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The Art Institute vs Le cordon Bleu

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
hello my name Paul and im trying to decided on what culinary school should i got to "The Art Institute or Le cordon Bleu" i wanted to what your input on both school are can you guys please help me out and i know maybe this question been asked thousands of time and im sorry for that
post #2 of 34
Everyone here is going to tell you that any culinary school whether it be a private (le cordon bleu, art institute) or community college, you will learn equally as much. I chose to go to the California School of Culinary Arts which is a le cordon bleu program, because i felt they offered more then the community colleges around where i lived did. From what i saw about the art institute is that their program costs over 70 grand to attend and i heard from my counselor that the art institute status as a reasonable culinary program is still up in the air because they started it within the last few years and the reason why they started is because its a hot ticket now. I also heard that the CIA up north (the sister school to the CIA in new york) is very good.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Jsp2786 thank for your info also what did u think of California School of Culinary Arts reason why im asking is cause that were im going to be going in august
post #4 of 34
Well when i visited the school i thought the administration people were very nice and they never rushed me to sign the dotted line. The facilities were nice for being in an older building and they run 2 resteraunts (a bistro and deli) I havent been in class yet but i havent heard anything bad about the school.
post #5 of 34
Hi there!Wel,Ill probably be biased as for I graduated from CSCA LCB program 7yrs ago..Just a tip..If cooking is not a passion for you,you might wanna think it over again...Nothing glamorous out in the real world..Chefs you see on TV worked their butts off to get there..Go set an appointment for both schools and go from there..:chef:
When in doubt..Throw it out!
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When in doubt..Throw it out!
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post #6 of 34
DjInsane -- I'm normally partial to Art Institute (they bought the school I went to, and didn't change the basic program very much), but if you're going to CSCA/LCB in Pasadena, you have the chance to get Chef Farid Zadi as an instructor. I know him, and think the world of him. A very good chef, with a great background, and a very conscientious teacher.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #7 of 34
Go to the cheapest school you can find; without prior experience you are going to end up a line cook, regardless of what school you go to (generally speaking, I know LCB likes to emphasize that 1 lucky student that ended up a Sous Chef for Disney after graduation, which I think both parties were in on it as more of a marketing strategy).

What you do with your time as a line cook will determine how long you stay a cook, indefinitely, or possibly, rise to sous chef after a reasonable amount of dedication & training.
post #8 of 34

school

OK school is good , what ever you choose. like the person before me said. don't go into school thinking that you will be a chef when you get out. we hired three cord blue kids a couple of years ago. only two are still here because they work hard, the one that left was always asking when they would be moving up. hard work will get you everywhere you want to go in this world.put the years in as a cook. I started out as a clean up guy in 82'(dating myself now) right out of highschool. one year they need someone to (get ready to chuckle)pull pies out for christmas , my foot was in the door....choose the cheepest school with the best teachers. and get your foot in the door.

And don't forget to listen to Rock music.
post #9 of 34
Exactly!It took me 7yrs to get where I'm at right now..7yrs is nothing to most of the chef's here tho.....You guys can still consider me as a newbie and ALWAYS willing to learn more stuff!
When in doubt..Throw it out!
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When in doubt..Throw it out!
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post #10 of 34
I'm with you...more than 10 years cooking and still feel that I know nothing...
...went to culinary school years ago back in my country and, going again to LCB in Pasadena this year...still know that this won't make me a chef overnight!

Is like a dude graduating from medicine school and feel like the next minute after, he is gonna be dr House!
There is nothing like a weekend off!
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There is nothing like a weekend off!
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post #11 of 34
time for a famous Quote.
“I am still learning.”

Michelangelo
post #12 of 34
Hey Paul, just wondering how the CSCA is going for you. I'm supposed to be starting at the AI in January.
post #13 of 34

Hey Paul, I'm currently at LCB in London and I can only highly recommend it. I'm not sure if it is more expensive in the USA but from the teaching I have recieved here is is definately value for money. I am on the patisserie course and am loving every minute of it. In terms of a career, Im only one term in but I can already see the level of exciting opportunities. 

