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culinary school dream

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
hi! i really don't know if i could post this one here but i'll give it a try. i have a sister and she's only 18 years old. she started cooking simple dishes when she was about 6 (she loves helping out my mom in the kitchen), and started baking when she was around 9 years old. she had always dreamed of going to culinary school until finally, my parents let her go to the US (alone) just last year when she was only 17. her dream school is CCA (California Culinary Academy), which she e-mailed a long time ago and they sent her a curiculum or something. we always talked on the phone and i was really excited for her going to culinary school and now she seemed to be discouraged of enrolling in CCA because she said that she would just spend her whole life paying for the loans because the tuition fee is really expensive. i mean it may not be expensive for the residents in US but for us who are living in a 3rd world country... duh? hahahha! (although we are american citizens because my dad is a retired US navy) anyway, the reason why i posted this here because this is a bakers' forum so some of you here may have studied in a culinary school. could you give me an advise like are there cheap culinary schools out there? or do you have an idea how my sister could loan and later on pay after she graduated (without having to pay her entire life hahahha)? i would highly appreciate replies. this is no joke. i mean, i'm talking about a dream here that may come true through your help thanks everyone!
post #2 of 4
look into tech schools im looking at CCA and yes i know its very expensive. but i know that

http://www.allculinaryschools.com/schools/ID388/ this program is 12,000 for 7 months or 22,000 for 15 months
this school is just out side sacramento

this schools is about half what CCA is and has very good teachers

also if you are in the bay area check out
it was recomened to me but im going to check them out when i go check out CCA

just do a google search with your area with culinary schools, or cooking schools.

good luck
post #3 of 4
Well,make sure she really wants to do this for a living for the next couple of decades and make sure she actually works in the profession before applying to a school.Cheap school or not,you get what you pay for and what you put into it.

I honestly feel that you are born to do this for a living;yes,you can learn how to work in a kitchen and the culinary basics,but if you don't have the natural affinity for it,you may not be cut out to do it.We do this because we love it and can't see ourselves doing anything else.

Less than 10% of culinary grads are in the business 5 years after they graduate.
Culinary schools are full of people who "like to cook" and think they want to do this for a living because of Food Network without really doing research on it.The schools aren't about to let them in on the secret because that tuition is paying someone's salary and keeping the doors open.At 35 and with an already well-established career [18 years],I went to a reputable school to get my degree and was very dissapointed that I was attending a diploma factory where 90% of your grade was based on attendance.

I saw people fail all tests and do so-so on mystery basket finals but still passed with an "A" for the class because they showed up every day.

In the Real World,chefs don't care about your GPA,because they know that school is a safe,insulated fantasy kitchen.They want to know if you can perform,take and give direction,motivate yourself and others,think on your feet,multi-task.Can you adapt quickly,can you take criticism,do you have a thick skin? This profession is not all about just cooking.

For every one thing you learn in a class,there are 50 things you only learn on the job because each Chef is different,each kitchen is different.You have to be learning things every day,no matter how long you've been in the industry.You never know everything!!!

Your sister also needs to realize that she won't get rich in this business if money is a motivating factor.The first few years of her career,she'll be making an hourly wage [most likely under $10 per hour if right out of school with no previous experience].You do not graduate from culinary school with "Chef" on the diploma.That is years of paying dues and working before you earn a title such as that.And when you do get a well-paying position,be prepared for the sacrifices: 50 to 80 hours a week,no free-time,your personal and family time is non-existant and your life revolves around your profession.

Also,as good as you may think you are,there is always someone faster,more dedicated and more talented right behind you.It's a tough,performance-oriented profession where competition is fierce and unforgiving sometimes that is not for the thin-skinned and weak.
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 


thank you so much for the replies! :)
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