idaho and i wouldnt recommend moving here for schooling. its really friendly here compared to other schools but the schools here do not provide great education.
post #9 of 18
I just got back from touring both of the NECI campuses in Vermont, and the best thing I heard was from a student about to go out on his second year internship. He said, "You have to figure out which school matches how you learn." We then talked about touring, reputation, learning styles, and everything else. He had originally started at the CIA but it hadn't matched with his learning style where NECI was a good fit. You need to figure out the best way for you to learn and which school teaches that way first and foremost.
post #10 of 18
I have been cooking for 8 years and am now the exec. sous chef of a Ny times 3 star restaurant. I went to the french culinary institute in NYC after cooking for 3 years and I learned more than I thought possible......I was originally attending to make my career official with the certificate but I took away sooooo much more not to mention a **** load of career contacts. check it out...alittle pricey but I know all of the instructors personally and professionally...given the choice I would have them educate all of my line cooks ...good luck
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Ill Check it out!
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post #12 of 18
How About Schools In Houston How Acn I Find Then At A Good Price?
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have been thinking about what all of you said....I am a Visual and a Hand on Learner....Any recommendations?
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post #14 of 18

Culinary Schools

Better To Work In A Good Food Facility Before Attending Any School. As You Will Get A Jump Start And Also To See If You Like It. Many Schools Stress The Show Biz Part Of The Business Only.
Also Remember That These Schools Are In Business To Make A Profit. And Therefore May Not Spend To Great A Time On Expensive Type Cuisine.
Take It From One Who Knows I Taught Cooking And Catering For The City Of New York For Many Years.
Ed Buchanan
CHEFED
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post #15 of 18
I'm current at NECI...feel free to PM me any questions.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
okay thanks guys....I do have experiance in culinary...I worked for a caterer over masters weekend in GA :lips:
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post #17 of 18

It's what you put into it!

Hi Egirl, I had the privelage and honor to graduate from two of the finest culinary schools in the country, and I'd like to share a piece of advice that I received from two respected chefs: "It's not what a school or others put into you, but it's what you put into it". In other words, you could attend a lesser known or accredited program and put 110% into your work, and you would be further ahead and better off than attending a highly prestigious program where you less than your best effort. I've worked with some highly talented cooks that have attended quality culinary schools (both in the states and in Europe), and I'm better for having worked with them. But, two of the most creative and quality chefs that I've had the pleasure of working received their training by working in restaurants. I asked one chef, whom I worked with for three years, how he started and got his training. He said that he learned who was the best (also the most famous) chef/restaurant owner in the city where he lived (Chicago). Walked into the back door and said "Hi, my name is *****. I don't know how to cook, but I want to learn". This famous chef was so flabergast that he said O.K., there's an apron, take out the garbage. Within two years, this upstart novice had worked every station and was ready to be sous chef at the owner's new venture. Ten years later, he owns a high-end restaurant near Washington D.C. and has written two cook books. So, again, it's what you put into it, not where you go. Good luck, in your endevors. JB.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks....your point is important not just to culinary schools but to life. May I ask what 2 schools you went to?
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