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Culinary school after High school?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I will be graduating High school in 2011.
I'm and like working with food. I want to go to culinary school.
What are options after culinary school,and should I go to college first or go directly to culinary school.
Is culinary school considered college?
I was thinking about the Arts Institution of Philadelphia.
post #2 of 15
That is a HUGE question. And, unfortunately, I don't think to which there is an answer. The reason being, there is no one path that is perfect for everybody. There are many successful chefs that do not have a foundation in formal culinary training. There are also many chefs that have relied very heavily on their formal training. You may (and should!) do some serious soul-searching and research. Talk to current post-secondary students enrolled in culinary programs. Talk to owners/operators/chefs and get their insight. Some chefs are staunchly opposed to hiring culinary school grads, while many insist on formal training. Really, it will come down to you. What do you hope to get out of your career? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? Start with the end in mind (to borrow a line from Steven Covey.)

Good luck with your decision making process and keep us posted.

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 15
With some exceptions, "culinary school" is a vocational or "trade" school. There are college curricula that deal  with food production that can be considered as "college degree" status.

As "Jim" said, figure out your goal before making a decision as to your educational opportunities.

If you really think you want a career as a "cook", perhaps leading to becoming a chef, get a job in a restaurant BEFORE committing to any "culinary school"! Even if you start as a dishwasher or kitchen helper, you'll get a good idea as to what it is like.

A "college degree" can never be a negative and often can be a positive, especially in the hospitality arena. Remember, you can always learn the "trade" to augment your college degree.

Examine the "career path" of a "culinary school graduate" and compare it to a AA or BA in Hospitality or Business Management. Which path leads to your goals?
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Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 15
Well from personal experience did any of you go to culinary school,and how long did it take you to become stable and have a good job.
post #5 of 15
Incidentally,  you may want to check out today's New York Times article on trade schools. Very eye-opening look at taking on debt to finance an education.

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 #6 of 15
Oh wow I read the article.

Hopfully this will end by 2011
I really want to work with food and I cant see myself doing anything else.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Spear View Post

Oh wow I read the article.

Hopfully this will end by 2011
I really want to work with food and I cant see myself doing anything else.
Travis, many community colleges have great culinary programs that are priced realistically. I highly recommend that you look into them if cost is a concern.  You can achieve all you want regardless of the school, it all depends on your drive and ambition. A friend of mine went through a local community college culinary program; at one point in his career, he was invited to cook at the James Beard House. I went to Johnson & Wales; to the best of my knowledge, they haven't given me a ring (maybe my cell was off).
Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
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post #8 of 15
I'm was thinking of going to the Art institiution! of Phlidelphia.
post #9 of 15
 Travis,

What you read in that article is what you should look out for.  Certain private colleges pray on the naivety of their students.  Hopes and dreams are explored but the realities are rarely addressed.  You are doing the right thing by looking into this now and asking the right people (industry professionals) their opinions.  If anyone guarantees you anything (like job placement, salary, etc) run!  

So far, everyone that has answered is right and therefore requires you to do some research.  There are people that do and don't care about hiring you when it comes to education if you want to work in a restaurant.  If you want something more in the corporate side of the food industry, a degree within Culinary, Hospitality, or even Business could be helpful.  

Since you have time, work in the food industry while you can to see if you really like this.  

If you have any other questions or need advice, come on back and ask. 
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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post #10 of 15
Will it help me in the feild to go to a school like the CIA or Johnson,and wales or should I just go to the arts institute? I want to get a bachelors degree in culinary mangment.
post #11 of 15
 Travis,

CIA and J+W have a better reputation and have proven over time that if you are going to invest serious cash in your education, you want to go to one of those two.  AI have excellent sales representatives to get you in the door.  CIA and J+W don't need to hard sell you because an intelligent consumer should know the difference between snake oil and olive oil (my attempt at combining sales and culinary joke).  
See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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See the truth about the culinary education industry at www.culinaryschooladviser.com 
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post #12 of 15
"an intelligent consumer should know the difference between snake oil and olive oil "
I don't know what jtobin625 means by this, but I am attending an Art Institute school and so far I don't feel like I am being cheated.  I am working my way torward getting a Bachelors in Culinary Arts Management, because I'm interested in pursing the management side of things.  Based on my own experiences, I honestly feel I am getting a sound education at a legitimate school.  The AI schools have had successful Culinary grads.  When I was researching the various schools in my area, I looked very carefully.  The AI schools have had some impressive success stories from some of their grads.  Some own their own catering businesses, some own very successful restaurants, and some have made it on various shows on the Food Network.  Not bad for a school that has attracted such negative criticisms.  So far my experience at the school has been quite positive, and I feel that I am getting my money's worth.  Yes, the cost of tuitition is expensive, but I am getting a lot for it.  I am learning the latest information and am working from modern equipment and am learning the latest technology in their state-of-the-art kitchens.   I chose AI because they offer more classes that are convenient to my hectic schedule, the looks of their kitchens, the backgrounds of some of their Chef instructors and the location of the school.    What I am saying is, I wouldn't rule out AI in your options.  They are also a legitimate school.  They may not be CIA, but no other school is either. 

As for the student loans article from the New York Times, yes ... those loans are dangerous and should be avoided.  You don't have to go the route of the student loan either.  That is a choice people make.  No school can force anyone to sign for those loans. 
post #13 of 15
Well could I still get a good job in a restaurant with a bachlors degree in culinary managment?  I dont plan on owning a restaurant anytime soon but should i just take Culinary managment for later on in my life?  will culinary managment   teach me everything i will learn in a associates in culinary arts?
post #14 of 15
Hi Travis,

To answer your question, will you still get a good job in a restaurant with a Bachelors degree ... I would think you would have more choices and options toward getting the job that you want with a Bachelors degree than with just an Associates in today's day and age.  There is an increase in competition and more people are going for degrees and when starting out, everyone has to apply and compete for the same jobs, which are typically entry level jobs. Your chances of landing a better job, the job that you really want will be greater with a solid education to go along with your work experiences.  Regarding which degree is better for you, a Bachelors versus an Associates ... personally, I would recommend that you go for the Bachelors in today's day and age, only because of the rise in competition, and the rise of students enrolling into Culinary Arts programs in schools across the country in response to the horrible job market and economy.  Your choices won't be limited to just a restaurant owner with a Bachelors.  You can become an Executive Chef, Sous Chef, Restaurant manager or run or work for a catering business.  I'm sure there are other options as well that I am missing.  I just feel that with a Bachelors degree, it will give you an advantage over some of the competition.   

From what I could tell after doing a side by side comparison of the course curriculum between the Bachelors program and AAS programs in Culinary Arts, much of the course work is the same.  You get all the same cooking classes under the Bachelors program, but you also get management courses.  You get some management courses under an Associates program as well, but not as much.  

In my opinion, it never hurts to go as far as you can when getting an education.  Also, everyone's needs are different and not every school is right for everyone.  I recommend that you visit the schools in your area that interest you, and ask them these questions.  Ask them about their programs, look at the course curriculum they offer, ask what types of contacts you will meet through their school and what they can offer you.  Also, ask about the backgrounds of the Chef instructors and try to get a tour of their kitchens. Seeing these schools and what they can offer you may help you reach a decision as well.  It's what I did.

Best of luck to you.

Linda
post #15 of 15
Thank you very much.
I was already thinking about getting a Bachlors Degree in culinary managment,but you just inspired me more to reach my goal.
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