California Culinary Academy

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by nunnoz, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. nunnoz

    nunnoz

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    I need more information about California Culinary Academy. I never got a chance to visit the school but I talked to the school representative: the class size is 32 students, is that too many?

    What are my chances out there, as I am a woman and also Asian? I noticed that most of the chefs, sous chef and Executive chef are men! Please give me some information/feedback.
     
  2. tytitan

    tytitan

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    32 seems like a lot of students for one class. You can check out an online journal of a woman who attended CCA...point your broswer to http://casweet-thing.blogspot.com/ check out the Archives at the bottom of the page.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. chefgirl

    chefgirl

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    I go to orlando culinary academy and yes 32 is way too many. We started out with a class that size and they had to split us up b/c we weren't getting enough hands on time. Smaller classer are alot easier to work in!
     
  4. greg

    greg

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    Most schools try to limit class sizes to around 20. 32 is way too much, particularly for that school ( I'm not a big fan of CCA).
     
  5. nunnoz

    nunnoz

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    Thanks for all your feedback.
    Greg, why are you not a big fan? Please share...
     
  6. thelonious

    thelonious

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    Is the 25-30+ class size normal for most of the culinary schools? I had a phone interview with CCA in SF this week, and that was the number per class. Are there any culinary schools that have a smaller amount? I met with a school in Austin, TX that had 15. But I don't believe they had the same credentials compared to a Le cordon Blue program.
     
  7. stacey2685

    stacey2685

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    my class right now has 12 people in it :D
     
  8. thelonious

    thelonious

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    Stacy, may I ask where you attend school?
     
  9. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow! So you mean about half the people on PEI go to culinary school? Amazing. :D :D
     
  10. greg

    greg

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    I've seen a few of their instructional videos; if that's their curriculum, they teach bad technique. Now, from your info, it seems they have turned into a "factory" culinary school. Get as many in the door as you can (thereby lowering what little quality of education they had), get their money and spit them out.
     
  11. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Our classes are no larger than 15 students.


