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Trying to decide on the BEST culinary school

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello, how is everyone doing? I am writing this post because I am trying to figure out what is the BEST culinary school to go to? I have looked at ICC, Le Cordon Bleu, and CIA. PLEASE I NEED HELP ASAP!!! 

post #2 of 16

Which ever one does not put you in hock and you can afford. Since almoat all of them teach you how to make a real consomme he same way. Take the least expensive.

CHEFED
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post #3 of 16

There is some bias here, but Johnson County Community College has a good program.

 

I suggest looking at your local community colleges, and see what they offer.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well Community College is most definitely not what I am looking for. I am really looking for the best school possible to go to even Le Cordon Bleu London or Paris and Ferrandi. What does everyone rank these schools and what are your thoughts ? Thanks so much 

post #5 of 16

@Perretta066, how are you defining "best school"?

 

IMHO, most all culinary schools, from the local community colleges to the most expensive private schools, will expose you to the same basics of the culinary trade.

 

Most community colleges will fine tune their curricula to what the local business community desires, e.g. fast food, quick service, family service, upscale.

 

Beyond that,it is my opinion that some culinary students make an erroneous assumption that name schools provide an advantage in securing employment. If you will take the time to search these forums, I think you will be surprised at how many working chefs hold a far differing viewpoint.

 

From my perspective, it appears that a great majority of working chefs place far more value on

  • Work ethic
  • Practical experience in a commercial food establishment
  • Demonstrated on-time performance
  • Reliability

than they do for the name on the diploma/certificate/degree.

 

In addition, again from my perspective, working chefs place little value on your creativity or passion for pushing the frontiers of food and far more on your ability to rapidly turn out plates of food that consistently meet the standards of the chef with the minimum of waste of food, time, or energy.

 

A diploma/certificate/degree is simply a piece of paper that says you met the minimum standards of the issuing institution. It says very little about your ability to satisfy the needs of a hiring chef.

 

I do not believe it is possible to "buy" your way into a successful culinary career.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well I appreciate your thoughts on this topic but for my situation at hand, I WANT to go to school for it and am curious as to which school would be the best route to take. I am interested to hear back thoughts on ICC , CIA, Le Cordon Bleu London or Paris, and Ferrandi. If anyone can help me with this, it would be much appreciated. I don't have a lot of time and am needing to decide on something quite quickly since I just graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Film so therefore my lease is up in a month and am really needing some help . Thanks so much, I appreciate it. 

post #7 of 16

I think the "best" culinary school would be the one that required you to work at least a year in the industry before applying....

 

Therefore, I don't think there is any "Best" school.

 

Don't you think it would be a good idea to know what you're getting into before you plunk your money down?

...."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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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

So I am assuming no one on here can give me any feedback about the schools that I've listed? 

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perretta066 View Post
 

Well I appreciate your thoughts on this topic but for my situation at hand, I WANT to go to school for it and am curious as to which school would be the best route to take. I am interested to hear back thoughts on ICC , CIA, Le Cordon Bleu London or Paris, and Ferrandi. If anyone can help me with this, it would be much appreciated. I don't have a lot of time and am needing to decide on something quite quickly since I just graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Film so therefore my lease is up in a month and am really needing some help . Thanks so much, I appreciate it. 

 

Honestly the silence is deafening for a reason....

 

... go make some films about cooking and/or school.  If you are good you'll make way more money and have a much better reputation than almost any Chef.

 

Schools teach basic skills and traditional batch preparation - both of which you can learn on your own easily enough. 

They don't teach you how to move / think / work and live in a kitchen environment.

 

There is no best school because all schools produce great students... or poor students.  Remember no one attending school is doing anything other than attending school, grades mean little in the real world.

 

School reputation may be a big thing with lawyers or scientists and many others but with cooking it means nothing.  There are too many varieties, styles and interpretations for any one school to dominate.

 

Except for the school of Hard-Knocks... that is the only one that can teach you everything but you never graduate you just keep going to the top of the class.

 

PS - learn to use the search function... it will help you in everything you ever do. 

----

 


"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 #10 of 16
Trying to decide on the BEST culinary school
started on 04/04/14 last post 04/14/14 at 7:46pm 15 replies 1741 views

 

Best Culinary Schools Around NYC?
started on 06/13/08 last post 07/12/08 at 9:04am 3 replies 1783 views

 

What is The "Best" Culinary School for Fine dining?
started on 12/07/10 last post 06/27/11 at 12:33pm 18 replies 2587 views

 

I agree with MichaelGA ALL the way around!

post #11 of 16

Let me rephrase the above comments in summary form:

 

THERE IS NO BEST CULINARY SCHOOL!

 

There are those that will teach you basic skills very inexpensively, e.g. community colleges.

 

There are those that will teach you basic skills very expensively, e.g. private schools like you mentioned.

 

There are those that have better networking than others.

 

There are NO culinary schools that are able to guarantee you more than an entry level job, say dishwasher or prep cook, and even then, the guarantee is nearly worthless.

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well I appreciate everyones time on here even though I feel that this was a waste of mine. Using a search engine and search key is what brought me to this website. I suppose I am going to have to  keep on "searching" for the information that I desire which is what are the opinions of Le Cordon Bleu London, CIA , Ferrandi, and ICC. 

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perretta066 View Post
 

Well I appreciate everyones time on here even though I feel that this was a waste of mine. Using a search engine and search key is what brought me to this website. I suppose I am going to have to  keep on "searching" for the information that I desire which is what are the opinions of Le Cordon Bleu London, CIA , Ferrandi, and ICC. 


Ah, NOW the question has changed!

 

Le Cordon Bleu, J&W, or CIA?
started on 06/08/05 last post 03/19/16 at 7:16pm 42 replies 34658 views

 

I want to go to Ferrandi, but?
started on 10/08/12 last post 01/03/14 at 9:45pm 20 replies 11706 views

 

CIA, NECI, or Community College?
started on 04/17/13 last post 08/23/13 at 6:14am 15 replies 1203 views


Simply click on the SEARCH BAR and access a wealth of information from former students of a variety of culinary schools.

 

You are neither the first nor the last to inquire

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #14 of 16

Asking for opinions about particular schools is completely different that asking what the "best school" is. There is no "best school". You aren't getting a good answer to your question because the question is flawed.

 

As for the top schools, I have worked with and/or employed chefs from the CIA, Le Cordon Bleu, Johnson and Wales, Art Institutes, Scottsdale Culinary Academy, and several small programs, several from Johnson County Community College mentioned above. I have chefs from four of those schools working for me currently. Far and away, the best chefs I've worked with have come from Johnson County. Yes, a community college. It's not even close. Johnson County requires three years of apprenticeship and has apprenticeship agreements with many award winning chefs and restaurants. Their chefs have better management skills right out of college and more experience than those I've worked with from the other schools.

 

While the name might not impress, those community college chefs from Johnson County come out better prepared in my experience. They are simply better "chefs" upon graduating, acknowledging that graduating from culinary school doesn't make you a "chef" any more than taking skiing lessons makes you an Olympic skiier.

 

Sorry you didn't find the answer you were looking for, but from the perspective of working chefs, it was a silly question. No offense intended.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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post #15 of 16

As Brandon said, Johnson County is the "best" school because they require you to do an apprenticeship. Experience in the industry surpasses any type of schooling, and that is coming from a culinary student. All of those schools give you the same basic skills to enter the industry. No culinary school is better than another, they are solely what you put into them. The more you strive to learn, the more will be taught to you.

post #16 of 16
Exactly. I've worked with great CIA chefs and worthless ones. You should worry more about where you work than where you go to school. Experience trumps all.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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