I have been debating for a while if I should attend the Culinary Institute of America or Community College for Culinary Arts. Any advice anybody?
Culinary Institute of America or Community College?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Find some grads of each in your area and see how they are doing professionally. Talk to your local ACF chapter and see what they think. All community college programs are not created equally, but there are some that I consider better than the CIA. We have one in my metro, Johnson County Community College. I've worked with and for several JCCC grads and many CIA, J&W and Le Cordon Bleu grads, and the JCCC grads are always much better prepared to be executive chefs than the others. I currently have one CIA Hyde Park grad and one JCCC grad on my staff and the JCCC grad is a much stronger chef.
The thing is though that this only speaks to the quality of the community college in my area. It doesn't mean the one where you live will be better than the CIA school. One thing is for sure though, it's probably a lot cheaper.
One thing that will probably take you farther than the name of your school is the quality of the kitchens you apprentice in and work in after school. Get into a great kitchen underneath a great chef who loves to teach, and you'll go farther than the degree alone can take you.