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The Art Institute vs Le cordon Bleu - Page 2

post #31 of 39

I agree with the advice above that suggests making sure you want to invest in school by trying the waters first. It is true, there's nothing worse in a kitchen than a culinary grad who hasn't really worked a day in their life in a real kitchen but think's they're worth $80k+ a year or $12+ an hour because they graduated from school.

 

Do not evaluate anything in this business based on some promise of "school=x amount of dollars or x position" which is what most schools will sell you on. Remember that the "admissions" people you talk to when you call a school are salespeople - they used to work on commission, I think they legally cannot in most states any more, but they still are required to maintain a certain rate of conversions to maintain their job and they really know nothing at all about the culinary business.

 

However, I just want to add (since I don't see anyone talking about it), that any college level+ education is about the network you get introduced to and participate in more than any other factor. I see too many people in school or after graduating that never really figured that part out.

 

You don't pay enormous tuitions to go to a place like Harvard Business School because it will automatically make you a first hire for CEO in any fortune 500 business. You do so because you understand that successful businesses (from existing to startup) require connections, awareness and social leverage - and Harvard Business School drops you into one of the most influential networks in the world.

 

Ask any body of successful working chefs/cooks/FoH/caterers/GMs/etc whether they network or not with other chefs, or indeed the myriad other players in the hospitality business and they will not only tell you yes, they will tell you without being asked that they all talk to each other and they all know each other as well as others who've made both good and bad names for themselves in the area.

 

The hospitality business is more often than not a transitional business, it is very rare that a business or the team running that business stays in place for more than a few years - and because of that volatility, having a great network is one of the most important tools you can have to not only stay employed but prove yourself very useful to your partners, investors, employers, etc., or indeed get your own ventures going.

 

Going to culinary school doesn't guarantee anything, but if you're smart and aware it can be a very effective way of plugging in to the network in your area. I graduated a few years back and virtually all of my business and clients since can be traced back to the massive network of people I've been able to develop from going to culinary school.

 

Likewise, you should take your school's location into consideration for that reason if you are indeed going to go to school.

 

Finally, what roped me into this thread was the original question: AI vs LCB?

 

I know many staff who've worked for both, and the thing to know is that it will vary greatly based on campuses and personnel. Just using AI as an example the difference between the Hollywood, OC and IE campuses in SoCal are enormous. IE is the largest, OC is one of the best rated nationwide, but Hollywood probably has some of the best connections (which reflects the food scene in So Cal).

 

I know many grads of LCB who loved their experience, but I also know chef instructors who walked out of LCB job interviews because they were disgusted by what the LCB program was teaching.

post #32 of 39

I have been accepted in LCB London. I am going to go to culinary school and I need to figure out what will be best for me, in the sense is it value for money. I know hard work si what will make me the chef i want to be...but doesnt some kind of formal training help in improving the skills and techniques ??/

post #33 of 39
I'm happy I read this it has helped me. I was trying to pick a school. Le Cordon Bleu is a good fit for me .
post #34 of 39

First of all I want to say that all of you have shared very nice information here. Very well said!!!

Especially, the Cahaddad shared a very nice blog here. Both of the schools are very highly reputed ones with such a remarkable work and education provided by them. Gaining education from such reputable schools will undoubtedly give the advantage of starting the culinary arts career with a bang. Since, these schools are considered as a part of the private education, and so they are more prestigious because they really concentrate on food with their specialized curriculum. In those schools, you can easily get a variety of options offered as a part of their course material, including types of techniques learned, international travel opportunities, and even the ingredients you can focus on.

In a nutshell, both the schools carry the right accreditations and certifications to operate as an institution of higher learning. Choose the one that best fits your requirements, like the location, preferable culinary program, course duration and many more.

Compare both the schools features here: http://bit.ly/18HImce VS http://bit.ly/1c1SWVU

Live, Laugh, Learn and Eat !!!
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Live, Laugh, Learn and Eat !!!
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post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelybob View Post
 

I agree with the advice above that suggests making sure you want to invest in school by trying the waters first. It is true, there's nothing worse in a kitchen than a culinary grad who hasn't really worked a day in their life in a real kitchen but think's they're worth $80k+ a year or $12+ an hour because they graduated from school.

 

Do not evaluate anything in this business based on some promise of "school=x amount of dollars or x position" which is what most schools will sell you on. Remember that the "admissions" people you talk to when you call a school are salespeople - they used to work on commission, I think they legally cannot in most states any more, but they still are required to maintain a certain rate of conversions to maintain their job and they really know nothing at all about the culinary business.

 

However, I just want to add (since I don't see anyone talking about it), that any college level+ education is about the network you get introduced to and participate in more than any other factor. I see too many people in school or after graduating that never really figured that part out.

 

You don't pay enormous tuitions to go to a place like Harvard Business School because it will automatically make you a first hire for CEO in any fortune 500 business. You do so because you understand that successful businesses (from existing to startup) require connections, awareness and social leverage - and Harvard Business School drops you into one of the most influential networks in the world.

 

Ask any body of successful working chefs/cooks/FoH/caterers/GMs/etc whether they network or not with other chefs, or indeed the myriad other players in the hospitality business and they will not only tell you yes, they will tell you without being asked that they all talk to each other and they all know each other as well as others who've made both good and bad names for themselves in the area.

