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How hard is it to get into The Culinary Institute of America

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I just applied to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park for baking and pastry arts. I sent in my application, 500 word essay and my transcripts should be shortly on their way to the culinary. I also added a photo portfolio of some dishes I had cooked during the week (was not required just thought I would add a little extra). I still have to send in my recommendation letters (I am sending in three instead of one, again not required just a little extra.) The only concern I have is I have only been working at my food experience job for a month but administration at the Culinary said I did not need to even have any food experience when I applied but I have a month completed out of the 6 required before we can enter the school and I will for sure have at least 6 months completed by the time I enter the school (if I get in that is).

 

So with all that being said I was just wondering if my chances of getting into the CIA are good and if the CIA is a hard school to get into. I really want to get into this school, it would mean a lot to me so if anyone can help me out and/or give me advice on what else I can do to greater my chances that would be amazing. Thanks so much!

post #2 of 27

Easy if you have a lot of $$$$

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...

Reply
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes money is not the issue for me, my parents are more than happy to pay the tuition. But I'm not sure how they even know you have money when you apply. Arn't they interested in the application? 

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

Easy if you have a lot of $$$$

 

Yes money is not the issue for me, my parents are more than happy to pay the tuition. But I'm not sure how they even know you have money when you apply. Arn't they interested in the application? 

 
post #5 of 27

Good for you for applying to The CIA! Students are considered for admission to the college based on their application, essay, transcripts and letters of recommendation. In terms of culinary schools, the CIA is competative as they do evaluate your academic transcripts and require industry experience-most culinary schools do not require any experience and since the CIA is a not for profit college, their mission is to provide the world's best culinary education not to generate a profit as other for profit culinary schools do.  The CIA does NOT consider your or your family's family's finances as part of the admissions process. 

Good luck!

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkst View Post

Good for you for applying to The CIA! Students are considered for admission to the college based on their application, essay, transcripts and letters of recommendation. In terms of culinary schools, the CIA is competative as they do evaluate your academic transcripts and require industry experience-most culinary schools do not require any experience and since the CIA is a not for profit college, their mission is to provide the world's best culinary education not to generate a profit as other for profit culinary schools do.  The CIA does NOT consider your or your family's family's finances as part of the admissions process. 

Good luck!

Thanks so much! I hope I will be ok, I tried to add a much as I can. I really hope i get in

post #7 of 27

I'm an Alumni of the CIA, as long as you have the money, or can some how convince them you do, your in. Unfortunately since Tim Ryan took over it has become big business. He has streamlined that school to get them in and out. When I went, Ferdinand Metz, a true chef's chef was president. Tim Ryan wasn't even  a CMC, and all of a sudden 10 years later he is. And he says he was the youngest CMC, Not true, James Hanyzesky was back in 96 at the age of 28. Time Ryan says he was at the age of 36....now its Chef Jason Koppinger of the Outrigger Keauhou Beach 2006 at the age of 26. So I don't trust they guy, and this is the guy running the CIA hmmmmm....sorry to go off on a tiff, but when I went they had promised an institutional grant throughout my education(Tim Ryan was running all the CIA financing at the time), being a war Vet, and also having 10 years under my belt in some great kitchens w/ some really good Chefs by that time. Well they gave me enough to get in, then they decreased it by 75% come the following semester, which they told me it would be the same each semester. Then they gave me some crazy excuse. So at that time if I wasn't in class I was working, and don't work there at the school cause they pay crap$$. So get everything in writing twice. It is the best cooking school in the USA, but I ended up going to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris & London after the gradu ating from the CIA, and let me tell you, I learned 5 times more there. Then ended up going to Cornell U for restaurant/hotel business management which I could have used that business savviness going to the CIA when it came to tuiton....you live and learn I guess, Cie la vie!!!

Good Luck in your Culinary travels....just watch your back.....and front ~:-)>

post #8 of 27

I'm planning on sending my application in about 2 weeks! I just need to take my SAT and send my scores. I was waiting for someone else in my position, I only have a month's worth of experience as well! I really hope it doesn't hurt my chances. 

Did you take the SAT/ACT? 

Question about submitting photos, they don't mind? Sweet! I'll try to send in a couple photos of my own, then. :)

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epicchef2be View Post

I'm planning on sending my application in about 2 weeks! I just need to take my SAT and send my scores. I was waiting for someone else in my position, I only have a month's worth of experience as well! I really hope it doesn't hurt my chances. 

