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help looking at schools

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
ok i live in philly and am looking to going to a culinary school. Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Deleware, Washington, Maryland are the states ill be willing to travel to.

Just wondering what experience you guys have had in schools in these areas.

Also how hard is it to get into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. That place looks amazing but .....
post #2 of 14
I am a HS culinary arts instructor in Delaware. I have several students that have moved on to the Restaurant School at Wlanut Hill College as well as the Art Institute in Philly. Additionally, I have a few at Baltimore It'l. With few exceptions, I hear about the same thing from each of them: they like the programs, it can get expensive and housing is often less than appealing. I just visited a student out at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh and she is really liking it, thus far. Her housing was pretty nice. As for a bit further of a drive, I have had students every year go to New England Culinary Institute; it is not for everyone (like any program). It is tough and they don't mess around. It is also a quite a bit more rural than those mentioned above. Lastly, several students have gone the path of J&W in both No. Carolina and Miami, with the same results; satisfied, if not a bit overpriced, but I think that is all relative.
My best advice? Go visit.

Good luck on your journey.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was thinking of Walnut Hill because they have restaurants on site and its only about a half hour drive from my house so i can commute and not pay for housing saving a few bucks.
post #4 of 14
Just like landing a job, though, I caution you to be careful when selecting a school based on geography... you are delaing with a LARGE investment. Go for quality!

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
why would you say large investment and Pennsylvania has some quality cooking schools like Le Courdon Bleu in Pittsburgh.
post #6 of 14
Well, post-seconday school is a large investment. Many 2-year programs run in excess of $50K. The LCB program is at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, in Pittsburgh. There are several LCB programs scattered throughout the US. Do not dismiss community colleges, as well. Often, the classes can be small and they are normally apt to help you with placement as well as have connections in the nearby proximity of the school.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
there are some scholarships i can get but i was going to go to a culinary school right after highschool.

When you said Community College did you mean take their cooking classes or just go to school there.
post #8 of 14
You can certainly take some of their classes in a non-credit role. However, for the money, a 2-year associate's degree is probably more worthwhile. You will need 60 credits (usually) that would encompass your culinary classes as well as related coursework, usually some form of nutrition, food safety, accounting and your battery of liberal arts requirements like English, math, etc.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

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post #9 of 14
I graduated from Iup's culinary school, and im actually on externship right now, I like the school but you only get a certificate of completion, but you can go back to school for a bachlers degree but you cant get and associates degree from there. Its a good school and another place you might want to check out
post #10 of 14
Well im attending the CIA right now. So if you have any questions hit me up. How old are you? What kind of expereince do you have?
"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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"Some of us Cook. Some of us Grow. All of us Eat."
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post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
im 17 and the only experience i have is cooking at home. I would love to go to CIA but its require to have 6 months of experience. Im looking at local caterers, hotels, and restaurtants for experience.

just wondering with no experience what jobs would i be doing at a hotel or restaurant.
post #12 of 14
JNA Culinary Institute is on Broad Street in Phila, I'm attending there now and truly feel it is an excellent school. I'd suggest before picking any school you check out each of them and see which one suits you best. JNA's website is CulinaryArts.com and it can answer many of your questions, you can also contact the school for information via the website.

MsMadelineRose
Ever seeking Knowledge
post #13 of 14
just remember its not the school but its the person that goes to the school/ comes from the school, im on externship right now with 4 other people from my school and some of the chefs dont care for them because they dont know simple things like mise en place. However they do like me and 2 other people.
post #14 of 14
Attend as many tours as possible and get a feel for what is out there. No one school is going to be the right fit for everyone. It really depends on what you are looking for. Do you want the "classic" American college type of experience? If so you'll want to live on campus somewhere - not at home.
Attend the Philly open houses when you don't have time/patience to travel but can spare a few hours. See as much as you can and get a feel for the good, the bad, the ugly and the BS. After several tours I decided to go to The Restaurant School and I don't regret it. The Restaurant School has tours every Saturday morning - it is very casual and no-pressure. There are students as well as faculty on the tour and you can ask anything. I live in one of the dorms but you'd save a lot of money using the family home for room and board - better give yourself time to park tho its not easily accomplished in Philly. The CIA took me about 4.5 hours to drive to from the Philly area. You can get to the FCI in NYC via SEPTA & NJ Transit (or Amtrak $$) instead of driving - they'll probably let you attend a class or two for free and give you a great tour if you are serious. I planned to tour L'Academie de Cuisine near Baltimore and Baltimore Int'l but never got around to it. Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island would make a nice overnite trip if you can get someone to spring for tix Southwest airlines has low fares to Providence, RI daily. Have fun with it and base your decision on what makes sense and feels best for you.
One word of advice would be to write up a general list of questions with room for your notes and carry a fresh copy with you to each tour so that you can do a good job at comparing schools later without relying on your memory (which never fails to fail). It is surprising how few questions people ask on tours.

Oh and as far as the 6 months of experience at CIA - they have a broad range of what is acceptable. Don't exclude CIA b/c you don't think that you can't accomplish that requirement. Contact admissions and ask some questions - it is probably less difficult than you think.
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