Im a female in her early 20s living in India. I m currently pursuing Masters in engineering. Cooking has always always been my passion. No matter how pressed of time I am, I always find time for cooking. I will be done with my masters in next 6 months. I m thinking of changing careers and enrolling in a culinary school. I've done a little bit of research on this. I have always wanted to go to lcb paris. but now i m encountering these super negative feedbacks on the internet like how commercialised it has become and what rip off it is. comments how it is just a 9 months course and doesnt teach a lot compared to other institutes like CIA. it all is very demoralising :(
Le Cordon Bleu Paris: any good?
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Not an alumni but I did attend a one day bread making class at the school in Paris. I enjoyed the school and I am sure you would. However, I have to ask why do you want to do this? This is a professional school for people who want to cook professionally and I don't get that feeling from your post. It sounds like you have spent a huge amount of time to be an engineer and now you enjoy cooking, but professionally kitchens are a completely different circumstance. My honest suggestion is don't go to school. Go to Paris and work in a small restaurant of the cuisine you are most passionate about for 6 months then see if you like it. If you like then go to school. I also would pay for it yourself and not ask your parents to keep paying for your schooling. Sounds like they have paid for a enough of your schooling.
Nicko- I dont know what is considered serious, but i m very passionate about food. Spent money on engineering, true. I never wanted it but back then i didnt know what else to do. I was a kid then. In past 3 years i have discovered how much I love food. I m just trying to have a profession out of something I love doing. But your advice of getting a experience in a pro kitchen before school sounds about right.
Thanks for taking out time and posting a reply :)
I really think that it would be perfect for you to go to Paris and work in a restaurant for 6 months to a year. See what is is all about before going to school. School is not the real world and working as a professional cook/chef is tough business. Not just tough on you but very tough on your family. It requires a lot of hours and dedication and a lot of time away from family. The only way around this is if your family works with you in the business.
My personal opinion on your situation is that you need some real world experience right now not school. You can always go to school and actually I think you would get more out of culinary school if you worked professionally for a while. That way when you would have a much better frame of refrence in your learning instead of starting from the ground up.
Please forgive me if my words are coming off mean or harsh I just want to paint a true picture for you. I can't tell you how many people I went to school with that were incredibly passionate about food. When they graduated the lasted 1-2 years and went back to their old profession or found a new one. For most of my close friends who continued in the business they eventually stopped cooking and became teachers or went into institutionalized food simply because they got to spend more time with their families. I left the business completely because I became fed up with the hours. My philosophy is if you are going to work 80 hours a week you either better be working for yourself or making a lot of money. All that time away from people you love etc cost more than most people realize before it is too late.
I am not sure about Paris regarding getting papers etc. But, I know if you go to any of the Greek Islands you can work for the summer at any of the restaurants there. I have heard that you can do the same with the ski resorts in Italy, Switzerland and France but that is not something I have tried. Depending on your situation you can try going to Paris and going to various restaurants and asking if they will let you work with them for a short while.
arent their some cheaper solutions to Cordon Bleu Paris?
here in Denmark Culinary school is free( you even get payed to attent if youre a danish citizen )
my advice is get some work experience, instead of using alot of money,
i have learned so much more after i started working, when i was in school most of the time it was a joke :)
but i have still have 3 school periods left before i can call myself a Chef :) and the 3 next times it will be very serious cooking cause all who attent now will have a job.
if youre curious about how the school system works in Denmark, feel free to message me, i know its not paris but atleast we have Noma ( worlds best restaurant) :)