best culinary schools in San francisco to become a pastry chef

Joined Aug 9, 2011
hi i am 24yrs old and want to join a culinary school in san francisco which are the best schools without breaking the bank and how much do chefs get paid in cali ? also is the le cordon bleu program a good course? how does the job placement works after finishing the program?
Joined Jun 10, 2011
***Just as a disclaimer... I am not a culinary/pastry chef right now. I am in culinary school, but I am planing on going to pastry school after I graduate. Please don't take my advice as gold. I suggest that you talk with local chefs in your area; they know their local and specific job market and they can answer your questions better than I can.***

Dessert First Girl went to pastry school in San Francisco where she lives. She attended the Tante Maria school for B&P arts on a part time schedule. She said it was well worth the investment, but she wished she could have went full time. She stated that there are other more expensive schools that would have more to offer (because they were larger), but she was very happy with Tante Maria.

Other than Tante Maria, I can think of three others in the area off of my head... The San Francisco Baking Institute (I know some people that HIGHLY recommend them), the California Culinary Academy (AKA Le Cordon Bleu of San Francisco), and the Culinary Institute of America (Napa Valley campus). All three only offer certificate programs. If you want a B&P arts degree program, there is Le Cordon Bleu of LA that offers a B&P arts associates degree.

I personally don't know about Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) of SF as all of the LCBs across America are a tad bit different. I toured the Dallas LCB and they were very nice and had a good campus for the money you pay. I am not trying to say that they are bad, but they have lower tuition compared to schools like the CIA or JWU, so you get a smaller program and campus. All around, LCBs here in America (LCB is global) aren't the most "lavish" or "exclusive" culinary schools, but they are a good bang-for-your buck kind of a school and offer very good courses. I would REALLY suggest you ask for a campus tour to check them out and discuss your options so that you can personally decide. 

As for the career payment in California question, I really can't help you there. I do suggest that you find a local pastry chef to talk with. They'll have all the facts and will be happy to answer all of your questions.

The job placement after LCB? LCB does not promise job placement; that's something that you have to do. BUT, after you finish the teaching part of the LCB program, you must do an internship with a local restaurant/bakery and LCB will help you set that up. Then they will give you your diploma.
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