Well, former students of LCB: Paris must be busy. :) Not a bad sign a don't guess.
I did find out a TON of information. After clicking around on their website for hours, I had a list of questions. I called their New Jersey office and spoke with Margaret who was a HUGE help!
Here were the questions I posted:
Where do you love while you attend? -- Cost vary based on proximity to city. Just out side of the city is cheaper, but it will cost more in transit to do simple things like go to the store, or look around. City living is convenient, but a little more costly. A 1 bedroom apartment in the city is about 1,000 to 1,500 €.
What does it cost to live there? Monthly bills an electric will run around: 60 €. Phone/Internet/TV would be: 40 €. Food would run around 300 €, but you do get to take food that you cook at school, home. The Metro/Bus pass is about 60 € and she estimates another 200 € for entertainment & incidentals. So, I guestimate about 2,200 € ≈ $3100 a month would get you by.
What is the weekly class schedule like (for Grande program): Classes normally start with a 3 hour demonstration in the morning. Then there is a short break for lunch and the student comes back and replicates the morning demo. Following the instructors demo is usually a time to take photographs of the finished product and sometimes a tasting. The materials provided are ingredient lists and a rough "recipe", but the method is only revealed through demonstration so they suggests that you take excellent notes on the method. You will be encouraged to add photos to your notes. When you have completed the project with the instructors blessing, you are "finished". They encourage you to go home, type your notes and add photos. There are French classes for culinary students in the evening so that you learn the French culinary terms.
The Cuisine courses are usually a minimum of 3 days a week. + The Patisserie course are usually a minimum of 2 days a week. = 5 days a week and about 6 hours a day for the Grande Diplome.
Is the English translation live or only via video? She made it sound like the French to English translation was live. The demonstration is usually completely in French but there are translators on hand.
Do I need to learn French first? It definately helps, but you can "get by" with out it. She strongly suggested I take as much as I can before going.
What are suggested prerequisite books or studies that would help me start to prepare? I did not ask her this question yet.
Additional questions I asked:
Do I need to bring my own knife? You can, but there is a Wusthof set included in the cost.
How many other students will be in my class? About 14 is all the school can hold at one time. Small class size also allows for expert assistance from the Chef Instructor.
Is it possible to take basic culinary courses at a LCB locally and transfer for the intermediate & superior lessons? No. Not unless you get an Associates Degree at LCB, then you transfer to only have to take Superior courses (but that Associates degree takes longer and includes the basic college courses that I don't need because I already have a BSBA)
Can I get the same quality of education at LCB: Dallas that I can get at LCB: Paris? She really tried to be kind to Dallas in her answer and tried NOT to say "yes". She said that all of the same basic principals are shared at all LCB schools, but the Grand Diplome that includes all three levels of skill is currently not offered in the States.
I asked her what the "main difference" was in the schools in the states and the ones like LCB France and to summarize her answer: The states focuses a lot of attention on the professional and educational part of being a "chef" -- how to run the restaurant, how to market, budget, accounting, etc... The Grand Diploma focuses in on the actual art of cooking. (This is perfect for me since I already have a BSBA and own my own restaurant, and it is a very interesting distinction.)
A few tips: Go to www.LCBParis.com and click on "Brochure Request", select the program of interest, and give them your info. It is a great brochure.
I hope all that helps fellow searchers! Maybe I will see you in class one day!!