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IS it ok to???

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm going to culinary school next year but I'm funding it all on my own and I'm also going international.  I'm finding it too hard to pay for a well known top of the line school, IS it ok to go to a lesser esteemed school and still come out fine in the end?  I have done my research, this school has an in-house restaurant, work placement and lots of practical application.

post #2 of 10

Considering the number of people who haven't gone to "a school" and also the people who have gone to a school that don't recommend going to "a school" I would say it doesn't matter one damn bit.

 

The things that they teach you are the same... ie. water boils at, etc. etc.

 

Do you need the title / degree or do you need the education?

 

Personally i'm in the ... do the job and get more work group.  (no need for school if you are quick and sharp - honestly the school may teach abc but if your chef wants acb... what are you going to do?)

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMD1 View Post
IS it ok to go to a lesser esteemed school and still come out fine in the end? 

 

Depends on you and the school. There is no one size fits all answer. 

If your chef wants ABC and you perform XYZ I guess you could always say some unknown entity on the Internet said where you learn doesn't matter because water always boils at the same temp. Probably not a good idea or a viable plan for your future.

As it stands we have no idea what school you are looking at nor do we know any thing about your work history. The bottom line is that any school is better than no school for most. Work and go to school. If you can't get hired before school just remember that a degree is not a guaruntee of success. You have to do your part no matter which path you take.

Best of luck.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

That seems to be the overall agreement, get work before school!  So that is what I'm going to do.  Now I'm trying to make contacts with the restaurants in the area to get started.  Thank you for the advice:)
 

post #5 of 10

Again water boils at 212 and starts to freeze at 32;  They all teach the same thing, a hollandaise is a hollandaise. So if you want to pay 28000 to learn it or 1200. to learn it it is your call. does not matter what school, as in the final result it is YOU not the school. Most of your top chefs never went 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...

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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 10

While there are indeed many skilled chef's that never went to school I'm not sure that "most" of the top chef's never went to school. Many of those top chefs that we recognize did however train under masters or travel Europe etc. while working and learning.

 I respect Ed's view but all schools are not the same simply because base facts stay the same. The base ingredients to Hollandaise can always be the same but meaningless with out technique. I'm sure any one that's ever been to any school can appreciate that there were some teachers or professors that were far better than others. If this theory was true It also wouldn't matter where you got a job or whom you learned from in the field as water clearly all boils at the same temperature in a chain restaurant or the French Laundry. Technique and skill development are what you go to culinary school for. Not just to learn base facts that you can get in a book.

 

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #7 of 10

By the same token, how much technique and skill development can really be transmitted in a 18-21 month education? I believe that the vast majority of that of that occurs over the course of a career. ROI is very subjective and individual.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #8 of 10

Sure I agree with that. Technique for most of us continues to be something we tweak through out our careers and there's always more to learn. School is going to help at least start that development but I just don't see all schools being equal.

Things are almost never that simple. If they were the CIA , J&W  etc would no longer exist.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
Reply
post #9 of 10

Be it school or a book sure you will learn basics.When you really learn is when you get out there in the trade.Not the school, not the book . I can't see these young guys spending all that $ to get out and get a job as a cook for 12 to 15 per hour. They are already in hock and will stay that way for many years. They could have learned the same thing had they gone out and got a position right away. An AAS degree that some of these schools now give can be used to cover holes in your garage wall which is what I did with mine. In all the years in this business I was never asked if I had a degree of any kind. They just wanted to see if I knew what I was doing behind the stove., could knock it out mand make them money and save them money and know how to control the staff. None of which can be learned in school or books.

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 #10 of 10

School is important, but I don't agree with the N. American idea of "front end loading"--ie fill you up with knowledge but not much practical experience, and then let you loose on the employer.

 

Yes, a school will teach  you how to make a hollandaise, many employers will not; some will teach you how to make one with stabilizers, some with hot water and powder, and some with a thermo-mixer..  Some employers will teach you how to make an "omelette" on the flat-top, and some employers--particularily those in the ski resorts and on higher altitudes will teach you how to compensate for lower temps when water boils at higher altitudes.....

 

Get your education anyway you can, but remember this:  An employer is NOT bound by any contract to show you the "right way" of doing things, only how to utilize what equipment and techniques they have available.  A school's reputation rests on what it's students are supposed to know.

 

Hope this helps....

...."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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