Advice on culinary school

6
11
Joined Feb 24, 2016
Hi! New to the forum!

I am considering investing some time and money in my passion for cooking and was looking for some advice for a culinary school. I have two goals in the end:

1. To pursue a career or entreprenuership around food and cuisine (catering, product development, business development, etc. etc. - so not necessarily working as a professional chef)

2. Learning for personal enjoyment

I would really like to learn the basics and foundations of cooking techniques, food preparation, kitchen organisation, meal composition etc. (hope this makes sense…) - ideally with some focus on the science of food. In other words, learning the fundamentals rather than deep diving into a specific cuisine or field.

My current experience is limited to spending a few hours per week experimenting in my home kitchen for the last few years.

Ideally looking for a school in Europe and a program around 6 months long or so. So far, I’ve looked into HRC Cold and Hot Kitchen and Diplome de Cuisine at le Cordon Bleu.

Any advice??

Thanks! :)
 
984
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
Where are you located?  For what you want a local community collage might be the place to start.  Start a business program a a 4 year school and work in commercial kitchen.  Why do you want to go to Europe?  Also welcome to Cheftalk.
 
6
11
Joined Feb 24, 2016
Thanks! Located in Stockholm, Sweden so that's why Europe is preferable (closer and likely easier with visas) but I'd be open to other places as well.

Regarding college, I have already graduated and worked for a few years (business consulting) so this would be more of a move in a different direction and to open up for entrepreneurship in a field that I really like.
 
157
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Joined Mar 4, 2015
Local community college is the route I took. They have an accredited program, which is nice.

The one thing that a Pastry chef that I worked for told me changed culinary school for me, " you get out what you put in."

She went to Cordon Bleu here in the US.

Really, you can do the bare minimum to get by in culinary school, and have your diploma, but if you actually want to learn, volunteer for events, practice what you learn in classes at home. Buy a giant bag of potatoes and go home to practice classical cuts, know your mother sauces, and small sauces.

I left a job in a warehouse driving a forklift, and it paid well, to go work in a kitchen. Chop onions all day, make soups, sauces, work the hot line. I have not looked back since. Now I bake bread in a Hotel, and could not be happier!

Wish you all the best.
 
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6
11
Joined Feb 24, 2016
In order to follow up, in case someone else has a similar question:

I ended up choosing HRC Culinary Academy in Bulgaria - I went with a shorter, 14 week program, which is basically the first semester of the two year program that most students are enrolled in.

I am very happy with my decision. HRC offers high quality teaching, a thought-through curriculum, modern and new facilities and is significantly less expensive than many other European schools. The administration can be quite disorganized from time to time, but as it is still quite a small school, most administrative issues can be easily solved anyway.
 
115
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Joined Jun 6, 2017
In order to follow up, in case someone else has a similar question:

I ended up choosing HRC Culinary Academy in Bulgaria - I went with a shorter, 14 week program, which is basically the first semester of the two year program that most students are enrolled in.

I am very happy with my decision. HRC offers high quality teaching, a thought-through curriculum, modern and new facilities and is significantly less expensive than many other European schools. The administration can be quite disorganized from time to time, but as it is still quite a small school, most administrative issues can be easily solved anyway.

Hey there! I'm seriously considering that option but for the full course. That would be in about a year from now and would involve moving there from Argentina, so big move.

Would you consider passing me some contact info (an email or messaging contact) so I can reach you for feedback on the place in a couple months? No problem if you see that a little troubly.

Best of luck with that!
 
115
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Joined Jun 6, 2017
 
In order to follow up, in case someone else has a similar question:

I ended up choosing HRC Culinary Academy in Bulgaria - I went with a shorter, 14 week program, which is basically the first semester of the two year program that most students are enrolled in.

I am very happy with my decision. HRC offers high quality teaching, a thought-through curriculum, modern and new facilities and is significantly less expensive than many other European schools. The administration can be quite disorganized from time to time, but as it is still quite a small school, most administrative issues can be easily solved anyway.
Hey there! I'm seriously considering this option, but maybe for the full program.

Thing is that, for me, this will imply moving to a new whole continent, big change!

In the light of that, would you mind if I contact you in private for an email address or some messagging app username so you can give me some feedback later on once you have tried this Academy?

If you don't want to that's not a problem at all, but if you can would be really helpful!

Thanks in advance and best of luck!
 
3
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Joined Feb 21, 2018
In order to follow up, in case someone else has a similar question:

I ended up choosing HRC Culinary Academy in Bulgaria - I went with a shorter, 14 week program, which is basically the first semester of the two year program that most students are enrolled in.

I am very happy with my decision. HRC offers high quality teaching, a thought-through curriculum, modern and new facilities and is significantly less expensive than many other European schools. The administration can be quite disorganized from time to time, but as it is still quite a small school, most administrative issues can be easily solved anyway.
Hey!
I'm also considering HRC or Kul In in Croatia. Could you please provide me with some more feedback as well? Thank you so much!
 
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Joined Feb 21, 2018
Sure! Anything in particular you want to know more about?
Thanks a lot! :) Well, you mentioned that you wanted to ''learn the basics and foundations of cooking techniques, food preparation, kitchen organisation, meal composition etc.''.

Is that what you learned at the end after 14 weeks?
And what is the average age of the students? I mean are most of them just graduated from high school or .. (I'm 25 myself).
And is it easy to find a room/flat in Sofia?
Thank you for your answer!
 
6
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Joined Feb 24, 2016
Yes, I'd say thats exactly what I learned. The 14 week program is basically most of the first semester of the full two year program. It is very focused on techniques, and you work your way through a set of themes of dishes that teaches both techniques and produce/ingredients. There's not a huge focus on kitchen organization since that part is more covered during internships etc. Are you looking at one of the shorter programs or the full two year program? In case you are looking at the full program you might also want to talk to someone who completed that and have experience from the internships and working at the school's Talents restaurant!

I would guess that about 2/3rds of the class were recent high school graduates and the rest were a bit older. I was 28 when I went and there were a number of people between 22-30 (and a few 30+) who had done other things before going.

Getting a flat is neither trivial nor is it extremely difficult. Most people managed to find something within the first month. Many places require a one year lease which can be tricky, but on the other hand rent in Sofia is quite low compared to many other countries (depends on where you are from of course).

Let me know if you want to know anything else! It would also be interesting to hear what you decide later on!
 
1
0
Joined Mar 22, 2018
Hi! New to the forum!

I am considering investing some time and money in my passion for cooking and was looking for some advice for a culinary school. I have two goals in the end:

1. To pursue a career or entreprenuership around food and cuisine (catering, product development, business development, etc. etc. - so not necessarily working as a professional chef)

2. Learning for personal enjoyment

I would really like to learn the basics and foundations of cooking techniques, food preparation, kitchen organisation, meal composition etc. (hope this makes sense…) - ideally with some focus on the science of food. In other words, learning the fundamentals rather than deep diving into a specific cuisine or field.

My current experience is limited to spending a few hours per week experimenting in my home kitchen for the last few years.

Ideally looking for a school in Europe and a program around 6 months long or so. So far, I’ve looked into HRC Cold and Hot Kitchen and Diplome de Cuisine at le Cordon Bleu.

Any advice??

Thanks! :)
Hi!I came across your message and it is similar to where i am at the moment. Can i ask where you ended up going, that is if you did go to pastry school?
 
5
0
Joined Jul 1, 2019
drfre drfre hi, i have a two questions to ask (HRC)
1. is it possible to get a part-time job in sofia if I can't speak local language?
2. what kind of cuisines they teach?
thank you.
 
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