 

The hospitality business is more often than not a transitional business, it is very rare that a business or the team running that business stays in place for more than a few years - and because of that volatility, having a great network is one of the most important tools you can have to not only stay employed but prove yourself very useful to your partners, investors, employers, etc., or indeed get your own ventures going.

 

Going to culinary school doesn't guarantee anything, but if you're smart and aware it can be a very effective way of plugging in to the network in your area. I graduated a few years back and virtually all of my business and clients since can be traced back to the massive network of people I've been able to develop from going to culinary school.

 

Likewise, you should take your school's location into consideration for that reason if you are indeed going to go to school.

 

Finally, what roped me into this thread was the original question: AI vs LCB?

 

I know many staff who've worked for both, and the thing to know is that it will vary greatly based on campuses and personnel. Just using AI as an example the difference between the Hollywood, OC and IE campuses in SoCal are enormous. IE is the largest, OC is one of the best rated nationwide, but Hollywood probably has some of the best connections (which reflects the food scene in So Cal).

 

I know many grads of LCB who loved their experience, but I also know chef instructors who walked out of LCB job interviews because they were disgusted by what the LCB program was teaching.

Steelybob,

 

I live in the IE and I have the same question as the original post. I see all the bad reviews on Yelp for both AI and LCB. I went to LCB Pasadena for one term and dropped out with a 4.0. My Foundations chef is old school and awesome but the faculty suck and the way they handle student affairs blows. They told me to look on craigslist for a job when I asked them to stop emailing me jobs in LA and send me IE jobs. I need to either re-enroll before Nov 10th or pick a different route. LCB Diploma seems cheapest route. My initial thought was to go for the degree program so I can say I have a degree and my ultimate goal is to cater for major label bands while they are touring. I used to tour as a guitar tech so I know that industry and the rigors of touring. Then again..I'm 34. Who the hell knows. I love stress. I work the line now and love it. Maybe I just will end up working my way up the ranks in a kitchen.

 

I work for a caterer on weekends and since it's Bbq the season is now over. The "line" I work is not from scratch and its 40 miles away for only 2 days. Any "real" line job wants you to have experience or they even started mentioning "having a culinary diploma" now in craigslist ads.  So again I ask..what's a person to do? Which route to go? How to work the line and not go to school when all the jobs require previous experience or "culinary edu"?

 

Thanks for any quick replies to this!!!

post #36 of 39


I taught in a culinary school and quit because all they were interested in was showing a profit.

3 days spent on potato preparation only because potatoes were cheap to purchase.

Get a job in a fairly good restaurant , you will learn how its really done and will get paid to learn.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #37 of 39

If you're looking to become a personal chef; consider getting a job at a college that has frats and sororities (your potential new employers). You'll be working alongside student who may be able to get you some work if you're good. You can learn sufficiently online / practice how to be a decent personal chef.

post #38 of 39

Thanks Tweakz and Chefedb...I've decided to enroll in Saddleback college. My pell grant funds leftover from Le Cordon is enough to pay for my whole AOS degree...the school is in a high dollar OC Cali area (potential clients) and I researched the instructors..all with degrees ranging from the CIA at Hyde Park to Johnson & Wales..so in the end..it's cheaper..better and the Chef's have more experience than those teaching at $50,000 Le Cordon. I researched the background of Le Cordon's chef's..most Graduated from Le Cordon barely 7 years ago! Lastly...for anyone else going through this decision..an argument will be that Saddleback is not ACF accredited. What I take from everyone on here is that just the fact that someone would spend the effort to get a degree would help in a potential job but moreso if Im to be a private chef or caterer then just to be able to have a degree to show clients will be impressive as they won't have a damn clue as to who the ACF is anyway.

 

Thanks again!

post #39 of 39
Here is my honest opinion from an executive chef who has nearly 15 years in the business and graduated from a small local culinary school such as the ones that you are considering.

If you can somehow afford to swing it, there are two really great culinary schools in this country and two alone. There's Johnson and Wales and the CIA. That's pretty much it.

Yes they are Uber expensive, but what you learn and the doors that are opened from going to those colleges pay for themselves 20 times over the cost of tuition. Yes you will learn something from the smaller school. But you have to evaluate what you're learning from the cost of what you're paying.

Back in 2000 when I went to culinary school here my tuition cost $14,000 for almost 2 years of schooling. The school was really small it didn't have any commercial equipment including no fryers, yes that's right we actually had to fry things on the stove and with a pot of oil!

So you at least need to go to a school that has all of the commercial equipment all of the modern textbooks excellent instructors and the ability to get in lots of product for you to practice on. It makes no sense and it is pointless to have a class in butchery if you only get to practice on one chicken a piece. Learning requires repetition time and practice. Watching the instructor fillet salmon once is not going to be the necessary training that you need for the real world to call yourself a chef.

And the instructors need to be teaching you not only classic technique and a good foundation but they also need to be well-versed in modern cookery.

At the end of the day I succeeded because I went home and study and practice and cook and work in kitchens and went home again and practice every single day. I would cook for family I would cook every opportunity that I could get and work through cookbooks along with working in professional kitchens.

So that is my opinion. If you can try and swing it anyway possible get yourself into Johnson and Wales or the CIA. Otherwise, proceed with caution because a lot of these culinary schools ultimately end up being such a huge rip off. After year and a half of training they lead you to believe that you are a 'chef' and that you are ready to be a leader of a kitchen. It isnt until you get out into the real world that you learn how much you really don't know.
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