Community college culinary program

Discussion in 'Choosing A Culinary School' started by christinalapane, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. christinalapane

    christinalapane

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    Hey guys,


    I am 22. I have worked a lot of quick service restaurants since I was 16 and have been a manager at 3 places. I'm looking into expanding my knowledge in the culinary field and I found a culinary program at my local community college. It's obviously cheaper than the art institute or going out of state to the CIA or Johnson and Wales. I was wondering if with a mixture of my experience and a culinary degree at a community college, if that would hold up when applying to restaurants? Eventually I would like to further into my career and take on more challenges as a chef and student, but starting out is it a good plan?

    Thanks ahead of time for any insight.

    Christina
     
  2. brandon odell

    brandon odell

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    Depends on the community college, but as a general rule, you can go as far with a community college degree than a big school degree. For that matter, a community college in my area has been pumping out incredible chefs who have run circles around the CIA, J&W and Le Cordon Bleu chefs I've worked with. They have a longer apprenticeship requirement and their chefs are better prepared to actually manage kitchens than the big school chefs I've worked with. BUT, that is one school which is exceptional, not the rule.
     
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  3. chefmtyler

    chefmtyler

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    from my experience, comm college is a great choice. ive seen many people come out of the ones here and they are good workers. as far as CIA and J&W they are more of a networking thing where big brother looks out for little brother. not that theyre necessarily more qualified, or at least any more. they used to put out an above standard student and chef but comm colleges are catching up extremely quickly.
     
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  4. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    I have an associates degree(later a bachelors) from a community college and it worked for me. Only difference 99% of my instructors were European trained. I went in the late 50s and early 60s.. I picked up a lot. The key was I was already employed by hotels and caterers so I had an edge. I believe you are doing the right thing and good luck to you in your quest.
     
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  5. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    @Christinalapane  You made the right move without a doubt. Culinary school at the big name schools can be quite expensive and unless you are 100% sure you want to spend the rest of your life in the kitchen it is not worth the money it costs. The primary reason anyone goes to culinary school is to get a good foundation in the basics but you never graduate a chef that is something you learn over time. We have actually had some other students in the same situation wondering if community college was the way to go and you can read a review here. 

    What culinary school are you attending?
     
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  6. christinalapane

    christinalapane

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    Thanks guys, that gave me what I needed. I just didn't want to waste my money, ya know? @Nicko I'm going to be applying to J Sargeant Reynolds down in Richmond, VA hopefully by this fall.

    Again, thank you everyone for what your help.

    Christina