or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Culinary Students › General Culinary School Discussions › Best College for culinary arts?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best College for culinary arts?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm seventeen and I take a career tech cooking class. I've decided to pursue my love of cooking and go to a culinary arts college. The thing is I want a degree in both desserts and cuisine. Whats the best college and program?

post #2 of 6

Hi Culinarygirl17.

 

Advice is what you need and this is staright from heart, please take it at face value.  

 

Cooking is not an academic pursuit.  Cooking and baking are manual trades.

 

 

Let me take a moment to define "Cook" and "Chef"

 

A cook is judged by what they put on a plate

 

A Chef is judged by how they run a kitchen.

 

 

There is no "best college", and "degrees' in physical cooking/baking are highly suspect. Degrees for hospitality mangement, yes, but a degree for a manual trade?

 

There are many culinary schools in N. America, some with excellent reputations, some with expensive reputations, and some with lousy reputations.

 

In N.America, the culinary schools run on the "front end loading" system.  That is, the schools cram you full of knowledge, then kick you out the door. Knowledge may be power, but it is not widsom, nor does knowledge equate hand-eye coordination or skill. Just because I know how to shoot a puck does not make me a NHL player.  Cooking is a manual trade and eye-hand coordination and repetition are needed to develop skill.  Schools do not provide the repetition or a working enviroment. What I'm trying to say is that work experience is just as important as knowledge, and this fact is not lost on employers.  

 

The culinary schools in Europe are not designed for professionals. Europeans favour the apprenticeship system, where the apprentice works in the industry and goes to school.  This provides both knowledge and valuable work experience.  No front end loading.

 

Also bear in mind that there are no standards in the U.S., national or otherwise, that describes what a cook should be.  This is why each school's curriculum is so completely different, and why the hosptitality industry is one of the poorest paying sectors.

 

I strongly suggest you do two things:

 

1) show this post to your parents and career councilor.

2) get your feet wet and work in a commerical kitchen, just to see if it fits you.

 

Hope this helps

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #3 of 6

Ditto to FoodPump's remarks.

 

I look at embarking on a culinary career as being analogous to considering the military as a career, you can simply enlist (start work) or you can choose to gain knowledge first through JROTC and/or ROTC and then enlist. In either case, you will start at the bottom and work your way up the career ladder/path.

 

Learning the educational fundamentals and basic manual skills may make the climb easier or faster, but you will still have to climb the ladder.

 

As FoodPump stated, cooking is a trade, not a profession, everybody starts as an apprentice, formally or otherwise, advances to a tradesman, progresses to a journeyman, and eventually becomes a master craftsman.

 

Once one reaches the master craftsman stage, there is an opportunity to move into management and begin to acquire the knowledge necessary and fundamental to the role (title) of chef, in all of its glory crazy.gif

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for your replys I understand it alot better now

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Culinarygirl17 View Post

Thank you very much for your replys I understand it alot better now

With that statement, it gives me confidence that you will make the correct choice as you go forward.

 

As long as you know the facts, can identify the benefits, and recognize the pitfalls and hurdles that you may have to overcome, you are in charge!
 

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #6 of 6

Just as a point of conversation, no disrespect intended at all to any other opinions, here is another definition of "chef":

 

A chef is a person who cooks professionally for other people. Although over time the term has come to describe any person who cooks for a living, traditionally it refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of food preparation.

 

I don't consider myself any "master craftsman", but at the same time, I carry the title "Chef" with no problemmo. I also feel myself completely professional in the way I work. I had the opportunity to attend the CIA. I was lucky then, I couldn't do it today (too expensive). Most of the stuff I learned there I would not have learned anywhere else. If I were to do it again it would be at a community college or trade-type school. Believe it of not, a lot of that "front-end stuff" is really important good stuff to know. Look up and check out the CCs and Trade schools by where you live. If you can, go and see them personally. Look at things with open eyes and leave the romance on TV.  I love being a chef. I don't however, love $10-$12/hr very much though. Be ready for that realism. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Culinary Students › General Culinary School Discussions › Best College for culinary arts?