Culinary Programs

Discussion in 'Choosing A Culinary School' started by Lucas, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Lucas

    Lucas

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    I'm most likely going to a culinary school instead of a community college program. Would it be better to go for a two year program, a four year program, or does it even matter on the length of the program.
     
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    What is your 5 year career goal? What is your long term career goal? What are your motives and expectations in attending culinary school?
     
  3. jimyra

    jimyra

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    Why a culinary school? What about a college or university with a culinary program?
     
  4. Lucas

    Lucas

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    My goal is the be a professional chef and it was a thought that I had that I'd have to attend a culinary school. I have no expectations about program but I will check out other colleges with culinary programs. But that is all I'm trying to figure out, what is the best path to take in regards for a culinary school. Would appreciate any information on programs personally taken.
     
  5. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    As a graduate of Johnson and Wales, I'd recommend them. But they are way more expensive than when I went so I can't say that's your best choice. There are many more options available now.
    But like other things in life, do your research into each school. How long have they been around? What curriculum do they have? What is the class size? Where are they and how much would your life have to change to go there?
    If you haven't done so already, get a job in a good local restaurant, hotel, country club. Get some perspective on what being a chef is like.
    You can learn to cook well without being a professional and you can be an Executive Chef who isn't expected to cook much. (Many executive level chef's handle things like scheduling, ordering food and other paper work.)
    Anyway, plenty of research before you decide.
     
  6. Wheat and Fire

    Wheat and Fire

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    I hate to say this but most people should not go to culinary school ... we get so many interns ... oh my ... (remember I said most). I would say with the internet and the rise of artisan food just find what food really stirs your soul and cook the heck out of that, experiment, fail throw away and eat till 2am. Then when you have dishes your friends are all like whollllly heck then take on of those dishes to the restaurant you want to work at it is ok if they start you in the dish room in 6 months in the dish pit you will learn 90% of what you would have learned in culinary school and the other 10% you can google ... I do not know a single culinary school with a highly successful chef teaching ... just sayin
     
  7. Wheat and Fire

    Wheat and Fire

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    The last place you should go is culinary school if you have no idea what you want to cook they teach technique not passion
     
  8. chefross

    chefross

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    Hello Lucas and welcome to ChefTalk.
    The decision whether to go to culinary trade school or not is something that only YOU can answer.

    That being said....I am a retired Chef with 47 years of cooking experience. I went to school for 7 long years and you know what?
    When I'm in the kitchen, I can tell in an instant what cook went to school and who did not. You see Lucas although others will tell you that they learned while on the job, I will tell you that most of them (not all) do not have the fine tuning of knowledge that school gives.
    Sure you'll go to school then start out in the dish room, but how far you progress from there is totally up to you.
    Also too, culinary school only briefly touch subjects and projects are forgotten within a week after learning them as the project is not re-enforced. That's where the student comes in.
    While attending school, I also worked in the industry at the same time gathering up even more knowledge.

    A 2 year program will offer less of a glimpse into our industry than a 4 year. I can not stress enough how important it is to pay attention and devour all that you are learning.
     
  9. mgm0

    mgm0

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    If possible and you can afford it you should go all the way with school. Start with a 2 year and move up if you find that you like it. Supplement that with as much part-time as you can (cooking instructors will always be able to hook you up if you approach them).
    That being said, this would only apply if you are in a situation where doing this won't leave you out in the street as soon as you finish school. Balancing crippling student loans with the pay of a starting cook is almost impossible at best. Depending on your financial(or your family) situation you should be able to make a sensible choice.
    Learning is always good, only if you can afford it though.