Did you take the SAT/ACT? 

Question about submitting photos, they don't mind? Sweet! I'll try to send in a couple photos of my own, then. :)

Well with the SAT and ACT they arnt required just recommended for possible money you can get back depending how good they are and yes I did, I am actually a freshmen at a community college (getting some liberal arts done). I sent in a portfolio, I hope they dont mind haha, there is no reason why they would it adds a little spice ya know? Good luck! hopefully we will both be on campus next year!

post #10 of 27

Yeah, I could definitely use the money :P

Yup, good luck to you too! :) 

You said you also only completed a month's worth right?

post #11 of 27

Glad your parents can afford to send you . In the economic climate we are now in most people have to apply for student loans. I just can't see the justification of spending 44000. or more ,only to get out and making maybe 15.00 per hour for two or three years. Cooking is something that is developed, but as I have  told many a parent the student must have it in THE  HANDS. The skills must be developed but there has to be an inborn base there. If you don't have that,  save your $ and go into computers and or finance.

 

PS CIA doesnt care if you have the money, their fees are all guaranteed by student loan program as well as bank loans that you sign. As far as their boast as to non profit?   Sorry I don't believe that as I personally knew and know many of the old instructors there.. IE  George Waldner, Pete Van Erp, Jerry Thompson ,Fritz Sonnenschmidt.

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 #12 of 27

Quick question, I only have a month's experience but I'll definitely have it all before I step foot onto campus. WIll it hurt my chances?

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epicchef2be View Post

Quick question, I only have a month's experience but I'll definitely have it all before I step foot onto campus. WIll it hurt my chances?

I have been in contact with them through my whole application process and I had asked about that and they said it was fine that you dont even need the experience when you apply you just need it before you can start CIA classes

post #14 of 27

What type of work are the two of you doing now? I would hope you have more than 6 months of kitchen experience before spending 50 grand on a piece of paper that says you are qualified to run a kitchen when in fact you have absolutely no experience. What if you don't like the heat, long hrs, low pay, going home every night smelling like garlic, fish, meat, etc.?

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post

What type of work are the two of you doing now? I would hope you have more than 6 months of kitchen experience before spending 50 grand on a piece of paper that says you are qualified to run a kitchen when in fact you have absolutely no experience. What if you don't like the heat, long hrs, low pay, going home every night smelling like garlic, fish, meat, etc.?

Im going on month two of working at a Bakery. And I have been around food my whole life so if it was something I didnt like I would, in fact, not be paying that amount of money to pursue a career doing so. And with regards to your comment about being qualified, CIA students must complete externships at legitimate restaurants before they can graduate. People who study to be lawyers, accountants, or anything else for that matter dont necessarily know everything or even anything when they go to study. Hence why there is colleges and its called "Learning". Thanks for your input, however it is not needed. 

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post

What type of work are the two of you doing now? I would hope you have more than 6 months of kitchen experience before spending 50 grand on a piece of paper that says you are qualified to run a kitchen when in fact you have absolutely no experience. What if you don't like the heat, long hrs, low pay, going home every night smelling like garlic, fish, meat, etc.?

The legal age to work in Korea is 19, and I need to be a Korean citizen. I'll be working with a friend starting December most likely interning at restaurants. I wouldn't have come on this forum if I didn't like cooking, agreeing with taylor. 

@taylor, how do i get proof if i volunteer at a soup kitchen? 

post #17 of 27

Tuition is $27,000, not 50,000, BTW.

post #18 of 27

Don't be a smart ass, your the one that came here asking for advice. Well, you got it. Unless you aspire to be a pastry chef, I would get out of the bakery and find a job in a RESTAURANT.

 

Like I said, go work in a hot kitchen 10-12 hrs a shift, get burnt, get cut, be the last one out at 1am, come back and open at 6am,smell like the kitchen and food you handle all day, give your deodorant a work out.

Try that for 6 months, then decide if this is for you. If so, great, go to school, learn all you can.

When you get out, nobody will want to hire you, because you have only book smarts, not practical experience, and when you do get a job, it will be $10-15 hr if your lucky, regardless of what the used car salesmen at CIA have told you.