    Module 1: Weeks 1-15[/COLOR]Introduction to Culinary Arts
    Food Safety
    Culinary Skill Development
    Nutrition
    Meat Identification and Fabrication
    Food Purchasing & Receiving
    Baking & Pastry Skill Development
    Breakfast & Lunch Skill Development
    Module 2: Weeks 16-30Kitchen Staples and the Art of Seasoning
    Wines and Beverages
    Kitchen Management
    Dining Room Management
    Garde Manger
    Culinary Leadership
    Advanced Culinary Skill Development
    American Regional Cuisine
    Baking and Pastry Skill Development II
    Culinary Internship
    Module 3: Weeks 31-45Professional Table Service
    Computer Concepts
    Food and Beverage Cost Controls
    Food and Wine Pairing
    Techniques of Healthy Cooking
    Regional French Cuisine
    Asian Cuisine
    Mediterranean Cuisine
    World Cuisine
    Module 4: Weeks 46-60Catering and Banquets
    Menu Planning
    Garde Manger II
    Culinary Career Paths
    Patisserie
    Performance and Presentation
    Culinary Internship II
    Program Outline, Center for Culinary Arts
    Day Program
    Culinary Arts Course Descriptions, Day Program
    INTRODUCTION TO CULINARY ARTS
    Topics covered in this course include the
    history of food and the food service
    industry, the various types of food service
    operations, culinary terminology, equipment
    identification and the past, present
    and future role of the chef.
    FOOD SAFETY
    This course is based on the National
    Restaurant Association’s Serve/Safe
    Food Service Sanitation course. Students
    will learn about the causes of food
    contamination and spoilage, food-borne
    illness, safe food handling procedures,
    and control methods for protecting the
    customer. Students successfully passing
    the National Restaurant Association’s
    Education Foundation standardized test
    will receive their Sanitation Certificate.
    CULINARY SKILL DEVELOPMENT
    Students start their kitchen training by
    learning proper cooking techniques,
    culinary terminology, and the proper use
    and care of culinary tools. The production
    of stocks, sauces, soups and meats as
    well as efficient and safe knife skills will
    be stressed.
    NUTRITION
    This course introduces the basic principles
    of nutrition as they apply to different
    food service operations. The categories
    of nutrients are identified and their
    importance in a balanced diet discussed.
    The student will learn the evolution of the
    USDA food pyramid and its significance in
    planning wholesome menus. Product
    labeling will be explained along with the
    effect storage and preparation techniques
    have on food’s nutritional value.
    MEAT IDENTIFICATION AND FABRICATION
    Taught in conjunction with Culinary Skill
    Development, students will learn to bone,
    cut and portion a variety of meat items
    including poultry, beef, lamb and pork.
    Students will gain knowledge in the
    handling, receiving and storing of meats,
    as well as learning proper inspection and
    grading categories.
    FOOD PURCHASING & RECEIVING
    The duties and responsibilities of the
    purchasing agent are crucial to the
    financial success of any food service
    operation. Students will learn about
    ordering, receiving, and storage techniques.
    The grading of fruits, vegetables,
    meats, poultry, fish and dry goods are
    reviewed.
    BAKING & PASTRY SKILL DEVELOPMENT
    Students learn the principles of baking
    with strong emphasis placed on accuracy
    and understanding formulas. The
    science of baking will be studied and
    production will include quick breads,
    cookies, pies and yeast breads.
    BREAKFAST & LUNCH SKILL
    DEVELOPMENT
    Students learn to produce traditional
    breakfast and lunch items. Topics
    include the methods and science of egg
    cookery, breakfast flour products such as
    griddle cakes and pancakes and crepes,
    brunch production and presentation, cold
    sandwiches, hot sandwiches, deep fried
    products, wraps, burgers and condiments.
    KITCHEN STAPLES & THE ART OF
    SEASONING
    The successful preparation of desirable
    food in today’s commercial kitchens
    requires intimate knowledge of the
    world’s many kitchen staples including
    herbs, spices, oils, extracts, flavorings,
    and nuts. Product identification by sight,
    smell and taste will be stressed.
    WINES AND BEVERAGES
    This course will explore the fundamentals
    of wine and beverage management.
    Wine production processes will be
    discussed and students will have the
    opportunity to learn through both lecture
    and wine tasting. Discussions on grape
    varieties, diseases and farming customs
    are part of the course. Students will also
    become familiar with alcoholic and nonalcoholic
    beverages and the laws
    governing them.
    KITCHEN MANAGEMENT
    Students will learn essential management
    techniques used in the kitchen.
    The philosophy, psychology and teamwork
    aspects of managing a kitchen will
    be stressed. Emphasis will be placed on
    the importance of quality team management.
    Culinary Arts Course Descriptions, Day Program, 2
    GARDE MANGER
    Good management of under-utilized food
    items could dramatically increase
    restaurant revenues. In the kitchen,
    students learn to prepare pates, terrines,
    sausages, and similar foods, and
    arrange platters using fruits, cheeses,
    vegetables, canapés and hors d’ouvres.
    ADVANCED CULINARY SKILL
    DEVELOPMENT
    Now that students possess basic
    knowledge about proper cooking techniques
    and sauce preparations, students
    will be asked to apply those techniques to
    more complicated dishes using more
    specialized ingredients. Emphasis in this
    course is placed on beef, veal, seafood
    and shellfish preparations. Students will
    be taught proper plate presentations.
    AMERICAN REGIONAL CUISINE
    In this course, students will learn to
    prepare dishes representative of the
    different regions of the United States.
    Regional food items typically reflect the
    history of the region and the food items
    that are grown and harvested in that
    region. From the Northeast to the
    Southwest and all point in between, this
    class will feature some of the best that
    America has to offer.
    DINING ROOM MANAGEMENT
    Communication between the back of the
    house and the front of the house and
    communication with customers are focal
    points of this class. Techniques and
    procedures that ensure quality service
    and management of the dining room are
    stressed.
    CULINARY LEADERSHIP
    To move up the culinary career ladder,
    chefs need to be good motivators,
    teachers, managers, thinkers and
    leaders. Students will learn the importance
    of effective communications to train
    successful employees. Topics including
    training objectives, instructional delivery,
    orientation training, training technology
    and psychology will be presented.
    BAKING AND PASTRY SKILL
    DEVELOPMENT II
    Advanced baking and pastry techniques
    will be presented to students. Pies and
    tarts, rolled-in dough products, such as
    croissants, pate a choux and specialty
    yeast breads will be produced.
    PROFESSIONAL TABLE SERVICE
    In most classic fine dining restaurants,
    tableside preparations are the show--
    flames and all. The techniques of proper
    tableside service will be presented, and
    practiced with classic items which may
    include Steak Diane, Sautéed Cornish
    Game Hen, Caesar Salad, Cherries
    Jubilee, Crepe Suzette, Bananas Foster
    and Steak au Poivre.
    COMPUTER CONCEPTS
    Using Microsoft Word and Excel, students
    will work within the windows-based
    environment utilizing applications most
    important to their careers. Computer
    exercises include developing a cover
    letter and resume to get prepared for the
    job market.
    FOOD AND BEVERAGE COST CONTROLS
    This course examines the current
    methods and principles of food, beverage,
    and labor cost controls for food
    service operations. The relationship
    between cost of goods sold, revenues
    generated, and net profit are explored.
    The student will see how cost decisions
    are made and learn how managers react
    to different industry trends.
    FOOD AND WINE PAIRING
    Students learn the proper guidelines of
    matching specific wines with specific food
    items. Pairing wines and food items
    properly leads to a great dining experience
    for customers.
    TECHNIQUES OF HEALTHY COOKING
    Can a chef prepare food items that are
    healthy to eat, yet pleasing to the palate?
    In this course students will learn to use
    techniques and ingredients that satisfy
    the healthy customer's desire for flavorful
    food.
    Culinary Arts Course Descriptions, Day Program, 3
    REGIONAL FRENCH CUISINE
    Students prepare classic French recipes
    indicative of specific regions of France.
    Students will gain an appreciation for
    regional influences on food and how they
    have sculpted what has become the
    “classic cuisine” of the world.
    ASIAN CUISINE
    Students learn to prepare regional dishes
    of Asia. Emphasis will be placed on
    ingredients, flavor profiles, preparations,
    and techniques representative of the
    cuisines of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam,
    Thailand and Indonesia.
    MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE
    Prepare, taste, serve, and evaluate
    traditional, regional dishes of Europe and
    the Mediterranean. Emphasis will be
    placed on ingredients, flavor profiles,
    preparations, and techniques representative
    of the cuisines of Spain, Portugal,
    France, Morocco, Tunisia, Greece, and
    Egypt.
    WORLD CUISINE
    Students in this course will visit a wide
    variety of culinary destinations. As such,
    they will prepare, taste, serve, and
    evaluate traditional dishes from the
    British Isles, Africa, Germany, Mexico,
    South America and the Carribbean.
    CATERING AND BANQUETS
    Catering operations represent a large
    percentage of business in culinary arts.
    Students learn to integrate cooking and
    event management skills to create the
    “perfect” event. Topics of discussion will
    include equipment, staffing, start-up,
    business practices, and planning menus.
    A variety of catering menus will be
    produced for a number of different catered
    events.
    MENU PLANNING
    Here, students will develop a practical
    working knowledge of menu planning and
    design. Color, layout, cost and merchandising
    of food will be taught to the student
    as part of this course. Several menu
    types will be presented and discussed.
    GARDE MANGER II
    This course refines the student’s skills in
    charcuterie and sets the emphasis on
    cold displays where food texture, color,
    artistic creativity and complimentary
    flavors are orchestrated to achieve
    optimum eye and palate appeal. Classic
    production techniques are paired with
    today’s trends and restaurant requirements.
    CULINARY CAREER PATHS
    Through group and individual sessions
    with the instructor, students will receive a
    professional assessment of their skills
    as those skills relate to future employment
    opportunities.
    PATISSERIE
    From egg foam cakes to angel food,
    chiffon, meringue and high ratio cakes,
    students will learn to bake, assemble and
    decorate cakes for restaurant menus and
    special occasions. In addition, students
    will create specialized dessert sauces
    and learn beautiful plate presentations.
    PERFORMANCE AND PRESENTATION
    As part of this capstone course students
    will plan and prepare a multi-course
    dining event for paying guests. Students
    will be responsible for every detail of the
    event from menu planning to menu
    costing, food preparation and service.
    CULINARY INTERNSHIP I & II
    Work experience provides the student
    with an opportunity to apply the skills and
    knowledge developed in the classroom
    and apply it. This is an exciting and
    extremely worthwhile course designed to
    build confidence and provide practical
    experience for the chef-in-training. CA215
    requires 135 hours of on-the-job work
    experience and CA315 requires 135
    hours of on-the-job work experience
    during the fourth module.
     