I'm writing a blog if anyone wants to know more about what its like to study at LCB 

 

http://whiskitforabiscuit.blogspot.com/

 

x

post #14 of 34

Go to LCB. i am currently attending AI in philly, and it is not really worth spending hundreds and hundreds of dollar on some classes. There are classes

that really benefits you but also some classes that seem like it is a waste of time.

post #15 of 34

i've currently met up with both schools (LCB nd Ai) and i chose LCB because i feel that they're going to teach me better nd they not gonna make me waste my time nd just paying thousands of dollars for nothing..... they also have steady schedules so you can go to school nd work :D so im starting this valentines day at LCB Pasadena for patisserie nd baking  :)

post #16 of 34
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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post #17 of 34

Well, I think like most of you, and also I have a friend that's been a chef for almost 5 years if im not mistaken, and he told me the same thing, your not a chef once you graduate, you have to go out in the field and become one, I'm certified as an EMT-B (emergency medical technician) and now Im finally going into culinary arts, the point is that when I finished my carreer (EMT) I wasn't one right away, I worked hard to gain experience and called my self and EMT, I know bunch of nurses that only have their tittles, but cant become a real nurse because they scared to the real world, anybody can have a degree, any title, even Drs. (BecauseI know some drs. that is not safe to go with them) but it takes practice and effort to become what you really want to be, I can tell you that Im a "nurse without tittle" because I worked in ICU and the ER and trust me I know way more that some of the nurses.  I think that going to the cheapest school will teach you the same technics, trust your instincts and ask yourself this question, If I want to travel to New York, which flight company will take me there?....prices may vary but at the end, all of them will take you there, you just have to look and work hard for it. 

post #18 of 34

I still am not sure which school I would like to attend. I want to tour both and then decide what will be best for me. LatinMario24 I also am a registered EMT, not working yet but am trying and now I am going to go to culinary school and I need to figure out what will be best for me and what I will get for the money that I will spending.

post #19 of 34

I am attending The Art Institute. I chose it because I liked that they gave me the space I needed to make a decision and the scholarship I won didn't hurt either. They are even working with me while I work to get my license renewed so that I am taking on-line classes for my first quarter. They have been a huge help in getting my dreams off the ground. I haven't heard much about LCB but there isn't one close to me anyways and being a military wife you follow your soldier not the other way around :)

post #20 of 34

This is the perfect post, because I was having the same dilema. I live in Los Angeles so, I was trying to pick one of the two schools. Reading everyone's Comments, I think I'm going to choose LCB. Now, I have to choose Hollywood or Pasadena..

Thanks for asking this Question.

post #21 of 34

Hey CollegeKid ~ Which campus did you choose? Have you started and if so, how's it going? I'm in the same dilema. I think I'm going to choose LCB Pasadena. I would love to hear about your experience so far! Thanks!!

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SportsGirl View Post

Hey Paul, just wondering how the CSCA is going for you. I'm supposed to be starting at the AI in January.

I'm not bashing AI at all, but I will give you a heads up, and share some of my experience with you. I was supposed to be starting AI in about a month, I went back May for my tour, sit down talk .. bla bla with my ADA so forth so on.. Had payments worked out and loans and everything taken care of, and they even hooked me up with a list full of numbers to restaurants that regularly hired students of their so I could get some part time work while in school and real world experience stacking up. To be honest, everyone I met at the AI was more than great to me.. but that's not what the heads up is about.

 

Every restaurant I went to, even the ones that the AI recommended, all told me I was wasting my time, and they even if I completed their 70grand program I would still be starting out in a starter position, and that no employer(s) around the area really thought much of the program. So, I would advise you to do the same before making the investment. Go talk to restaurant owners and chefs in your area and see if it's worth the money you'll put into it. If you are going to start out in the same position whether you have the AI diploma or not, you might as well go ahead and start working and be 2 yrs ahead of what you would be, without 70grand worth of debt.

post #23 of 34

I think R6Zack pretty much sums up the whole issue.

 

In  any case I beg you, I implore you, I beseech you, to go and work FIRST in the kitchen before you go to school.

 

Two weeks in the kitchen will tell you if you are willing to sit up and beg for more, or are thoroughly disgusted with the whole cooking game.

But R6zack is very right when he tells you that even when you graduate from ANY culinary school with no previous cooking experience, you will be the lowest man on the totem pole--prep work and cleaning, and probably p/t at that .

 

You have to understand that culinary schools are an American invention (o.k. LCB was designed for housewives, but I digress).  Every major european country has an apprenticeship system, and every big shot european Chef was an apprentice, not a culinary school grad.

 

What's the difference?

 

Apprenticeships focus on knowledge AND work experience, TOGETHER.  The knowledge base does not increase until the work experience increases.

 

A culinary school crams a lot of knowledge into it's curriculum, which is good, but not very much practical experience, which is very imbalanced.  So you have a grad who knows in theory how to make a hollandaise, and has made it a few times, but can't do it blind folded or while multi tasking 4 other things.

