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Help Comparing Three Schools

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

Thanks for looking. To make a long story short, I've decided that I'm going to attend culinary school. Cooking has been one of the only things that I enjoy and I want to make a career out of it.

To get on with my point, I'm looking at three schools.

1. Stratford Chef School
2. Liaison College
3. Pius X Chef School

I was originally looking at attending LCB here in my hometown of Ottawa, but the price tag of $44,000 was far too much for me to stomach.

Now, I realize I will have to move away, so if anyone can suggest any cities with cheap living costs that would be great. I don't want to spend a whole ton of money on tuition (Liaison/Stratford are about $6500/year and Pius X is about $800/year) so please no suggestions for schools with $15,000 price tags.

And, hey, if you don't mind letting me know how the three schools I'm mainly looking at are, that would be great!

Thanks in advance :)

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello again,

Sorry for the double post but I thought I should update!

I've found a sponsor who is willing to give me three shifts (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) a week at his top Italian restaurant? I would probably have to leave my current job because of the lack of availability I'd be able to give them.

I've also found out that this years program at Stratford is completley full, and I would be applying for the 2009 session. My question to you guys is this: should I take the job in the restaurant and build up experience (and possibly more hours) and then apply to Stratford for the October 2009 session or should I attend another school's January session?

I also received a package today from Liaison College. The tuition fees were a little higher than I expected, but still in a range I'm comfortable paying.

The first year would cost a little over $7,000 while the second would cost a little under that. I'm really quite interested in the school and think it may be quite beneficial to atleast go for a tour, unless some have had terrible experiences with them. Again, should I take the pay cut and work at the restaurant or leave my job at the busiest* (and highest paying) months?

Anyways, I tend to ramble. Any suggestions, tips, comments? :chef:

Thanks for looking!
post #3 of 4
Take any work experience you can.

Personally, the hair stands on the back of my neck when a School calls itself a "Chef School". They are not. They are culinary schools that produce culinary school graduates.

Ask if you can spend a day or at least a few hours at each school, red flag the ones that refuse. Snoop around, ask questions to both instructors and students.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #4 of 4
I have only heard of Liason but I'm not really in the area. I live in London, ON. Have you considered the possibility of an apprenticeship? Since you have already been hired by a restaurant, as long as their chef has a Red Seal you can register with the ministry as an apprentice and start working towards the 6000 hours needed to write the red seal test. There are a number of colleges that have in class sessions to add to the apprencticeship experience. In Toronto there's George Brown, Ottawa has Confederation College, here in London there's Fanshawe. There are a number of places in which the Red Seal is the minimum requirement, so for many cooks that is the first goal to reach.
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