HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Home & Family » Cooking & Baking (Group) » Culinary school advice ne...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:05 PM

Culinary school advice needed.

Hey Gang,

I love DU for reasons like this, no doubt I am sure many of you might have thoughts on this and I would really love to hear them. Well, I have decided to make a radical career change, in short its time to follow my heart and take a new journey. I have decided to follow my passion into the culinary arts.

I am at the beginning phase of narrowing down a school of choice. So far I am looking Le Cordon Bleu (Paris), C.I.A. Culinary Institute of America and F.C.I. French Culinary Institute (Chicago at Kings Kennedy). I really like what I see in the LCB Paris Grand Diploma program, the pastry program offers an opportunity to train with an M.O.F. and is a 9 month duration, which is perfect for me.

However before making my decision I want to get all the facts. Its important to me that I train with a well respected institute whose diploma will get me into any door in the culinary world. This is a big deal to me and on this adventure, I want the best!

If any of you have thoughts on one school vs the other, if you have friends or family that might have thoughts on this, please know that I would GREATLY appreciate your help.

Thanks for reading, everybody!

Firebrand Gary

Cross posted in the lounge.

23 replies, 3512 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Culinary school advice needed. (Original post)
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 OP
OffWithTheirHeads Apr 2012 #1
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 #13
elleng Apr 2012 #2
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 #14
elleng Apr 2012 #18
grasswire Apr 2012 #3
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 #15
elleng Apr 2012 #4
The empressof all Apr 2012 #5
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 #16
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 #8
elleng Apr 2012 #9
Warpy Apr 2012 #6
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 #7
Callalily Apr 2012 #10
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 #17
TreasonousBastard Apr 2012 #11
OffWithTheirHeads Apr 2012 #12
Firebrand Gary Apr 2012 #19
nycfoodlover Apr 2012 #20
ryanm7277 Jun 2012 #21
PatSeg Jun 2012 #23
handmade34 Jun 2012 #22

Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:30 PM

1. Now that you're here, DO NOT MISS sinkingfeeling's cakes!

You'll need to scroll down a bit but it's worth it. There are two to my knowledge.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:42 AM

13. I will check into it. STAT. hahaha

I have been reading and posting on DU for years, but I almost want to ask myself, where have I been? lol

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 09:32 PM

2. Wish I could help beyond Bonne Chance!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:44 AM

14. You already have!

Just by showing your interest and wishing good luck! Thank you my friend!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:56 AM

18. Thanks!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:01 PM

3. re: schools, keep in mind that some are diploma factories, apparently.....

.....and have graduated students with the promise of a career ahead but could not deliver on the promise. Some recent litigation comes to mind.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to grasswire (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:46 AM

15. It seems like many of them are.

I am really looking for the whole package, including the city and opportunity to work in a great kitchen afterwards. So strongly leaning towards Paris!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:10 PM

4. Just remembered this.

http://www.jwu.edu/

Check it out?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 10:41 PM

5. thats where i would go if i were 40 years younger

Restaurant life is tough though. Nights, weekends, holidays and long hours in hot small confined areas. You need to be in great shape to live it. I'm not sure I would enjoy it. I like my own small home kitchen where I can cook what I please whenever I want

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to The empressof all (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:49 AM

16. That's totally fine with me.

I am still well under 40, I have the time. I tend to be a pretty ambitious person in general, so if I am successful, I work hard enough maybe one day I will get to a point where I do not have to work nights, weekends and holidays in my place.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:45 AM

8. Thank you for that.

Looking around a few different places, I saw that schools name pop up in a few different places, but I did not follow up. I will now. Thanks elleng

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:47 AM

9. You're welcome, Gary.

I became concerned reading posters' and your responses about need for experience, and this popped into my head. Seems like it might give you the experience you seem to want and need.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:08 AM

6. Take six months to work in a kitchen

It doesn't matter much what you do, you need to experience the heat, the stress, getting slammed by more patrons than usual, and the amount of backbreaking work it is.

If it gets into your blood and you love it, then consider a high priced culinary school.

However, you need to know what you're getting into.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 01:41 AM

7. That's what I was thinking too.

I love the high tempo pace. I worked in a crazy busy bar for 6 years and I did pretty well. The kind of place where for 6 hours people are screaming at you for a beer, a shot, blah, blah.

I am all for the hard work, just concerned about the school.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:59 AM

10. Hope this doesn't confuse

you all the more but have you considered NECI (New England Culinary Institute)? http://www.neci.edu/

Classes are very hands-on and internships are available which helps build a resume.

Just a thought.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Callalily (Reply #10)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:53 AM

17. I have not heard about NCI

Thanks for the post! The research into this is substantial, which is a great thing! I am going to select carefully as I have waited years to come to this point.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:38 AM

11. Do you have a community college with...

culinary courses near you?

I looked at a couple on your short list and saw the price (10 grand of which I'm sure is just the butter used in the pastry course...) and then found our local cc has several shorter pastry courses for a few hundred bucks each. The full menu for a foodie AAS degree is only a few thou, with training and job placement pretty good.

Considering the wages in the restaurant business, I just don't see the payback in the expensive places. I also don't see how much more you get from them vs. the cc and ojt in a decent restaurant.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:46 PM

12. Hey Gary, if you make a decision and follow through

Please blog about it here! I know many of us would find it fascinating. I for one, if I ever won the lottery, would go to Cordon
Blu or the S.F, culinary institute just to become a really good cook.


i couldn't work in a restaurant though, way too claustrophobic for that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OffWithTheirHeads (Reply #12)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:57 AM

19. That is a GREAT idea, I will totally do that!

It's so funny, my other half is all for this idea......I wonder why? LOL

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:14 PM

20. Search for School

Hi Gary, I'm a graduate of The International Culinary Center formerly The French Culinary Institute in NYC. I looked at several other school and decided on The FCI because of their incredible reputation, great instructors and the location of the school. You can't beat being in NYC. The education I received in the kitchens was solid and I really took advantage of their career services department. They helped me land an internship while in school and really encouraged me to start getting involved with the industry as a student. This was really helpful to me because I'm also a career changer and was really nervous about getting a job in the field.
I definitely suggest visiting all of the schools on your list and if you can sit in on a class to get a feel for the school, the students there and the instructors.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 09:51 PM

21. So....

Did you make a decision? I am doing the same thing. I am going to go to Paris to the Ritz cooking school.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ryanm7277 (Reply #21)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 12:36 AM

23. Welcome to DU!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Firebrand Gary (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 10:16 PM

22. a little thought...

my son wanted to go to culinary school... checked into NECI (good school close to home), Johnson and Wales, Cornell, C.I.A. and a few others. He chose C.I.A. and loved it for the 1st year... excellent school, loved the geographical areas (on the Hudson), learned a lot... but he got homesick and missed running (he did form the 1st X-country team that C.I.A. ever had!)... and left to finish his college career at UVM. He just graduated with a degree in Philosophy and is headed out to Portalnd Oregon to try to get into the restaurant business there (maybe find a culinary school there to get back into it) good luck!

http://www.ciachef.edu/admissions/athletics/crosscountry/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread