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Someone PLEASE help~!!~

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I know this topic is kind of over ran but I really need help! I can't find any thread with answers to my questions! If there is one you can just tell me what its called and I'll look it up, but please read this so you understand my question.
Okay, so I've heard GREAT things and HORRIBLE things about Le Cordon Bleu in the US, especially Atlanta! I really need some advice :(!!!
I live just outside of Atlanta and I graduate in less than 3 months from High school and I have planned on going to Le Cordon Bleu (of course I always wanted to go to France) since I was 8 years old (literally) and a few years ago one opened in Atlanta, I was super excited. Some people say amazing things about it and others HATE it. I want to be a Pastry Chef, its like my life and basically the only way I can express myself artistically. My only choices right now are the Art Institute of ATL or LCB ATL. I know its really expensive for LCB, and I can get a full scholarship to the Art Institute, however I have never heard of anyone going to the Art Institute to get a culinary diploma, I mean obviously people do b/c they have the course but can anyone tell me how good it is? (If I offend anyone by that statement, my sincerest apologies) I have tried to research it but I don't know what to really look for, even if you can tell me what to look for would be a tremendous help!!

Or does anyone know about London?
Its cheaper there, about 14K for a diploma. Plus that would be the best experience ever!
post #2 of 21
I live in the UK - and did a six week course at LCB in Paris - more years ago than I care to remember! In those days, it was popular to do a summer course, but I don't know if they even do that any more!

I'm sorry, I can't help you with LCB schools - especially those in the USA, but I'm sure someone will be along to try to help.:chef:
post #3 of 21
The Art Institutes are very good schools. You have to remember that you get out of school what you put into it. AI's are accredited schools and I think they may even be Associates Degrees and not just certificates. You may want to check into that. Good luck.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I checked AI and from what I understand they are certificates too.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

I think...

...that from What I've heard (well read) on this site, London will be my best bet. Plus I would really like to study somewhere other than the US, from what I understand most chefs, especially pastry chefs, look for European training.

I want to open my own bakery, do you think a business degree from a community college would be a good idea?
post #6 of 21
Don't forget that, as well as paying fees to a cookery school/institute here in the UK, you will have to convince the Immigration officers that you won't be a charge on the state (eg health care etc) and have sufficient funds to allow you to live. Students are only allowed to work for 20 hours a week - and believe me, 20 hours would not be enough to allow you to live, even frugally, in one of the most expensive cities in the world, ie London :lips:
post #7 of 21
There is a poster on this thread who goes by the name of 404CHEF who is currently attending LCB ATL. The last post I saw from her was in the " Is attending LCB Las Vegas worth my time and money" thread. I'm sure she could answer your questions. I dont think she is in pastry but I'm sure she can find out whatever you need to know to help in your decision. I looked into AI Las Vegas as well as LCB Las Vegas. Needless to say I start LCB Las Vegas in November. Of course I didn't have the luxury of a scholarship offer either. That might of influenced my decision. At any rate good luck to you in your decision and I hope I was of some help.
November 10th, 2008. A new chapter begins...
November 10th, 2008. A new chapter begins...
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
My boyfriend will be living with me and working as well, he is going to school for Game Art and Design and will be finished when/if I go to London, I will be saving up for almost 3 years so I'm not really worried about money right now. do you know how easy it would be for my boyfriend (well, he'll be husband by then) to find a job there??
post #9 of 21
If he is also neither a UK citizen nor from one of the other EU countries, it might be difficult for him to obtain a work visa, especially under the present economic conditions! We certainly don't seem in need of people with his quals at present (some professions like medicine, teaching etc make it easy for foreigners to obtain visas - others skills much less so). You both need to study the Home Office's Immigration info at UK Border Agency Visa Services Home Page
Good luck with your future plans.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your help.:lips:
I still haven't mad my decision yet.
post #11 of 21
[quote=chefhow;245699]The Art Institutes are very good schools. You have to remember that you get out of school what you put into it.[/ quote]

Chefhow made a good observation.

Regardless of where you wind up going to school, take some pride in yourself as a student. Be punctual if not early. Be properly attired. Have all of your tools and equipment. Complete any reading assignments or other homework on a timely basis.

