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Why do some of you knock going to culinary school?

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am new to this forum and it is very interesting. Please, I hope noone is upset by my opening question. Since I have been lurking here I have noticed a topic that has come up or discussed, that is the topic of going to culinary school. Please, if I may, let me give a little background of myself. I have always loved to cook, at the age of seven my mom worked nights(single parent) and I would cook for my brothers, yes me 7yrs old in a kitchen. After high school(17yrs old), I thought about going to culinary school but didn't because everyone said that "chefs don't make any money" so I went to school and became an aircraft mechanic......fast forward to now, I am 39yrs old....and guess what I am not making any money as an aircraft mechanic.....to make matters worse I don't have a passion for it. Yes I still have a passion for cooking....I do it now everyday....well just about....I am raising 5 boys(6,11,13,16 & 17yrs) and with a lovely wife that loves to eat to boot and I enjoy it....for me it is very very theraputic. At this point I don't care if I make $10hr as long as I get do something that gives me joy and that I have a passion for. I will be attending J&W in 2012 and I can't wait. I KNOW that the schooling will bring out so much more of my creativity. Yes I know it will be expensive, but I am going to be more than a sponge, there is so much I want to know and learn about foods and cooking, I think the teachers are going to run the other way when they see me coming....just kidding!! Well I am really sorry if I ranted on, but I just had to get this out of my system. Thanks.

post #2 of 72

I don't  knock them > If thats what you want fine. However as a former instructor in a culinary school. I can tell you that in my mind I can't justify any young person spending up to 44000.00 to go to school that when they come out they will be lucky to get a position for more then 14.00 per hour. You start your life owing money  that you borrowed to go to school.

Get a job in any decent full service rest. hotel, or catering facility and you will learn more in a year  then you would in school in 2 years plus you are getting paid. Remember CULINARY SCHOOLS ARE FOR PROFIT FIRST . They are a business like any other business.many of them paint visions of sugarplums in students heads. It will take you at least 8 years or more of quality learning to become a Sous Chef and another 5 to Chef. You must put in your time.. Good Luck

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 #3 of 72

I do not "knock" culinary schools, they exist to train students in the basics of a vocational trade.

 

I do question whether spending $20,000 to $60,000 to learn the fundamentals of a trade where, for the first several years of employment, one will be lucky to earn $20,000 to $30,000 per year gross, especially when one can earn the same amount simply by getting a job in 

a restaurant or food service facility and learning the same skills while getting paid.

 

Do the math, $40,000 @ 7.0% for 7 years is $233.33 per month or $2,800.00 per year, about 10%-15% of the expected gross income, closer to 15%-20% of the net take home pay.

 

Which would you rather do?

  • Go to work now for $20k gross, or
  • Pay $40k now (or borrow it) and go to work in two years for $17k

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 72

I have several reasons.

 

Culinary school does NOT make you a Chef or a cook.  It makes you a culinary school graduate

 

Graduates with no previous experience will graduate with no working experience.  It is the working experience that employers are looking for.

 

We've been through the issue that the industry pays peanuts.  Passion only goes so far.  When you bring home sub $2,000 monthly paycheques with dick-all benefits and no job security, your Spouse will start to question your decision.  

 

The only time passion outranks money is when you are self employed.  Remember this.

 

There are no standards-no benchmarks-no recognized qualifications-- for what constitutes a cook, and what constitutes a Chef: what they should know, what they should  be capable of. Because of this, there are no pay scales to base a salary on.

 

Please, please, pretty please, work in a restaurant for  a couple of months before you write that cheque for the Culinary school  

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #5 of 72

So as you can see , none of us really knock culinary institutions, We just question them. Its strictly your decision and your life.

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 #6 of 72
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all that responded. I have worked in a restaurant, I was a bartender for one year, it was cantonese. It was the best(fun)  job I ever had. I went in around 1pm and got out usually at 2am....later if it was around a holiday. I worked closely with the kitchen as a matter of fact, I had to go thru the kitchen to get to my station. Again for me it really isn't about the money. I will however take into consideration the cost of culinary school....so far I have gotten a pell grant for 5k and will be applying for every scholarship I can find....I don't plan on finishing school and being in tons of debt. My ultimate goal is eventually to be self employed. Thanks again.

post #7 of 72

I'm actually planning on attending the CIA campus down in San Antonio come next fall. By that time, I'll have 2 years experience in kitchens in the town I'm living in currently. The good thing about this school, is that El Sueno offers a scholarship that covers the majority of tuition costs, plus I've got the GI Bill backing the rest. With the school not costing me anything in student debt and having had real world experience before attending, would getting a degree from the CIA be well worth the time invested? I plan to continue working in restaurants while going to school as well, mind you.

post #8 of 72

OK. Here is what I said in another thread on this same topic:

Quote:

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. 

