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First Post and ICIF

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,
I'm a chef wannabe from Greece. Mind if I hang out here a bit? From the looks of it there aren't many Europeans on this forum--or am I wrong?

Anyway, I'm thinking about going to the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners, I'm interested in their 6-month Italian cuisine program, which includes an internship in a restaurant. Anyone has opinions about this school? Any information would help.

Thanks a lot,
Alexander
post #2 of 8
Of course you are welcome to hang around. I think we have at least one other Greek, if I am not mistaken.
Enjoy!
post #3 of 8
Kali mera- tikanis! Welcome to Chef Talk, Caribean.

We have many European and Asian members- even one from Antarctica. And yes, Greeks and Greek-wannabees, like me.

Please stop in at the Welcome Forum and give us a general introduction. Then feel at home to browse the forums and add your two drachmae worth.

Are the papaveri in bloom yet? Ahhh!
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, spring is practically here although it rains sometimes. And the sea is as beautiful as ever. My favorite part about Crete is the sea... hmmm... Just imagine being a chef in a sea-view mediterranean restaurant... It's a dream :-)

Anyway, to the topic. I'm considering the next two choices:

1. A cooking certificate in a 10-month hotelier school, 1700 hours of instruction including an internship, followed by a 6-month program in the ICIF, which includes a 4-month "on the job training" in a restaurant.

2. A 4-year university program in Culinary Arts (yeah, a bachelor degree) in a hospitality college in China. They have a really nice comprehensive program there, although I'm not going to feel so at home in China as in Italy... Though I'm learning Mandarin.

So, any comments on these two options? Each of them seems attractive on its own right. What would you choose, considering your ultimate goal is either to be a chef in a chique hotel or, as I said before, owning a small (but exquisite :-)) restaurant on some mediterranean island. (I'd have to say Rhodes and Santorini are my favorites)
post #5 of 8
My culinary school offered a culinary tour of Italy for those willing to pay. One of the chef instructors outlined a trip of sight-seeing and dinner in some fabulous places. The highlight of the trip was the dinner at the ICIF. It was a remarkable seven course dinner. I'd have to refer to my travel notebook for more about the dinner.

As well, we had a tour of the place. While I don't know anything about the instructors there, the facilities were exceptional. The only downside I saw was that all stoves were electric. The lecture-demo room was impressive. Each student has his own two burner stove, an oven, small prep table, small refridgerator, and television which was hooked up to a camera which is pointed at the instructors cutting board. There is a wine cellar classroom for a wine appreciation class, again each student has individual stations.

Class sizes looked to be anywhere from 15 to 30. Everything there looked more geared for personal prep and cookery than team or group assignments. So, I imagine it would be an excellent place to learn.

A classmate of mine did eventually go to school there. She loved the school immensly, though had some difficulty during the internship, due to the fact she was female, American, and didn't speak Italian fluently.
"Too few people understand a really good sandwich."
James Beard
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"Too few people understand a really good sandwich."
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post #6 of 8
Welcome to Chef Talk Alexander!
When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

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When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food.

- Desiderius Erasmus
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post #7 of 8

 

There is a website of school where no trust, no quality, no knowledge: http://www.icif.com/eng/ICIF-Cooking-School-Cooking-Courses.php .

In September 2011 I took a Short Course in Italian Cooking and Oenology in ICIF Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners.

Before choosing these studies I contacted their office in order to be sure that I found exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to have not only cooking classes but also a gastronomical part and wine classes. I also told my situation - that I am an owner of the whole chain of restaurants and I want just to deepen my knowledge. I explained that I have big experience in restaurant business and I asked for confirmation that studies are strong and interesting enough. They confirmed me that this course is exactly what I was looking for. Problems started one week before the beginning of this course. School sent an apology e-mail informing that courses are postponed for one week because of delayed preparation of documentation for other foreign students. As I am a businessman I plan my time in advance - so I asked for compensation or discount - this was rejected.

          To secure myself I agreed to participate one week instead of three weeks and to pay 1000€ instead of 3000€. University has a rule that 30% should be paid in advance. But I paid the whole amount, i.e. 1000€ for one week.

          During the first day of studies only technical information was provided: what clothes you should wear and how you should behave (absolutely basic to everyone who participated in any type of restaurant business) and nothing similar to intensive short course. After second day, when they showed just a recipe and how to make a dish, I understood that this course in not for me. I informed the school that I was stopping my studies and, of course, they agreed. At the beginning they made an offer to come to any class of three weeks course to finish 7 days for which I paid money and I agreed. When I started to plan my time, after 4 days they changed their mind and stopped this possibility. Then I asked to refund part of the money, but they also rejected.

So, I have to state that this university is a very low quality and you cannot trust in anything they say or do. This letter is to everyone who plans to study there. Just be sure that they can trick you in any situation. No trust, no quality, no knowledge!

post #8 of 8

To all the readers of the Cheftalk BLOG from ICIF:

Dear Mr. Vasilij,
we would like to reply regarding your comment about our Institute ICIF because despite your pseudonym we have found your real name.

In the specific case of the ICIF Short Course, in which was interested  Mr. Vasilij, the training offered is organized in 3 weeks of theoretical and practical lessons at School as a complete overview of the Italian Culinary, from appetizers to desserts, including also pastry and bakery lessons, wine tasting and food and wine pairing lessons.

 

Regarding the experience of Mr. Vasilij, who chose to attend only one week included in the standard program of the ICIF Short Course that has a total duration of 3 weeks, the starting date of this course has been postponed of one week, because as we are an International Culinary School for foreigners, our students to participate to our Courses have to obtain a visa for study at the Italian Consulates or Embassies abroad, and on that occasion there was a delay in the issue of such visas, so the postponing of the starting date of the Course was not up to ICIF, and Mr. Vasilij was informed in advance of this.

 

During the first day of the ICIF Short Course of total duration of 3 weeks, it is required by the law (as well as for the ICIF Master Course and as happens in all the Schools in the world), a meeting for the presentation of the Course and the rules of the School, the information regarding the workplace safety, the regulations on fire prevention, the delivery of the complete Chef uniform, the checking of the documents required from the Police Headquarters to apply for the Italian permit of stay for the foreign students, all these are mandatory practice required from the Italian law to allow foreign students attend a Course in Italy, perhaps Mr. Vasilij is not informed about the regulations governing the training Schools in the world.

 

In the week of attendance of the program chosen by Mr. Vasilij, the only moments when he appeared in classroom, having regard to his coming and going at pleasure, he showed a completely disrespectful attitude towards the Institute, the teachers and also to the classmates: hands in his pocket, without socks and always wore flip-flops in the kitchen laboratories!

This is the demonstration of the professionalism of Mr. Vasilij who claims to be a business man and owner of restaurants chains!

 

Before judging the curriculum of a course maybe is necessary attend it, to the complete Course not to just a week! Since 1991 the ICIF Institute has graduated students coming from every country in the world with great results, confirmed by the success of the former ICIF students currently Chef and owners of renowned Italian restaurants in their own Country and with International reputation.

 

For further information visit our channel: www.icif.com You tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ICIFCulinarySchool?feature=mhee

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ICIF-Italian-Culinary-Institute-for-Foreigners/235131363212682

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