When you attend class, listen and take notes. Ask questions to clarify whatever you don't understand. Since most hands on activties are done with a partner, befriend someone who has a good work ethic and attitude.

Schools attract all sorts of students.

Some are very dedicated and eager to learn. They're always ready to step up to the plate. Others are slackers. They're late to class. They're slovenly. They don't pay attention during lectures and are totally clueless when it comes time to participate in the hands-on assignment. Instead of helping with production, they wander off to visit with others. When it comes time to clean, they disappear for an extended smoke break.

Some chef instructors will allow students to pick your own partners but others will assign you partners on the premise that everyone has to learn how to "get along with others."

Regardless of whether you attend a school to pursue an associate's degree or whether you go after a bachelors, just remember that at the end of the day, you're the one responsible for your own attitude and work ethic.

Best wishes!
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your input, though I know all of this already. I am a good worker and I hate being late. I'm a perfectionist and I like for people to appreciate my work and be able to see that I have worked hard for something. I think that advice would apply to any form of education.
My main problem right now is if I should wait on my fiancee to finish school and go to London or go ahead and start in Atlanta right after I graduate. I know that no one can make that decision for me but I like other people's input. I also found out that I don't get a full scholarship to the Art Institute, I based that off what my mother told me and should have known to research it myself. So my dilemma now is London in a couple of years or Atlanta Now.
post #13 of 21
LOL ... Do you have any industry experience? If not, why not get some restaurant experience before going to culinary school in London? I guarantee you that the skills you learn in culinary school will seem much more relevant and applicable if you have some prior experience. Having prior experience will also make you more employable after you graduate.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Actually my dad and I run a "bake team", kind of like a catering service, with a friend of mine. We bake for parties of friends and family, we've done wedding cakes and birthday cakes and such and advertise by word of mouth. We stay pretty busy so I have a great deal of experience mostly with cheese cakes and cookies and special occasion cakes. My dad has previously worked in 2 bakeries as well, but they were big corporate bakeries, not the kind of stuff I want to do, but he knows. Hopefully next year I will be interning with a friend of my dad's at a bakery while I'm in culinary school. I want to go to culinary school so I can actually have a firm knowledge of what I'm doing and not just winging it all the time. Also I want to learn to make things other than desserts, I'm not so good with breads and stuff like that.
post #15 of 21
I have some experience in this subject. First and foremost I highly advise if you haven't yet, that you visit the AI of ATL and talk to their Financial Aid office( Must warn you their can be a bit of a wait, like an hour or more). I'm telling you this because the price that your told by the Asst of Admissions is very different that what you will actually be paying. For instance, a Bachelors degree at this particular Art Institute will be upwards of 90 to 100 thousand dollars if you include housing. And their to my knowledge is no scholarship that pays for a full ride at the A.I. That being said, from a financial standpoint, is going to culinary school worth it? No, it's not. It's run the same way at LCB so just know that your going to pay a good chunk of money even for the diploma.
From my experience of going to the AI and then another culinary school, the difference is negligible. I go to Gwinnett Technical College. I learned the exact same things here that I learned there. Honestly the best advice I would give you is to opt for a Community College. Neither LCB nor the AI are worth the time or money. All a diploma will do you is get your foot in the door. In school, you will do something once and move on, the real training is on the job. ALSO going to London will not save you any money. Don't go over their for the wrong reasons, and it's rather hard to support yourself once you get their with no experience and not speaking the languages fluently.
post #16 of 21
I am in your same posistion except im going into Cooking :D. I have been trying to get some info on everything about culinary schools and pro's and con's about going to school. Or even SHOULD I go to culinary school. I have heard many people say they are usefull and some say there useless. I too are a senior gonna be graduating in a few months and I have been trying to be a chef for years since as long as I remember. I plan on studying abroad after I get my degree if I can go the CSCA-LCB it costs a lot I will have to say. Since I planned on going around and learning different ways of cooking and different cultures of cooking and how they came to be. Most of my family members and close friends say that usualy it would be better to have the hands on exp. because they will hire a person with better hands on exp. BUT...BUT...BUT...also having a degree will help. My teachers have gave me some GOOD ADVICE "How far will the degree get you?""The degree will get you your job and thats about it." Those two statements are very true. For me I think it is worth going to but with the economy im not sure if i am able to go.