 

You will be competing for jobs against guys that have no schooling and several years experience under their belt. They will be hired before you most of the time. This is a trade, you have to have practical experience. It is not taught, it is learned. You do the same things over and over and over, then when you think your a pro, you continue doing it over and over. that's what makes you better and faster.

 

Here's a perfect example, I did off site catering for years, I hired a guy with an impressive pedigree, graduate of one of the top schools, last job working at Spago, supposedly under Wolfgang Puck.

He didn't last half a day. I ended up hiring a guy from El Salvador that didn't speak English, had a few years kitchen experience. It took two weeks for him to figure out what we were doing, worked for me for 6 years, he got the same pay rate as the "chef" was going to be paid. (was not a chef's position)

 

Got any idea what it's like to work a busy line with 3-4 other people and put out 500 meals in a night? It's a RUSH!

You need to work the different stations, cold, saute, broiler, banquets, sauces, etc. Every one is different and require a different skill set.

 

Just giving you a little dose of realitythumb.gif

 

Here's a good read that is currently going on.

 

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/72594/rant-about-hiring-new-cooks#


Edited by chefbuba - 10/31/12 at 9:48pm
post #19 of 27

And Before Metz, there was Joe Amendola, who along with Mrs Francis Roth started the whole thing in New Haven across from Yale . The original CIA was started to teach returning vets cooming home from the from the Korean War..They fed the Yale football team. There were some fantastic Chef Instructors there then.  Jerry Thompson, George K Waldner, Peter Van Erp, Fritz Sonnenschmidt ,Nobel Massey, Jake Rosenthal, Louis Bartenbach. Many of these guys are gone and I had the pleasure of working with some of them. What they new and did can't be duplicated by these supposed celebrity cooks of today. Nothing came in already fabricated or already made. You learned because everything was from scratch. You even learned how to make your own soap for the dish machine using the meat fat and lye, and you made and sculpted your own tallow.

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 #20 of 27

Hey pal  law school students and student teachers don't know everything , and they will admit it. But in all my years of having CIA grads they all they they know it all because they came from CIA. A lot of the ones I had were spoiled brats but mommy. and daddy hed enough $ to send them there. I am not saying all were like that but quite a number. One I always remember was the young lady who I asked to give me a hand gcleaning up and giving the kitchen a fast sweep. She refused'' saying to me I did not go to CIA to do that.'' I told her go home and don't come back tell your instructor why I clean and sweep when need be and I was Exec. Chef. therefore    so can everyone else.

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 #21 of 27
Quote:

 

Like I said, go work in a hot kitchen 10-12 hrs a shift, get burnt, get cut, be the last one out at 1am, come back and open at 6am,smell like the kitchen and food you handle all day, give your deodorant a work out.

Man, I really wish I could work in a legitimate restaurant. I'm going to find an internship with my friend around mid-November~ i still need my 5 months of experience!

I'm sending my apps to the CIA tomorrow!!!

I'm Korean, so I have to go to some college. I'm not very good at much, but cooking is one of them! 

(you need to be 19 and a korean citizen to actually work here, i'm at a disadvantage)

post #22 of 27

Don't degrade yourself, if your good at cooking, remembr a great many people are not.. I try to tell everyone, that it doesn't matter what school, you attend , they all teach you how to make soup stocks basicaly the same way.

The key to YOUR education and what YOU  learn and absorb is YOUR ATTITUDE> If that is good, then no matter what school you will do well.,

                                                                                    ""   As it is not the school it is the student."""

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post

Don't degrade yourself, if your good at cooking, remembr a great many people are not.. I try to tell everyone, that it doesn't matter what school, you attend , they all teach you how to make soup stocks basicaly the same way.

The key to YOUR education and what YOU  learn and absorb is YOUR ATTITUDE> If that is good, then no matter what school you will do well.,

                                                                                    ""   As it is not the school it is the student."""

Definitely. I have the dedication and will-power to be successful in the food industry. It will be one helluva ride but I am ready :)

post #24 of 27

Always check your tires on the ride!!!!!!

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #25 of 27

I've tried to submit my application about ten times now...Keep getting system error from the website, pretty worried at the moment. 

post #26 of 27

Show in your essay that food is your passion and life. Dream big. Tell them your culinary aspirations(copywrite them if your worried about it), Communicate that you have the drive and understanding that long hours and lots of patience are expected. Remember presentation is everything

post #27 of 27

As long as you have the ???   NO

CHEFED
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