  12. tytitan

    tytitan

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    When I was @ NECI our class size ranged from 7 - 10. My new school The French Pastry School we have 16 the class is still small compared to other schools.
     
  13. amy

    amy

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    Dear concerned about class size,
    i graduated from the cca in 2000, a woman my self i do think that 32 students is a large class size, however you'd be surprised how quickly people will drop off and the class isze will get smaller. When i attended we had a class size of around 22 and that was fine. Also a bit more advice if i may, having gone there was a great experience but you can receive the same credential from several junior colleges in the bay area, they won't be cordon bleu accreditted, but it's the same class work and information. it all about where you get your experience, i personally hire based on skill set, do your time in the kitchen and work your butt off. Good luck with your future please feel free to ask any other questions if you need to.
     
  14. burnvictim

    burnvictim

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    you get out what you put in...even if there are thirty people to a class, chances are that ten of them are taking it seriously. CCA does seem to be accepting any and all students, but a quality education can still be found there. They recently built a second campus also...I think to ease the crowding.
     
  15. heathermac

    heathermac

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    Tytitan, I am looking at NECI right now. I'm interested in the culinary arts program (I know you are pastry) but I'm wondering if you know anything about the program, and if you could recommend it? You know, the general stuff. I just haven't heard anyone's opinion of the school. ANY information would be appreciated.

    Thanks so much.

    Heather
     
  16. tytitan

    tytitan

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    NECI's Culinary program is great. I had to take a few classes on the hot side and I have close friends in the program as well. I think the best thing about NECI is that all the way through the program you're cooking in real kitchens..that's why it's so expensive...lol.

    The classes are small like I stated before. You rotate through different kitchens ever 2 1/2 weeks so that means your schedule changes as well. Take for example.... When I had AM CAFE (Breakfast and Lunch) class started at 6 and ended around 2 I think. Then you have PM CAFE (Dinner) that starts at 2 and last until 7 or 8...can't remember. But you get the point.

    If you have any more questions fill free to ask away. :)