post #17 of 21
Coming from someone who was/is in a postition to hire, a degree will do nothing more than get you an interview with me. OJT and what you show me in your cooking test will get you a job. What ppl fail to remember/recognize is Culinary School does nothing more than show you how to be a prep cook. It can not simulate a full service operation even if they have a cafeteria or restaurant in the facility, IT'S A SCHOOL!! The operation is not there to turn a profit its only there to teach you, nothing more. If you want to actually learn something, go to school, get a job at the same time and graduate on time so you learn how to manage time, prioritize, be punctual, show responsibility, learn what it is to be DEAD TIRED, and see what it actually takes. If you arent willing to make a real commitment than dont waste your money.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
I don't see why people are NOT understanding what I am asking!!!! I'm getting so frustrated! I want to be a PASTRY CHEF, COMPLETELY different than Chef de cuisine and I want OWN MY OWN BAKERY. I don't care about getting a job ANYWHERE else...You may think I'm naive, thinking that I am going to be able to own my own bakery as soon as I start my career, but I have basically ALREADY started it! And my dad wants to work with me as well because baking is his passion too, he just never was trained and doesnt have time and I figure someone should beprperly trained, and as for people working for me, I dont really want to own a big time bakery I live in a little bitty Atlanta suburb so i will need like 3 people max, we have plenty of bakeries/cafes around here that have just two people, working them, like I said, small town. Plus the man that I work for owns, not one but TWO restaurants that are doing very well and he is only like 24! but I have learned a lot working in the restaurant business for more than a year and a half,not in the kitchen but otherwise. I KNOW what it takes and I KNOW that experience is key! I also KNOW I WANT to go to culinary school. I just want to UNDERSTAND what I'm doing, rather than just doing it. PLUS, call me weird, but I LOVE to learn! All I was asking out of this thread was which school would be a better use of my money? Sorry to sound all mean and hostile but no one has really helped me out here except Ishbel and Slelliot. I have chosen not to go to London because no way could I afford to live there plus I dont wanna wait, I'm too eager to learn and really get my career kick started! When I started this thread I just wanted input from people who have experienced learning at LCB or AI in BAKING AND PASTRY. The reason for those schools is because those are the only schools I have found that offer a baking and pastry program around where I live.Not that I do not appreciate the time you all have put in to try and help me! And again, I am sorry if this sounds hostile.:o
post #19 of 21
Sorry I couldn't answer your question. London I'm not so sure about but I do know France school is free BUT. YOU NEED TO KNOW FRENCH. France as you know would be a good place to learn. Pastry is something I want to learn too because there is soo much to learn from it and its fun. I understand your wondering if LCB or AI is good yes and no as of all the info I have been researching for years.
post #20 of 21
Sorry i accidently posted w/o finishing what I wanted to say.

But apparently LCB is still a good school but it's not as good as it was before back actually 8-9 years ago. It was cheaper back then too as of what I found except for the fact that inflation with money has changed. Now they are more worried about money then the stuff they teach you. Its still really good and usefull of what they teach but to people that have went there and compare it to now they say its not as good. There are cases of people saying its better but I see more people say not as good. Sorry hope that makes your decisions better. Going to a Small community college would be best because its cheaper. Its all just a degree. Having a named degree is good an all but its way to expensive for a piece of paper especially with now and days economy that kinda of money is hard to come by and going in for 2+ MAYBE years thats either lots of student loans or loans in general.
post #21 of 21
Ok here the answer to your question. Go to LCB. You are scheduled more classes out of the week, it's cheaper than the AI. Now I want you to understand that for the most part you will be learning stuff that you already know. You wanted to know what would be a better use of you money? Neither would truthfully. Finding a experienced pastry artist and working under them will teach you much more than the school will. Work for a pastry artist and go to school at the same time if you want. But if your dream is to open your own pastry shop then you should go get a business degree instead of a pastry certificate. LCB is your choice if your dead set
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