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Advice on my culinary education

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 


    I've been working the line in a medium size family restaraunt, serving italian food and a little pizza, for about a year now and I know cooking is what I want to do.  I've heard a lot of things from a lot of people in the industry and I'm just not sure, should I be looking into an apprenticeship, culinary school, or maybe both.  Also what are the culinary schools that I should be looking into.

Thanks, Jared

post #2 of 5

Hey Jared:


       I think going to culinary school would be a good idea to get the technique and skill down you'll need in the industry. Though, a lot of people dont agree and would probably say that going to culinary school is for panzies, but I think in the long run you are probably going to be more efficient and put out a better quality product, I go to culinary school at the CIA in New York right now. I am working on my BPS in Culnary Arts and I have an AAS degree in Culinary Management from my first college that I went to in Florida. How cool is it to be walking to class and see chefs that you wouldn never think of seing out side anywhere!


Not to say that people you have not had formal traing are not amazing in the kitchen, there is a lot of them out there. In fact I just met a chef named Peter Kelly that owns 6 restaurants in the Hudson Valley and just worked his way up until he opeded up his first restaurant at the age of 27.


Gues it just depends on what you want to do in the long run?


peace.gif“When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy, that is what cooking is all about.”
Thomas Keller, The French Laundry Cookbook


Hope this helped a little!

post #3 of 5

I am a CIA guy too. I probably would not go there again today. It's really very expensive. Today there are all kinds of fantastic Community Colleges / Jr. Colleges / Trade Schools available. You should do yourself and whoever else will be helping you pay, a big service and check these out. 

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Whoever is helping me pay, good one lol. But the CIA did seem a bit pricey, they were the first school i was looking into.  Lately i was checking out the Institute of culinary education and the french culinary institute in NYC, anyone know anything about them, or have any insight into ACF apprenticeships?

post #5 of 5

As a CIA grad as well I can tell you that I have never regretted the time or money I spent on my schooling(even though I will be paying off student loans for a few more years).  Simply put it is one of the best experiences you can have.  I agree there are hundreds of great culinary colleges out there that are less expensive, however very few offer the breath of knowledge or experiences the CIA can.


"A Cook knows how to saute something well, A Chef knows why you choose to saute in the first place" 


More importantly there are a multitude of jobs in the industry that need trained professionals.  The more trained and professional you are the more money and better experiences you can have down the road.  Pick the route that best offers you the chance to be that.  If you are not a great studier and are a better hands on learner, find the best chef who will give you a chance in his kitchen and do an apprenticeship.  If you choose to go to school make sure you are ready to soak up every piece of knowledge by studying hard.  Culinary school graduates who have a bad reputation in kitchens after schooling did not take it seriously while at school.  It was not the schools fault.  I am sure the other replies that are CIA grads remember the bad cooks in their group! 

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