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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is settled. I am going to go into the A.A.S. program in Culinary Arts at my community college. I've spoken to the instructors there (one is a CIA grad) and it's a good program from what I hear. It still feels like I will be missing out on something by not going to a J&W, CIA or LCB type of institution. Yes, I know. it doesn't matter where you go. This profession is no different than any other. A degree from one school doesn't make you the cream of the crop. Your skills do. I'll post later on this but for now I must go.

:(

I would've love to go to an international school though.........
 

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Hey Jeff, Be proud and keep a stiff upper lip. There are some really well laid out programs in some of the smaller schools. Not to mention that not everyone can afford the "Ivy leage" of culinary schools. I assume you have done your homework on this program. Go into it with a passion. We have seen a few really talented people from cheftalk cronicle there journey in culinary school, Post as much as you feel comfortable. Let us know about projects, techniques, new ideas or things that you just don't get.
No problems here with that kind of stuff.

Try to read Annekes and chefteldanielle posts as an example. Both career changers with a great head on there shoulders. Both have posted through out there whole schooling proccess. I think if you ask them if this site helped, they would say yes.

Just try to be confident Jeff. You "WILL" succeed if you want to
cc
 

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Dear Jeffery: Don't waste energy worrying about what might have been. Where you went to school might get you your first job; but it's up to you to get all the others!

Learn everything you can; ask lots and lots of questions; read, read, read. Get to know as many instructors -- and classmates --as possible (whether you have them for classes or not). Hone your skills [and knives] until they are razor-sharp. And HAVE FUN doing it all. If an externship is part of the program, go to the absolute best place you can (even if it scares you). In Las Vegas, there are now so many excellent restaurants! Where you are is the cutting edge of the hospitality industry.

And by all means, keep in touch! Everyone here wants you to succeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What is bothers is that in the AAS program the school doen't incorporate baking and pastries into the curriculum. These classes are offered seperately.
 

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Jeffery
Do you remember the day you asked about Gordon Bleu in the public forum and we chatted about the school?

Do you remember that I kept telling you that going to school is something but not everything.
To a changing career person what matters most is the knowledge of what to expect to the new job...
:)

Well as you remember, I kept typing that the name of the school doesn't play such a role, with the risk to take me for a snob...
I repeat what I told you in private.
Go to a school. If you miss something there , the experience will cover it and of course your personal effort to keep studying and experimenting.

And there is a Greek proverb: Try to consider your glass almost full instead of almost empty, if you want to succed.

Good luck and free your self from images...

:)
 

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Remember...you only get out of a school what you put into it. Any culinary education not only depends on formal education but SELF education as well. Just because classes end at 5pm. your education day shouldn't. Continue..by reading a book, watching food oriented shows, discussion with fellow students and so much more
 

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As a grad of one of the "ivy" schools, I must tell you that had you been able to go there, you would still not learn all you need to know. A lot of what they teach the students in these schools is discipline and professionalism; something that most adults have hopefully acquired to some extent. Yes, you learn the basics too, but as you know, you can learn those at the right job as well---and get paid for it! What the schools fail to relay to their offspring is that you are not a chef when you graduate!! I think it's the top schools that really mislead their students into thinking that they are.

So don't fret about not going to the school of your choice. A lot of what you'd be paying for is probably something you already have, or will soon acquire on the job, if you have the determination.

And as others have already told you, you have an excellent network of chefs right here who can advise and support you along the way. Good luck.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You all have made my Sunday!! :roll: :smiles:

It wasn't a can I afford it issue. My wife and I had money already for both of us to go there. But we sat and talked. If we go now we will have used approx. $40k to get our training. And when done we'd be back here with a diploma, minus $40k. So after that we decided to enroll in the community college program here for a total of $3400 each. We're using the rest of the money to get a house. Not that we couldn't get one when we came back though.

Athenaeus, thank you for your advice. :) I have even cleared up my job situation.

(not too much advertising ) ;)
 

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Jeffery -- I have heard terrific things about where you will be working. So keep your eyes and ears and brain open. No matter what they have you doing, there will be A LOT for you to see and learn there.

As for your wife's possible position: if they DO offer her a lesser job than she can do (which, not matter how "nice" the people, is still a strong possiblity in this industry), she can "nicely" ask a simple question: "WHY? I have the following qualifications ... " Just so long as she really does. And even if they won't give her anything better, she can still learn by observing, and can demonstrate her abilities with an eye toward advancing. Everything we've all said to you goes for her as well! By the way, what's her name?

Oh, and as for the lack of baking and pastry training -- wherever you work, talk to the pastry chef, watch, volunteer to help sometimes. READ. Ask the bread/pastry people here what to read, ask them your questions. I am just in awe of the cumulative knowledge held by all the bakers here, professional and non!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am getting excited that one of my instructors is a graduate of CIA while the head of the department is a former Chef of the Year. I'm starting to believe that the extra moolah spent at these other "ivy league" schools are to pay the salaries of the "3, 4 or 5 star" chefs on the roster. Not bad schools, though. I am looking forward to school...
 

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Jeffery,
FYI, I opened a large hotel in NYC many years ago and was forced to hire mostly Ivy League culinary graduates. Needless to say 3 of the approx. 18 made it. I have been aware of the local food service program here at the local college. I have worked with many of the apprentices and just hired a wonderful young women who will not only learn a few things but also earn credits. I have been so impressed with the down to earth training and I have great respect for the students. They lack all the hype of the ivy league schools, still earn their associates, and seem to have a good understanding of the industry.
IMHO I would not strive for top dog, I would try to pry stored knowledge from those instructors. The local instructors seem to have more culinary talent then teaching ability. I would bird dog them and look for thing that come natural to them that they might not even realize they do. Try not to focus to much on the things right at hand, but how you will incorperate those things in the field.
The best of luck to you,
Don't worry about the pastry side, you can always take a LOA and come play with me for a while:D :D
Jeffery
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Panini, I may take you up on that offer providing my wife can come along as well. Thank you all for replying and giving words of encouragement. I think this school is going to work out.
 

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Hi, Jeffrey,

My thoughts on the whole thing - you can get the 'basics' anywhere; doesn't matter; a chop is a chop; a mince is a mince. But - what you bring to the table (no pun intended!) is what's going to matter in your career - your talent, creativity, and what you put into the mix. That only comes from you, and that's what makes a great chef a great chef.

Good luck - I think it's terrific that you and your wife are doing this together! What a team you'll make!!!
 
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