Now after reading the last two(2) posts, I would say that if you've got the money ... knock your socs off. Go for it. I too went with GI Bill $$$. The best good stuff I've gotten from the CIA is all in my head, stuff I know, that which makes me do what I do as a chef. Yes, I said CHEF. It's only a vocabulary word, no different than COOK, as long you don't have any linguistic or semantic difficulties. I learned technical skills at school, but I really had to learn them out on the job, or practicing on my own. The CIA is a cool place. I'm glad I went. If I was paying with out of my own pocket money though, I'd look at a different venue. 

"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'.

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"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'.

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post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by savorychef View Post...My ultimate goal is eventually to be self employed. ..

One of the major purposes of a degree/certificate/diploma is to convince others that you have the knowledge to do what they need done.

 

If your goal is self-employment, then you have little reason to convince others of anything! So the need for a degree/certificate/diploma is significantly reduced, laser.gifBill Gates and Steve Jobs come to mind quicklywink.gif
 

If your goal is self-employment, knowledge of:

  • business law
  • economics
  • finance
  • accounting
  • personnel management

 

is far more important than attaining journeyman or master trade skills.

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #10 of 72



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by savorychef View Post

Thanks to all that responded. I have worked in a restaurant, I was a bartender for one year, it was cantonese.

 

Bartending and cooking have very little in common, even if you did walk through the kitchen. 

 

No, I really mean working in a kitchen: Veg prep, cleaning out fryers, helping out at the dishpit, plating up banquet plates, freezing your hiney off in the walk-in freezer with the Chef with a clipboard in your hands doing inventory after work. 

 

School is only one half of the equation, experience is the other.  You wouldn't take a car with only a speedometer and no gas guage on a long road trip, would you?

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #11 of 72

Sorry my friend, but this is stuff any adult can learn in one(1) shift. 

Quote:

Veg prep, cleaning out fryers, helping out at the dishpit, plating up banquet plates, freezing your hiney off in the walk-in freezer with the Chef with a clipboard in your hands doing inventory after work.

Whether you're aware or not, bar-tenders do all kinds of "prep", much like veg prep before their shifts. How much different is bar fruit than veggies? It shouldn't take more than one(1) shift to learn. Cleaning out the fryers is something you watch once, and you're an expert. Helping out at the dishpit is something your mother should have taught you. I always have the instructions pasted up in plain sight if you didn't; in English and Spanish. Plating up banquet plates is something for trained monkeys. You watch what the others do, you ask a few questions, you listen to what you're told, you get the job done. Inventory is inventory; steaks, potatoes, beer, wine, whiskey. You either do it in the bar or the walk-in. If it's cold, put on a jacket.  

 

This aint'e no rocket surgery. We work in kitchens. The stuff I got from the CIA is stuff very few people I've worked with know. I give that to the people I'm working for or with. That's what makes me the chef I am. 

"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'.

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"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'.

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post #12 of 72

This is a set-up,right?

 

How much different is slicing up some citrus fruit than dicing an onion? 

Slicing a half a sack of onions for Fr. Onion Soup?  Dicing up tomatoes for salsa?  Carrots for stir fry? Peeling and quartering melons? How to cut spuds for hashbrowns without half going in the garbage?  Someone who never held a sharp knife in his hand before and now with an hour's worth of instruction can get veg prep ready for sunday brunch?  Really?

 

Cleaning out a fryer?  How to screw on the drain pipe? How to boil it out?  What happens if the china-cap is too small to sit on the rim of the draining pot?  How to dispose of old oil properly? What happens when there is just a teensy bit of water in the kettle before you dump the hot oil back in?  Why you shouldn't use a pot with a loose handle, or a pail with a wobbly bail to drain the fryer into?  Meh, show the dude once and watch him french fry his feet,  and you get to fill out the worker's comp. forms, eh?