 

And every one else on this forum will tell you that school is school, the name of the school doesn't mean diddly-squat to the employer--your first 30 minutes on the job will, though.

School is like a piggy bank--you can only take out what you put in.  There is no magic or bank interest involved.

 

Try before you buy, Work in the kitchen for a few months first before you plunk down any money for school.

Please!

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #24 of 34
Thank you all for the comments. They are helpful. However my situation is a bit different. I have been working as an assistant to food stylists for the last 15 years or so. I have also done some styling on my own. I do not wish to graduate and work in a restaurant, I want to become a personal chef and have a small catering business. I do not have the money saved up to just plunks down on a program like LCB or AI. With AI I can get financial aid and the drive is only an hour and a half. The program is two years and roughly $47,000. LCB has an accelerated six month program but no financial aid, and in another country! But for what I want to do I feel like I will have a better chance at making it with an LCB degree behind my name.

Any thoughts? Good, bad or ugly! Lol:)smile.gif
post #25 of 34

Ahh, you want to open you own catering business?  Well then, that's different

 

Talk to the "powers that be", the financial institution that will lend you money for your future endevours.  Based on my humble experience, those guys are not fazed at all with diplomas or $47,000 student loans.  They like to see practical working experience, a proven track record of managing a business, and very little personal debt................................

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #26 of 34

For personal chef and small catering, NO formal culinary education is necessary nor, IMHO, even advisable.

 

Call or email Candy Wallace, Executive Director of

American Personal & Private Chef Association
4572 Delaware Street San Diego, CA 92116
Tel: 800-644-8389 / 619-294-2436
Email: webmaster@personalchef.com

 

for information on getting started as a personal or private chef. It is a LOT less expensive than culinary school!

 

BTW, I've been doing it since 2000

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #27 of 34

Second what Pete says. I'm not a member of either of the large personal chef organizations, and I do not have a culinary degree and I've been running a chef service since 2005. I now have four more chefs working for me as personal chefs. One with a two year degree from a division II school, one with a culinary degree from a great community college program along with a dietetics degree from a university, one with a 4 year degree from the CIA Hyde Park and one with three of four years completed but no degree from Scottsdale CA.

 

Not to toot my own horn, but I am the most advanced among the five of us, with the largest repertoire, and the only one with zero culinary training outside of professional experience.

 

BTW, I realize this thread is 6 years old, I just wanted to back up Pete's point.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #28 of 34
Thanks! It helps to get opinions from people in the business. I'm looking to chef for higher end clients in the Savannah or Charlotte area. Won't they be looking for LCB grads? Not to sound like a snob, but I assumed I needed to pay for the backing of the name. Do you find that to be true for higher end clientell? I'm not talking celebs but the little rich folks of the south that have too much money. Lol:)
post #29 of 34

It's hard for me to say anything about the South because I don't live there. In the Midwest, I haven't found any advantage for my chef who went to the CIA vs the one who went to the local community college. For that matter, most customers don't ask at all. Some ask if they have a degree, but don't even know the names of the schools, other than the local community college which has a big reputation.

 

As far as "pedigree" goes, I've found what sells best is telling potential customers what other chefs my chefs have worked for. My chef with the community college degree and university dietetics degree apprenticed under two James Beard award winners and one Iron Chef competitor. My chef with three years of school and no degree worked in the kitchen of one of those same chefs. That seems to be a lot more impressive to a potential client than where they went to school. As someone with years in food service management, I can say the same thing is generally true when cooks apply at a restaurant or other food service. Who you've worked for says a lot more about your potential than where you went to school, but the degree definitely helps.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon ODell View Post

 I haven't found any advantage for my chef who went to the CIA vs the one who went to the local community college. For that matter, most customers don't ask at all. Some ask if they have a degree, but don't even know the names of the schools, other than the local community college which has a big reputation.

 

 

 

I agree with this Brandon. If you are attending any culinary school and simply getting an Associates of Culinary Arts degree you are pretty much paying to learn the basics (cuts, stocks sauces, cooking methods) and get some line experience. Although the quality of line experience may be better at CIA simply because they have better restaurants the principles are the same no matter where you go.

 

When I attended school they told us flat out no one is interested in your grades. Some students were all about straight A's which isn't a bad thing but it doesn't make one bit of difference when you get out. The teachers told us what people call the school asking about students is "How many days of school did this person miss", "Where they reliable". In fact to re-enforce this the school actually gave students that never missed a day of class for the entire program a perfect attendance award.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
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