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ESCF Ferrandi Career Program in French Cuisine Sept 2012 - Page 2

post #31 of 40

Hello Addiiee, thank you for replying to my thread. After reading your reply i feel much more confident in applying for Ferrandi. I wish you all the best and hope you have a great time at Ferrandi ^^.

post #32 of 40

Hi everyone! I'm from Singapore and has been accepted into the Sept Pastry Program.  It's a relief to find this forum as I have not been to Paris before, and neither do I speak French! This is going to be such a big challenge! Thanks Addiiee for setting up the FB page for us to get in touch.  Appreciate it lots!

post #33 of 40

There is a downloadable list on the le cordon Bleu website. I am applying for the 2013 program now and trying to get a good feeler as to how much money I really need. check it out I have been finding cheap studios on these websites.


Good Luck!!!

post #34 of 40

Hi everyone! A bit late but I just got accepted for the september pastry program (I applied très très late). nice to see that someone set up a forum for new students (I'm going to go have a look at the fb group page too). Anyway I'm from Geneva Switzerland. See you all in Paris. 

post #35 of 40

how was the phone/email interview??

post #36 of 40

hello every one, i really think you should not invest so much in this programme. I can tell you because I'm in the program right now. First of all, the chef walks out from the classroom after the demonstration. It is supposed to be 75% hands on program. Yes, we have to be working by ourselves without the chef. The chef is not interested in teaching the spirit of the French pastry making. He is not demanding at all thus the entire class is so relaxed and is rather in the chatter room. The anglophone pastry program is very disorganized.  I also want to tell you that the chefs, the so-called very unprofessional international program manager and the director of the international program didn't know anything about our background. I had thought we had been selected very carefully, but nobody knows us! This program cost you 18000 euro. It's not worth it. the school size used to be 10, now 12  and would be increased to more. the french course offered here is really a nightmare for me and my fellow classmates. i had to go to other french school to improve my french. my comment here is subjective and you'd better think it more clearly about this programme. under the difficult situation on Euro, the school is only trying to make profits. do you guys how many they earn per year? the income does not go to upgrading facilities and course and even the personnel involved with the programe. what a shame!

post #37 of 40

Hmm what were you expectations going into this programme. The whole point is to be taught how to stand on your own. In real life situations do you think chefs in the kitchens will be watching over you to make sure you get it right? Holding your hands every step of the way?


Grow up. ( sorry that was harsh) 


Its not a language school why would you be trying to learn French in a class taught in English.  Yes, schools have to make money to survive. A 12 person class sounds heavenly, imagine trying to learn with 20-30 other students around you?


What exactly is the spirit of french pastry making? If you know what it is why would you spend 18 000 euro to be taught it?? 


I'm sorry your having a rough time, but before spending 18 000 you probably should have done more research. 

post #38 of 40
Not to beat a dead horse but I totally agree...when I went to culinary school we have 28 students in class, and we were thankful. In professional kitchen the chef cannot hold anyone's hand and baby them...get used to it. I've been working in the industry for as long as some of you have been alive, I don't claim I know everything but I know what is expected from a cooks point of view because even with a degree in culinary or pastry you will start at the bottom remember you are not a chef once you have that shiny degree, it will take another 5-10 years of extremely hard work to get to the next level. I too am going to ESCFF this fall to learn baking and pastries, but I am doing it with a sense of reality, I agree it is somewhat romantic to learn how to bake in Paris, but soon it will be just that living in Paris trying to pay bills and support my family. when it comes down to it we make our experience what it is... sorry your having a shitty time, I would look inward first, but I could be wrong... either way I don't give a shit I'm moving to Paris with my wife and I am going to bust my ass for myself... see you there and good luck..
post #39 of 40

Hey everybody. I got accepted to the Feb 2013 program and was wondering if you guys could tell me some stuff about your experiences. Like finding an apartment? What costs didn't you include in your budget that arose and what the costs were? Stuff like that. Or maybe one you would be so kind as to give me your email address so I can nauseate you with 1000 questions that have been causing me to have little panic attacks whenever I think about it.

