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Advice please: Where should I turn regarding culinary school?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi I am currently studying a culinary arts degree at Ducasse Institute Philippines (Enderun Colleges), I like the school but I am regretting taking the 4 year Degree programme, I feel the degree is dominated by general and hospitality units.

 

I am 29 and I have attended college in the past as part of my work in a completely different field, I don't have a degree but I have done general subjects before and it's hard get motivated to repeat them whilst only spending 3 hours per week in the kitchen, I am just into my second semester and I just want to develop my cooking skills and learn the culinary theory.

 

I think I should have chosen a certificate course so I can get into the industry and build experience rather than gain a degree with a lot of general units that are not related to culinary, the course is good for a school leaver but I am starting to think its not for me.

 

My options are; to switch to the certificate course (but it takes longer here than the Ducasse school in france), attend another school in my home country of England, ( I have been looking at Tante Marie, Ashburton cooking school) or attend another school abroad such as Ferrandi in France or ICC in New York.

 

I would be grateful to hear from any graduates of these schools or any industry professionals that could help me with my choices. 

 

I am really passionate about cooking and my career lies in this industry I just took the degree because I thought it would help my career but I think for me and my age of 29  the certificate or a more intense learning program will be far better.

 

Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you!

post #2 of 3

@GingerNomad Thanks for posting. Based on what you have posted I don't think you will get what you are looking for our of a 4 year degree. As someone who has attended culinary school at  Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park  I feel if your main focus is cooking then a 2 year program is all you need. And, I feel strongly you don't need to go to a big school and spend $50K or more on a 2 year certificate. A small community college is a better way to go.

 

Let me ask you this how much have you worked in the industry? If this answer is minimal I would recommend ditching school and working in the industry finding out more what you like. Then ask yourself what you want to do? Do you want to open your own business some day? If your only goal is to cook then why does that mean do you want to simply be a cook, catering, pastry, banquet? 

 

I guess the main point I am making is you can spend a lot of time and energy going to culinary school only to find out like many before you that it is a very hard life and enjoying to cook and cooking for a living are two vastly different things.

 

Finally to answer your question I believe that both of the schools you mention are quite good but of the two I would choose  Institute of Culinary Education (New York) 

 

Hope that helps you a bit.

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks Nico

 

Thats a really informative reply! Yes my kitchen experience is minimal but I do want to pursue a culinary based career and I am not getting any younger :-)

 

I understand what you're saying about enjoying cooking and cooking for a living there is a huge difference!

 

I have been researching some culinary diplomas and certificates and I really think that the FERRANDI course is exactly what I am looking for, I like the fact their course includes an internship as a way of getting some experience and getting a foot in the door so to speak. It's also reasonably priced and in the EU so its easier for me to locate and work there without restrictions!

 

If my application is successful I will move back to the UK and try to get some kitchen experience under my belt before the course starts later this year.

 

I would like to have my own business some day but I would like to experience working a good few years first in different settings to find what area of culinary I really enjoy the most.

 

I am certainly clearer now, I have established its better for me to stop the degree and take a certificate, and certainly get some experience in before I pay out any large sums of money, Thanks for the help Nicko, much appreciated. 

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