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Chefs, please weigh in...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I will qualify this by saying Im not a professional chef. I just love to cook, read about food/cooking, and watch shows about food/cooking. I have a friend who went to culinary school in Scottsdale, AZ. He turned me on to "The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America" by Ruhlman. Between his accounts and Ruhlman's accounts of culinary school, I have a decent idea of things that go on in culinary school. I just recently made an aquaintance with a guy who is going to Sullivan Culinary School. In our conversations about cooking, I ask questions and drop anecdotes about stories Ive heard and read. I told him about Ruhlman talking about making a consume and the clarification raft, and he looked at me like "what the F?" THen the other day I mentioned my buddy talking about cooking sweetbreads. He said, "Im not all that great at baking." Holy ****! Hes close to graduating from Sullivan. I seem to know about things he doesnt know about and have never stepped foot in a culinary school. My question is this...Does the curriculum at Sullivan suck? How can you be close to graduating and dont really know anything about Foie Gras, comsume, sweetbreads, etc. I want to know in case I ever do ponder the idea of going to culinary school. Thanks, chefs!

post #2 of 3
I'm not familiar with the curriculum at Sullivan but I wouldn't say so much that it sucks as I would it is most likely a curriculum with a different focus than CIA has. A person can be a cook at Applebees or O'Charleys and not know what sweetbreads are and still be sucessful at the job. A person like Gordon Ramsey may not have ever made or heard of red eye gravy. Its all just a matter of what one has focused on learning.
post #3 of 3
Don't let every student represent the school. People like to trash schools (you will find alot of LCB rants here), but I think that success is weighed mroe heavily on the student him/herself. If he applies himself to his classes and learns as much as possible, he/she will be successful. On the other hand, there are alot of loafers in culinary school, these are the ones that will drift by with C's and most likely will not know what sweetbreads are or how to make consume.

Of course the schools are not 100% innocent either. I went through a very reputable program, and the only instance where foie gras or lobster was handled was when the chef demonstrated. We got to watch him, but did not have any product to practice with afterwards. I felt so ripped off.
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