 

Dishpit. Evey one of my new hires gets at least an hour worth of instruction.  How to pre rinse plates, how not to hose down dirty sheetpans and rosting pans full of congealed grease down the drain, but to scrape it off with box tops and toss it in the garbage, how to make sure the wash water is clean, how to make sure the wash and rinse arms are clean and the orifices are not plugged up, how to wash cutlery properly  so the server doesn't grab it by the "business end" . Where to put the 1/9th inserts, keep all of the parts of the robot-coupe together,  not to throw out the steam table separator bars in the garbage, not to leave water in the hollow handles of the frying pans, not to hang up wet ladles over the fryer...

Basically a dishmachine is not magic, what goes in dirty will come out dirty, albeit sanitized dirty.

 

All this instruction in a few minutes? Or is it just assumed?

 

O.P.'s got three growing kids plus a spouse to look after.  Grant or no grant, he'd better work in a kitchen for a few months before he signs on the dotted line.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #13 of 72

ICEMAN 

Dont know how long you hae been in the game or what you have been exposed to, but You work with me in the war zones for 3 monthes, and it's the equiv. of CIA for 2 years. Not only will you learn how to do it ,but the theory behind it. As you said, if you had to pay for it with your own money ,you might have pursued other options. $$44000.00 is way to much to pay. You are mot going to medical =school and upon completion wont be able to earn $$125-200,00 per year . You will be lucky if you get $15.00 per hour. Where is the logic here. Also I knew plenty of guys out of culinary schools with DIPLOMAS and CERTIFICATES who cant hack it in a pro kitchen  and went into other vocations. In fact when I taught schoolin NY 8 out of 100 grads 10 years later were still in trade. Many went into food sales but then you do not have to pay 44000. to do that either. I have been at this game for more then 50 years and it has not changed that much re. staff other then Osha and some labor laws. Kitchen people are the lowest rung on the ladder, and in most cases treated as such.

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 #14 of 72

A couple things not mentioned as well:

 

- Schooling in culinary is really no different than many other vocations. For example the design industry (architecture, graphics, fashion, interior, etc) faces the exact same dynamics: expensive school that doesn't predetermine success and is far outwieghed by industry experience.

 

- One of the most important benefits of school (and some would argue the *only* benefit) is the networking, not the education. Ask any graduate of any major MBA school (eg, Harvard Business School) and they'll tell you.

 

- Chefs don't want to see more chefs. Chefs don't need chefs, they need cooks. They are surrounded by bad cooks and other food workers. And the last thing culinary school teaches you is how to be a good cook. Most chefs see other chefs as competition and the last thing this world needs more of - especially in an already way too populated marketplace. When all chefs see coming out of school are people who leave the industry immediately (50%+), bad cooks (let's say 30%) or competition (let's say 5%), what attitudes are likely to develop? And are those attitudes unjustified?

 

 

post #15 of 72

Look foodpump, your reply only supported what I previously said. Slicing onions, dicing up tomatoes, carrots for stir fry, peeling and quartering melons and/or cutting potatoes for hash browns is all day-care summer-camp skills. I think there is a Boy Scout Merit Badge for that. You've gotta know that stuff to get into a good school. Bar-tenders can usually pick that stuff up in an hour or two. Are they as clean and fast as pro-chefs? NO, probably not. But they get the job done acceptably well. The two(2) long paragraphs you typed on fryer cleaning and dish-pit work is another perfect point. In the "REAL WORLD" it's no big deal. I show you how to do it, the directions are on the wall. The fryer and/or dish-pit are the same. I'll show you once, and the directions are on the wall. If you screw it up, everyone else involved will let you know about it. Kitchen people are not stupid. They learn things. DUH. Yes, all of this instruction is in one(1) shift. I wouldn't hire someone that stupid who couldn't learn. All of this stuff here is trained monkey work. This aint'e no rocket surgery. We work in kitchens.

 

EdB ~ I've "been in the game" for over thirty(30) years, I actually started cooking in 1966, but I was only 4-yo at the time, so that doesn't really count. Working for you may just be one of the greatest experiences of life. You are not however, the big-name professional geniuses that go through the CIA at any given time to do guest-instructing. I got to learn from and study under 50-plus famous world-renowned chefs. I kinda think that just might be a little different than working for you for 3 months, maybe. I don't now, or have ever in the past, challenge anything else you said. It's a lot of $$$ for a $10-$12/hr job. No argument there. A "CIA" tag won't keep your job longer than a week or so, maybe even less. I do know that with the recommendations that came with it got me in a lot of doors. Of course it didn't hurt at all that I don't suck.  

