OK so i have been doing some research lately. i am a culinary enthusiast. i have been cooking for a while now and i love it. I am 25 years old and i already have my first bachelors degree so for me, this culinary thing is more for me to gain knowledge and skills on french baking and pastry. and then in like 5 years open up a pastry shop.Now i want to start culinary school next year and i have been reading some of cheftalk's blogs and i am not lazy, i did some research. so in the end it comes down to Notter pastry school,J&W and the ever so talked about Gregoire Ferrandi. i wanna more than anything go to ferrandi simply because the program is five months and a paid externship for 6 months. trouble is its 15,000 euros plus living expenses which is about 20,000 dollars which is almost the same as going to notter or J&W. plus if you check out Ferrandi's application, it says you have to pay that 15,000 in installments of three. so that's 5000 per installment. Notter on the other hand takes 7 months which is not bad and you start working right away. J&W is a really good school, four campuses across the country and good baking and pastry program.
i would really appreciate everyone's advice both from the culinary students perspective and culinary instructor's perspective. Is a certificate just as good as a diploma or a degree? and has anyone actually gone to Ferrandi , Notter or J&W and what were your experiences? I honestly dont want to learn with celebrity chefs in their restaurants, i would just rather get hands on experience with a humble pastry chef.