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I'm considering going to culinary school for baking/pastry after graduating from college this year. Does anyone know what schools have reputable programs? I'm looking into FCI, Peter Kump's, and l'Ecole Ferrandi in Paris, which supposedly has a new bilingual program. How important is a culinary degree in the pastry/baking field?

Thanks!
 

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A degree or certificate definitely help, but it's not a requirement, if you are able to get your foot in the door of a place that is willing to teach you the basics. The great thing about a good culinary school is that you leave there with an understanding of the essential concepts and formulas in pastry (mostly the science end of it), and it's a good springboard to an assistant's job that may otherwise take you a longer time to get. If you've been to school, it is automatically assumed that you know how to use ingredients, or follow a standard formula. As a pastry chef, I find it easier, in general, to train and work with culinary school grads, because I don't have to explain every little thing to them.
 

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Consider where you live, budget and where you feel best! All of the schools you listed are doing good work but if you can, I would go to Paris! Not just for the classes but hey, it's Paris! Your education will contiue your whole life so start it in a place that makes you happy.
 

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I have a very close, personal friend that is Associate Director of Admissions at The Institute of Culinary Education, formerly known as Peter Kump's. Their Baking & Pastry Arts program has really taken off. If you want more info, let me know and I will hook you up with Linda.
 

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FCI is basically a New York version of Ferrandi; when Apex Technical decided to get into the cooking school business, they got help from Ferrandi to set up their program. (This is what Dorothy Cann Hamilton, the owner of FCI, has explained in presentations.) If I were choosing between just those 2, I would take Ferrandi because it's in France! (The better to experience something different)
 

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Hum, I'd love the bi-lingual education too BUT in the states the second language that's the MOST neccesary is Spanish not French (in my humble opinion).:cool:
 
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