 

"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'.

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post #16 of 72

What I don't understand is all you folks who insist on thinking culinary school is different than any other trade or career path.

 

School is expensive, no matter what your choosen field. And starting pays are comparatively low in most fields as well. But I don't hear anyone saying don't go to school if you want to be a reporter, or a school teacher, or a businessman. And the idea that culinary arts people are the only ones who graduate with unrealistic expectations is just silly. When I graduated from journalism school, for instance, many of my classmates suffered from the idea that just because they had a J degree the New York Times was anxious to hire them. That's comparable to graduating culinary school and expecting to be named sous chef at a Michelin starred restaurant.

 

Culinary arts are one of the few jobs in which viable careers are possible strictly with on-the-job training. But the question is, how much easier is it to get hired, for an entry level job, if you have a degree but no experience? I guarantee that, if nothing else, it's a tie breaker.

 

I wonder, too, how many top chefs do not have formal education in the field? If it wasn't important, why are those who are "self taught" pointed out with a sense of awe? When celebrity chefs are introduced, it's rare that anyone says, "he graduated from CIA, or Cordon Blue, or The French Institute." But if he or she didn't go to culinary school, a point of it is always made. The fact is, we do see lack of formal training as special.

 

And let's get real about the relationship between entry-level pay and tuition costs. When my son graduated with an MBA, despite scholarships that helped tremendously, he was $160,000 in debt. His first job's salary was 35 grand.

 

So, yeah, if you want to compare starting at 35 grand to starting at 15, then culinary grads are underpaid. But what if you compare debt-to-income, a more realistic way of comparing? Let's see: putting aside the scholarships (which would add another 50-60K to his actually costs), $160,000 is roughly 4.5 times $35,000. On the other hand, $44,000 is only 3 times $15,000. So, proportionately, the culinary arts grad is actually in better financial shape. And that's looking just at the highest tuition schools. There are a lot of them out there where tuition is a fraction of that.

 

Now let's look at all the other benefits of getting a degree. There's the opportunity to train under great chefs, either visitors or staff. There's the networking that results from knowing others in the field. There's the greater possibility of getting hired, in the first place, and moving up because you already have certain basic skills. Etc.

 

There is only one problem unique to culinary school versus other crafts and trades. Until recently, ads and recruiters did more than infer, they actually promised you would graduate as a chef. But the schools have been moving away from that position, lately, because of legal and other considerations.

 

There is one aspect about the culinary arts that is different, however. Thanks primarily to TV, far too many people have the idea that cooking professionally is much more glamourous than it actually is. While that's certainly not the fault of the schools, it's a reality that has to be considered. For that reason, my philosophy is that anyone considering culinary school should work in the field first; not so much for the skills to be learned, but to help them understand what a culinary career really is all about. If, after a year or two working in a restaurant or other food-service establishment, they still want to make a career of it, then it's time to think about culinary school.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #17 of 72

If culinary school were free (grants, rich Uncle, etc.) I'd be all over it.

In the early nineties a buddy and I looked into attending Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR, before it made ties and changed to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.

We both were married with kids and had worked in the industry for a few years, starting as dishwashers and progressing to line cooks.

At that time the tuition was a mere 15k (hard to believe what kids are being charged nowadays for what can't be that much better of a program).

He qualified for 11k in grants and 4k in loans, I qualified for 11k in loans, no grants.

His decision was a no brainer, 4k in loans for a culinary education.

Mine was harder, 4k up front and then the rest of the 15k in debt.

He went, did well and ultimately moved his family there, where he worked in many great restaurants and now has a place of his own.

Me, I've pursued the hard knocks path and I admit that there may be holes in my knowledge, but I don't feel I'm far behind a culinary grad in knowledge, and definitely not in skill.

My friend still says he'd rather work with me than the local culinary grads (same school and another, newer one), and I know he's not blowing smoke.

There are some great people that both did and didn't follow the path of formal education, as there are culinary educated people that can/can't hack it in this field.

I see many of them here on these boards and I've worked with many, though in the latter case it is far more of those who aren't suited than those who are great.

In my opinion, there is value in a culinary education, but it's not equal to what you're paying for it.

It's an even worse deal for those who end up not using it in their careers, and sad that they don't know it until they get out there and try it (which is a good argument for working in the industry before school).

