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Le Cordon Bleu- Chicago

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
First of all, I'd like to say hello to everybody. I've been lurking for a while and find this site very informative. I am an aspiring chef in Chicago and there are 2 schools that really have me interested. First, and the one I have the best feeling about is the Le Cordon Bleu program at the CHIC and the other is the Illinois Institute of Art- Chicago. They both offer associates in the culinary arts. One question that I have is: Are the Le Cordon Bleu credentials that I would acquire really as highly regarded as I'm led to believe? I know, as with most things, this depends on the individual with the credentials, so I'm just asking in general.
post #2 of 8
It depends who you are talking to but overall when you say Le Cordon Bleu then people listen...some people know that their are other great schools around but many just hear the name and that gets you better chances at certain jobs...

It also depends what field you are in and how educated your employer is...but overall the Le Cordon Bleu name is known around the world and future employeers know that they are getting someone well trained...

post #3 of 8
Art institutes are usually not looked at as highly in the culinary field...just a heads might make a difference but might not...

post #4 of 8
I am a graduate of the LCB program at CHIC.

I wouldn't say attending CHIC was a mistake, I do regret not researching my other options before deciding to go to CHIC.

In the chicagoland... to my knowledge... the top 5 culinary institutions in the chicagoland area (in no specific order) are:

CHIC - Offers the LCB name, with a hefty price to go with it (Around $45,000). Facility is fairly dated when compared to other schools, but the instructors are definitely credible. In my opinion, the LCB name does not make much of a difference. The LCB has actually become a warning sign for some employers NOT TO hire applicants based on bad experiences they had with previous LCB students, but I guess the same could be said of any other college.

Washburne Culinary Institute - Well established culinary school (Used to be #1 in the country some time ago if I recall correctly). My friend is attending school there, I have never actually seen the campus, but their website indicates that alot of renovations have been made to the kitchens, and they are to my knowledge the most affordable AAS program with tuition coming in at just over $13,000 when compared to the $40,000-$50,000 pricetag of CHIC.

Robert Morris College - Boasts an affordable program. I have 0 information whatsoever on this college as every attempt I have made to ask for information has gone unresponded.

Illinois Institute of Art - I was invited for 2 free classes at this school, the kitchens seemed just as dated as CHIC and were definitely cramped. It is really interesting that the Culinary Director of IIA is the former Exec. Chef of CHIC, and alot of faculty/staff from the IIA come from CHIC and vice Versa. I recall their pricing to be somewhere in the range of CHIC, but don't take this claim for 100% truth.

Kendall College - The big guns are saved for last. Kendall boasts a massively huge campus when compared to CHIC, the kitchens are extremely modern and up to date based on the school's partnerships with Sub-Zero, Wolf Stovetops, and other major manufacturers. Features a dedicated chocolate & sugars kitchen that is 100% marble slabbed; and a Kraft Experimental kitchen where students get to experiment with Kraft products and possibly come up with a new product for Kraft to sell. I am currently working on a BA in hospitality management from kendall, and I really really feel at home here. I believe pricing is 6,500/semester for culinary.

I would be happy to answer any other questions you might have, as I am also an aspiring Chef in the Chicagoland area, and I always enjoy helping a fellow Chef-To-Be.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you, both, for your input. I appreciate your in-depth post RAS1187 and I'll definitly throw any questions I may have your way. So far, I've visited IIA and CHIC with plans to visit Kendall College.

IIA was my first stop, I visited on MLK day, so the place was a ghost town. It was an informative tour and liked what I saw. The only negative was at the end of the tour I was treated to a speil from what reminded me of a high pressure used car salesman who insisted that I sign the paper or I may not get in. WTF?

My next stop was CHIC. I visited on a school day, so the place was in full swing. I had a good rapport with the admin. rep. who gave me the tour, so I think I got a lot out of it. Yeah, the place was old, but it was clean and the equipment looked as good as anything I've seen in a real world kitchen.
I briefly met one the chefs while I was on the tour and my first impression was that he was a decent guy. I got a real good feeling when I was at this place, something was telling me this is where I may end up.

My next stop is going to be Kendall College, hopefully sometime next week.
post #6 of 8
I got the same exact thing at the IIA... they insisted I sign a contract & pay them a $150 registration fee on the very first day I visited them or else I may not be able to get a spot.

Good luck with your visit with Kendall, my first visit left me in awe.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I visited Kendall College yesterday and was thoroughly impressed. I've slept on it and have decided that this is where I'll be attending school. From the curriculum to the facility, it has exactly what I've been looking for. I'm glad I saved this one for last. I liked IIA and I was impressed by CHIC, but I was blown away by KC. Thank you, RAS1187, for your input, hopefully I can get my affairs in order and be there for the fall quarter.
post #8 of 8
I really hope everything works out for you... KC's financial aid department works wonders.

Stay in touch with us here on the forums... and I would definitely look forward to seeing you on campus.
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