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to take courses or not, need advice

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Okay guys, here's the deal:

 

Im 20 years old. I've been working at my mom's restaurant since i was 11 years old, and been cooking there since i was 15 years old. The food is a traditional American, it is a linen tablecloth restaurant and tavern. Steaks, seafood, pastas, etc. Slightly upscale but not fine dining. I've been able to run the kitchen since i was 16/17. After lots of practice and watching other chefs i feel i have a good grasp on most of the basics. I was looking to take some courses at the international culinary center, formerly the french culinary institute, in nyc. Basically they have some courses that run from 5 weeks that are $8,000 that teach you some basic techniques. They have many others also. The issue is that these are "amateur courses" but i would still retain some skills through there. My question though is if i move to a big city like philly or nyc, will i get a chance at some of the good restaurants there, or do i need a diploma program of sorts or other classes? How much will they teach you on the job? I still have another year of undergraduate to go and i will have a bachelors degree in an unrelated field. I could do a year diploma program at my local community college instead. any input would be appreciated, thanks!

post #2 of 4

Well , heres my 2 cents. 

 

I cooked ever since i was 12. 

I knew most french terms, most basic cutting techniques, and culinary terminology, now how am i going to prove any of this on a resume. 

 

Basically when i was completing highschool i took my first job at a hotel working bar and reception, the moment i quit i knew i needed to work in a kitchen and i knew i would need something to prove i had knowledge in the field. 

I completed 2 courses, ill admit i didnt learn much but the name of the institute and the fact i had something to prove i had some knowledge in the field got my foot in the door when looking for a new job. 

After networking i did another 3 courses. 

 

All the courses i took at this point are all related to the same field, along with the fact i already had experience under my belt. But the courses and the certificates probably helped on the resume, and gave me a bit more credibility when on an interview. 

Now im thinking about doing 1 year of CC. 

 

I guess what im trying to explain is that it doesnt hurt to have them on a resume. You have to be willing to invest on them knowing they really cant have a negative effect on you professionally. Though they do effect you pockets negatively <_<. 

 

Even living in a big city, i think working at a great restaurant and finding someone to teach you and take you under their wing just being lucky, because it isnt everyone that has the same opportunity. A diploma, degree, etc... IMO helps in guaranteeing a job. Especially in these bigger cities where young culinary students or seasoned veterans as yourself go looking for work. The competition is fierce. 

 

Obviously you will always learn something at a new restaurant, but having a skill set of at least basic techniques already helps. 

 

In you shoes i would be willing to invest in a 1 year course at a local CC (community college). 

You will learn, and in my opinion knowledge is power, they cant take away what you learned and what you already know. Better then learning is probably the fact you will get a dimploma or certificate of conclusion. 

 

I myself am thinking about moving to a new town to complete a 1 year course. The town isnt very big but the course is great. Even if i have to work and less then decent restaurants another year of experience and a certificate of conclusion in now way will look bad on my resume...(now im just looking for cheap rent which is the difficult task right now lol)

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your answer. The community college route has two options. 27 credits is the diploma and 47 credits for a certificate. They also have a two year associates which im not interested in. So the diploma would be cheapest. I kind of am leaning to the nyc route because they may find that courses from fci are more credible, and it would be about the same cost wise as the certificate. 

post #4 of 4

There was a time i thought about the FCI (now ICC), back then they were still a bit pricey. 

But i had problems obtaining a visa at the time so i took a step back. 

I would think they were credible, but check out their alumnis page, along with all the info on the site. 

I e-mailed them several times, and still recieve e-mails monthly from them. 

 

Their are quite a few chefs who went and studied there such as Bobby Flay , David Chang, Dan Barber, Wylie Dufresne just to name a few. 

I would think a course such as their class culinary arts course would be great to have on a resume. 

 

 

Again never went, but i have researched a lot about them. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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