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105 Posts
I recommend a school that has a
restaurant(s) servicing the public and/or a school in an area populated with good restaurants. I'm finding a lot of my experience will come from what I learn outside the classroom.

Also, I'm finding there is a balance between tuition and education that I am finally ok with. I'm at J&W in the "GArnish" program (for those who already have a degree) and I'm finding myself a little disappointed in the amount of a la minute cooking we do. I wish there were more of it instead of following a recipe and tossing it into a steam table. But at the same time, the program is $22,500 ($16,200 for me after grants/free money) and I don't see the value in paying $32,000+ to go to the CIA, CCA or NECI to have the experience of working for a couple weeks in a public restaurant. I'm getting that same experience outside of school.

FYI, as far as I know, the CIA in Napa offers only a pastry/baking certificate, not a culinary arts degree/cert. They only offer continuing education classes.

Hope that helps...
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