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School opinion please??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Im 19 years old and really interested in becoming a baker/pastry chef and would like to attend culinary school. I currently live in tampa and their are only 2 schools in the area I know of that have baking and pastry programs. The Art Institutes here in Tampa and Le Cordon Blue in Orlando. I was wondering which of the two would give me the best education being that I know both schools arent that cheap. If anyone has went to LCB or AI  and did baking and pastry I would like to know how your experience was. I want to make sure I go to a school that Im going to like.

 

Any and all advice is GREATLY appreciated!!!!

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyanna Rodriguez View Post

... I want to make sure I go to a school that Im going to like.

IMHO, if you "like the school" you probably are not learning what you could!

 

If the:

  • Classes are too long and complicated, or
  • there is a LOT of homework, or
  • the instructors/professors/chefs are mean, overbearing, and unforgiving, or
  • the schoolwork is HARD

 

you might possibly have a chance of being exposed to enough to learn a little.

 

If you think the:

  • class schedule doesn't interfere with your social life, or
  • homework is really light, or
  • the instructors/professors/chefs are laid back, easy going, and really cool, or
  • the schoolwork is a snap

 

you are wasting your parents' money or incurring far more than you should for student loans, get the h3ll out of school and get a job!

 

Have you seriously looked into working for or apprenticing with a local bakery?

 

Do you REALLY want to spend $40,000 or so for a piece of paper that might help you get a job paying $10/hour (remember, that's a hair over $20,000/year, $1,733/month, for a 40 hour week)?

Chef,
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 #3 of 8

you need to go to each campus and look around - don't believe what the contact at the school is telling you (they are on commision and earn money based on your decision to sign up at their school - ask the questions you really want to ask and get the answers you really want, not what your parents or your high school counselors want to hear (because that is what the people you're talking to are trained to respond to. and will tell you)... and they make their living off of selling you on that.

 

 look around at each campus and pay attention to the instructors (chefs) you find and base your evaluation on the quality of them and their students which are visible.

post #4 of 8

They all teach about the same, starting with basics. I say to all future students," It is not the school,it's the student ' Success is geared on what effort you put in, for the final result one cannot blame the school only yourself.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 8

^^^

 

post #6 of 8

Tyanna:

I would like to advise you to consider: Valencia Community College and Notter School of Pastry Arts. The Cooking Schools interview is worth reading. He is an alumnus of GRCC. GRCC has the best Community College Baking and Pastry Arts program. The Pastry Instructor is CMPCGilles Renusson. Also worth reading, So You Wanna Be A Chef. Save your parents' money and avoid: A.I. and L.C.B.! [CCA is a CEC school.] Good luck.


Edited by TheUnknownCook - 11/16/10 at 1:31pm
Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. -- The Princess Bride
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean...
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Buttercup: You mock my pain!
Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says differently is selling something. -- The Princess Bride
Miracle Max: Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT - mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean...
Reply
post #7 of 8

I would practically echo what Unknown Cook is saying. Check out the community colleges he recommended and if you should decide spending 50K on an education, work in the industry first. If you should decide you want to look into any schools, read over this http://culinaryschooladviser.com/?p=54 - There's a few other articles that could help you on the site too. Good luck and keep us posted.

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 
Reply
post #8 of 8

I used to work in Orlando, and Valencia's program has a pretty good reputation- I'd spend my money there before OCA- I heard nothing but bad things about that school.

 

And like somebody else said, you'll get out of school what you put into it. Just don't expect for this industry to hand you anything once you get your degree, because it doesn't happen that way.

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