I'm new here! Here's a quick about me: I'm 25, currently in the online advertising world with a passion for baking. I've wanted to go to culinary school for years. After lots of researching and talking to students in school and different people who had attended a wide range of culinary schools, I took a semester at a local community college to see what I thought of working in the kitchen and if it was the path I wanted to take. I absolutely loved it- the quick pace, comradery, and of course learning about food but I wanted a more intensive program with students that were serious about the craft and instructors that were truely invested. I moved home and started saving like crazy, since I do not want any student loans when I graduate since I know I won't be making a lot. I really would like to go to school abroad to learn pastry where it started and it's the perfect opportunity to experience living in another country.
Here's what I want from a school: I've already mentioned this above, but an intensive program (1 year abouts in length) and serious students/chefs. Small class sizes. A smaller school (I don't want to get lost in the hustle). Abroad would be a bonus. I might as well throw this in here, I love all natural, healthy, sustainable cooking. I know it's quite the opposite from the full-butter schools below, but it is definitely a passion of mine.
Here are the schools I've narrowed it down too:
LCB London - I visited in October and start tearing up (yes I know... haha) when I toured the school. I loved how small it was, the students were older (yay), the product they were making looked top notch and the chefs seemed excellent from what I could hear. A bonus is that my company has a branch there and I could potentially work a couple hours a week to earn a little extra spending money. Here's the kicker- they've moved to a new building since I visited and I've yet to see it on the website or hear reviews about it. Are there any students currently attending that our on Cheftalk?
LCB Paris - I didn't visit it when I studied abroad 5-6 years ago (?) but I've heard good reviews (mixed with a couple yicks). I am in love with France too.
Ritz Escoffier Paris - It's small, instruction is one on one in groups of 10 or so, includes multiple opportunities to work in their kitchens. They have a 10 week professional pastry program. I would prefer to go to a program that's a bit longer though especially for how much you're asked to pay.
ENSP - The location looks excellent, great length, small class size. It's gotten a lot of bad reviews here though, so I've done a lot of digging (joining their Facebook page, learning exactly why those reviews happened, etc). It looks like administration has made a lot of changes to the program and people are enjoying it now.
San Fran Baking Institute - I really like how the focus is on the science behind baking. There's also a lot of practice in mass scale.
Ferrandi - I've looked into the school. Seriously almost applied. For some reason I'm leaning against it though?
- What do y'all think of the above schools?
- Has anyone found that attending school abroad has hindered the ability to get a job in the US after graduating?
- LCB London - Has anyone seen the new location or is attending?
- I'm really curious about thoughts on the Ritz Escoffier. I haven't seen a lot written about it, but it seems excellent.
- Are there any other schools abroad that have an excellent pastry program that I should look at?
What do I want to do when I graduate? I'm not quite sure but I've played with the idea of working for a restaurant for a bit, opening a bakery, or starting a b&b that offered cooking classes.
Thank you for your help!!