Choosing a Culinary School

Joined Feb 5, 2003
where to start?.... I am going to culinary school, I know that much. I'm looking at French culinary, Pittsburgh Culinary (cordon bleu) and Chicago institute of hospitality (also cordon bleu). French culinary looks good, but it is not certified to grant diplomas. I guess what I'm asking is: Should I do the 2year program or the FCI 6-9 month thing. what are the advantages/disadvanteges to each. Is getting the FCI "degree" like getting my G.E.D.? i.e.: is it below the industry standard? I don't want to go to anything longer than 2 years... I've been searching the net for weeks and can't seem to get anywhere. I could really use the advice of some professionals and while we are at it, what would you say is the best school in the east? (chicago included)

thanks a bunch
Joined May 26, 2001
Where to start? Right here, at ChefTalk! ;)

The "best" school is the one where YOU learn the most, and get the most help for starting out -- and staying -- in this crazy business. What matters most is YOU: what you want to get out of school, and what effort you put into it.

If you read through the threads on this "Culinary Students" board, you'll find lots of help and answers to many of your questions. Other prospective students have had similar questions, and those of us who have been through school have shared our experiences.

Welcome! Stick around, the fun is only just starting for you.
Joined Sep 21, 2005
There is a very useful article that covers how to choose a cooking school. It has tips and even information on the accreditation of cooking schools. On the same page is also a large list of reputable cooking schools. You can view the article and other information by clicking here:

I hope this helps.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
That's an OK guide until it gets down to the types of certifications you can get while in school. Forget all of that.

FCI is not below industry standard. They're at least on par of better than most. They don't grant that degree because you don't do the General Education requirements like English, History, and Physics for Poets.
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