post #40 of 40

hmm. So. I finished the course at ferrandi as well and i just wanted to step in here and say that Neville does bring up some valid concerns--i'm writing this for future students who may stumble across this thread. You can tell him to "grow up" all you want, but be real, after paying so much money, it sucks to be unsatisfied. and the truth is, you can research and research but it's really hard to find info about Ferrandi that isn't on various forums and student blogs, so in a sense you don't really know what you're getting until you get there, no matter how well you try to prepare.


  • the program IS disorganized. sometimes we'd have classes cancelled and wonder if we were ever going to make them up, or rooms and times would change and half the group wouldn't get the memo and show up at the wrong time or place, sometime we wouldn't get our recipes until way too late (annoying when you know the other group got theirs and you don't have yours), etc etc etc....
  • our "food history" class was a waste of time with a teacher who was absolutely unqualified, to the point that rather than even try to plan a lesson, he actually just brought in some book to class and sat there reading chapters straight out of it. I understand they won't be bringing him back for another semester, though.
  • the french students and teachers are disrespectful of the anglo class, steal our equipment, talk down to us, say nasty things about us in french...we have backbones, but it's at the point where it interferes with our ability to do our job (how is a class of 12 going to strain all their soups on time with only one chinois??) and that sucks. We told admins and not much was done to change the situation.
  • our chef was gone on vacations and doing other projects for what i thought was an unacceptable amount of time. The program is only 5 months long, and when you've just had a month off before the program starts, don't wait until the second week of school to take your vacation and leave us with the chef substitute who, while capable, hasn't actually taught in a very long time. Also, I never felt he really attempted to build a relationship with his class, whereas the other chef became incredibly close to his---again, say what you want about whether this even matters, but i personally think that the other class had a better experience as a result.
  • our knife sets were crap. to the point that we actually had to get replacements halfway through the course, and they still were pretty inferior. sucks when you see the french students walking around with really nice sets.
  • french classes were absolutely a mess. Sure it's not the school's job to teach you french, but when the school tells you that they will prepare you to work in a french kitchen and "no french language experience is necessary for the course, we will provide you with classes" then it sets up an expectation that frankly, isn't fulfilled. I ended up coming back to America for my internship which, while disappointing, was definitely the best choice i could have made.


overall i thought our cooking instruction was good. I enjoyed my classes. I liked the other students in my class and feel i learned a lot. It definitely gave me the leg up i needed to get started in this industry. 12 people in a class is a good number, and the group was small enough we got to know each other well. Our end of semester trip was spectacular. but, there's still only so much you can learn in a 5 month program, so just be aware that you're still going to have a long way to go when you get out. If you don't speak french, consider the option of not doing your internship in France and you'll avoid a lot of disappointment and headache for yourself. A lot of the disorganization was frustrating and annoying at times, but it wasn't a deal breaker for me. To be honest I found most things about France to be incredibly disorganized, from housing to visas to banking, so a lot of it i just attribute to a difference in culture you have to learn to live with.  However, the chefs were equally frustrated with our equipment disappearing and they knew we were having a hard time with our knives, and tried to work with us. I think that everyone in the program did the best they could and these little whinings are, in the scheme of things, not huge dealbreakers for me. I'd still recommend the program, and i'd still do it again. The opportunity to live in Paris is once in a lifetime. Many of my classmates went on to work for some of the biggest and best restaurants in Paris (think, Astrance, L'Arpege, Septime, frenchie, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee, le Chateaubriand, etc) and we got to cook with and for some cool people. If that's the caliber of restaurant and cooking you aim for, you really can't do better than ferrandi to get you there.


if anyone wants to know more about the program, feel free to PM me. i may not get back right away cuz i'm not here every day, but i'd be glad to send you a link to my blog (where i recorded many of my experiences) and answer your questions.

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