For the few who come out of culinary school and do very well in this field, my belief is that they would've gotten there without school as well, though they would have to be somewhat intelligent in who they decide to work for. In the field as in school, you get out of it what you put in.

So, if school were free, I'd still go, and I'm an old fart. Any extra knowledge is good knowledge, and free knowledge is best.

But as it isn't free for most, and pays off as an investment for few, I find it hard to recommend it to but a select few.

 

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #18 of 72

"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
post #19 of 72

OK, for frame of reference, what is the total number of CIA graduates?

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post #20 of 72

I've got no "frame of reference". I checked out the CIA on the ever-famous "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia", and these chefs were listed as "Notable alumni". Does it make any difference?   

 

The Culinary Institute of America - Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

"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'.

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"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'.

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post #21 of 72

deleted

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post #22 of 72

While many (perhaps most) analogies are poor, Pete, this one doesn't hold water at all. If PHS was a school that specialized in basketball training, and had a long list of grads who made it playing professional ball, then you could compare the two, sort of. But it goes even deeper. How many professional basketball players, let alone stars, got there without first playing on a college team? and, before that, how many college players were recruited other than from high-school teams.

 

Professional sports is more akin to the European apprenticeship system than to the way we do it in the U.S.

 

....what is the total number of CIA graduates?

 

That's really a falacious argument. May as well ask: How many MBAs become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and use that as a recomendation against attending business school. How many nurses become chief of service? How many teachers become principles or district supervisors. How many journalists become editors of major metropolitan dailies.

 

The reality is, there is only so much room at the top. Those with talent and drive get there. And, proportionately, because of the sheer number of restaurants and other food service establishments, there's actually more opportunities to reach the top than in many other fields.

 

Here's an example. There are 7,000 restaurants in New York City. That means there are 7,000 chefs. There are only three metropolitan dailies, so that's three editor jobs. Maybe 20 hospitals, which means only a score of chiefs of nursing service. I have no idea how many high schools in the big apple. But, compared to the number of teachers, only a few principles---one for each of those schools.

 

I think the value of IceMan's posted list is that if we look at it, and comparable lists for Le Cordon Blue, the Arts Institutes, Johnson & Wales,  etc., it turns out that the vast majority of name chefs in this country did, indeed, attend culinary school.

 

This does not mean that just because you attend you will become a great chef. But graduating from culinary school is part of almost every great chef's background.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #23 of 72

On second thought, deleted.
 

 

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post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

Look foodpump, your reply only supported what I previously said. Slicing onions, dicing up tomatoes, carrots for stir fry, peeling and quartering melons and/or cutting potatoes for hash browns is all day-care summer-camp skills. I think there is a Boy Scout Merit Badge for that. You've gotta know that stuff to get into a good school. Bar-tenders can usually pick that stuff up in an hour or two. Are they as clean and fast as pro-chefs? NO, probably not. But they get the job done acceptably well. The two(2) long paragraphs you typed on fryer cleaning and dish-pit work is another perfect point. In the "REAL WORLD" it's no big deal. I show you how to do it, the directions are on the wall. The fryer and/or dish-pit are the same. I'll show you once, and the directions are on the wall. If you screw it up, everyone else involved will let you know about it. Kitchen people are not stupid. They learn things. DUH. Yes, all of this instruction is in one(1) shift. I wouldn't hire someone that stupid who couldn't learn. All of this stuff here is trained monkey work. This aint'e no rocket surgery. We work in kitchens.

 

 

 

 

Yeah yeah,whatever. Someone who has never held a Chef's knife properly before, can do veg prep in an hour. Uh-huh. Hey if you say so, then it is.  

 

I will tell you one thing about your take on fryers,  I have filled out Worker's comp forms.  I was "found guilty" of not properly instructing employees on fryer safety, guy who fried his feet was doing it properly for 8 mths, then he screwed up. I got dinged with higher permiums.  Hey some one has to be responsible...

 

People are stupid, period.  Show me something idiot-proof, and they will invent a better idiot.

 

Train up your staff properly, get him/her to sign a statement that acknowledges that they understand the training, and at lest your butt is covered.  Paperwork, just like working in a union shop, eh? 

 

Someday, you too will learn this..

 

I hope......j

 

 

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #25 of 72

WOW  KYH. That is some serious consideration of my post. But just between you and me ...................... I really didn't think that deep into it myself. I just kinda thought that it was sorta cool that a bunch of famous-enough name chefs went there. Your explanation sure sounds a lot better than mine though. My name however, is nowhere to be found, being that I am not at all "Notable" and far from "Famous" (notorious maybe, but that doesn't count).  

 

 

 

 

OK. On another topic ... Now I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. I've worked in some pretty big kitchens, with some pretty serious turnover of product every night, but I've never ... ever ... been stupid enough ... or that far off the reservation, to ever tell someone, or even allow someone to clean out a hot fryer. So NO, I've got no historical experience filling out Workers-Comp forms. Maybe I'm not familiar with the fryers you all use way up north, I'll give you that. But I am familiar enough to not be that stupid. "Not getting people hurt" is a standard in every union I've ever been part of. I guess I'm lucky like that. Also ... you just might be really surprised someday when you hire real bar-tenders that know how to hold a chef's knife. Funny thing though, it really isn't all that tough. 

 

This aint'e no rocket surgery. We work in kitchens.


Edited by IceMan - 12/30/11 at 10:13pm

"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'.

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"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
post #26 of 72

Yeah, well being this far up north (2 hrs from Seattle) the oil gets all congealed when cold and doesn't filter well, hence the hot oil straining.

 

Wishing everyone all the best for 2012

...."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 #27 of 72

I agree, everyone thinks its show business.

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...

Reply

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...

Reply
post #28 of 72

CIA requires that you work in the industry prior to attending.  smart, oh so smart...

I've had the pleasure to work with 5 chefs off that list and numerous others not on the list but CIA alum.....and more from other institutions....and numerous amazing chefs/culinarians who went to the school of hard knocks. Schooling gives you a jump start, hopefully instills good habits.  But, on the flip side for many it's recipe that restrains their creativeness.....if it's taught as gospel one way then they don't question it.    

Way cool how chefs at the top of their game take the time out to hand write thank you notes.  

PS. I went to school for dietetics dropped it after a semister when I figured out it wasn't about food......went on into Early Childhood Ed/working at a classical French restaurant/marketing firm.....has served me well in and out of the kitchen.

 

 

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #29 of 72

For every great chef that came out of a cooking school, there are many who never attended.  Some of the world's top chefs never went to cooking school but trained and apprenticed at great restaurants.

 

Some examples?

 

- Mario Batali (attended but dropped out)

- Ferran Adria

- Joel Robuchon

- Thomas Keller

- David Waltuck (attended but dropped out)

- David Bouley

- Michael Romano

- Michael Chiarello

- Wolfgang Puck

- Alice Waters

- Charlie Trotter

- Tom Colicchio

- Daniel Boulud

- Gordon Ramsay

- Laurent Tourondel

 

The list goes on.  Even though I went to culinary school, if I had to do it all over again, I would've just started working and skipped school.  Why?  Even though, culinary school gave me basic insights, I learned more in my first 3 months of working than what school had taught me.  Also, each chef has their own distinctive styles of doing something as basic as making chicken stock.  For instance, when I used to work for Chef Waltuck at Chanterelle, his chicken stock excluded celery and substituted garlic instead, since he felt that garlic sweetens the longer you cook versus celery which becomes bitter the longer you cook.  However, Chef Tourondel sticks with a basic mirepoix with his chicken stock and is more traditional.

 

Having said that, I think culinary school is an option that should be considered as people are different and for some aspiring chefs, it may be important while for others it may be a waste of time.  My personal opinion is that if you already have a basic skill set and basic knowledge of cooking, it's best to skip school and enter into a great kitchen/chef.  I think experience matters more but those first 5-10 or so years should be spent under the tutelage of a renowned chef and where your skills can be honed from working at 110% instead of entering into a position where things are more lax.  Once you've done that, your options become much more open.

 

Lastly, I've worked with many chefs and aspiring chefs who have come out of CIA or J&W and for what it's worth, the range of skill and demeanor is quite vast.  It's really the individual that matters and not the school itself.


Edited by Thomas Rhee - 1/3/12 at 8:27am
post #30 of 72

Well stated chef ,

As I have been telling young people for   years "It's not the school it's you" and in many cases you have to have it in the hands and head. I have had young aspiring chefs from all of these schools some are good, some are exceptional some just wasted their time and dads money or their own.Most of the ones that were good worked in the trade prior to school.

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...

Reply

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...

Reply
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