Does a school like this exist?

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by skiingontheroof, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. skiingontheroof

    skiingontheroof

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    10
    Hello all!

    I have been interested in culinary school for quite some time, went to visit several of them (including CIA & NECI), worked in the industry, yet despite my love of food and cooking, have a hard time seeing myself at one of these schools. My goal isn't to work on a line or necessarily become an Executive Chef or anything ... my goal is essentially to indulge my lifelong love of all things culinary by attending a school focused not on getting me out into the industry, but on the actual artistry of food. (Not that the professional places don't do this, but, I really dislike the factory-esque quality that the large schools have).

    So, I am wondering if anyone knows of any good small schools, ANYWHERE in the country (I am more than willing to relocate). Essentially, my fantasy is a small little gem of a place, very intimate, informal, but dedicated to teaching the art of food. I have no clue if anything like this exists, but, I think I would really thrive in that sort of environment. If anyone has any ideas, please do let me know! Thank you!

    Michele :)
     
  2. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,265
    Likes Received:
    843
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Skiing, I very much doubt that you will find a school with smaller classes than NECI. All of their lab classes (cooking classes) have a 7:1 student teacher ratio. As for schools more geared towards people wanting to indulge the passion for food as opposed to readying people for a career, I doubt you will find much, as culinary schools tend to be expensive and not many people are willing to pay $30,000 for a degree they never use. There are a few smaller schools, like NECI, that I know of. There is Krump's in NYC, which changed it's name, I just can't remember to what right now. CIA Greystone, in CA, but I am not sure if they offer full programs or are more of a continuing education school.

    The other option is to take some culinary vacations. These are becoming more and more popular, with week long classes in places such as Italy, France, Mexico, etc. These classes usually combine, cooking, site-seeing, going to markets, and visiting small producers. They are not cheap, but from what I hear very fun and educational.
     
  3. ironchefatl

    ironchefatl

    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Other
    My understaning of you post is that you want to have a food career other than kitchen work. Assuming I am correct, I would suggest trying to find a local person ,say a food stylist, and ask them about there path to reach that position. Try to search the internet, and maybe you will find a person's webpage, with an E-mail. Also the culinary school guides, and the link from the cheftalk homepage might be useful for you to locate smaller schools. Possisbly even an Art Institute school. Normally not recommended, but you could possible take other courses that apply to your interests. Asking school reps. could be tricky cause they will say "yeah come here we have alot of people interested in that part of the of industry going to school here." Good luck :cool:
     
  4. chefclaycollins

    chefclaycollins

    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I too, feel the same way as you. I am currently looking in to getting funding to do something a little out of the ordinary. I am going to seek out the best teachers in the world and go to them.

    What I've found so far is:

    Guiliano Bugiali's class in Florence (What more do I need to say about him?)

    Peggy Markel's Culinary Adventures, is doing trips to Morocco, Thailand and India that I am very interested in.

    Santa Fe School of Cooking

    New Orleans School of Cooking

    Epiculinary's tour to Oaxaca, Mexico

    French classes are everywhere

    And that's as far as I've gotten. Actually, I already went to the Santa Fe school of Cooking and give it 2 thumbs up. I figure why not try and learn to cook from the people that really know how to cook.
     
  5. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,265
    Likes Received:
    843
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    All the prgrams that the previous poster mentioned are great programs but they are not "culinary schools" from the standpoint that they are not accredited and do not hand out degrees. These programs are more geared towards gourmets wanting to learn how to cook, or expand their knowledge, or for chefs wishing to take a culinary vacation to better themselves.
     
  6. kylew

    kylew

    Messages:
    1,635
    Likes Received:
    156
    Exp:
    Home Chef
    I have some insight into the workings of a culinary school admissions office. My girlfriend is an admissions counselor @The Institute of Culinary Education, fromerly known as Peter Kump's.

    Unless you want to go into business for yourself, almost all aspects of the industry, from writing to working at FoodTV will want you to have culinary training. Given the increased popularity of the culinary world and the increasing number of people out of work (myself included:) ), schools don't really have trouble filling classes.

    I have been to The New Orleans School of Cooking. Very tasty and lots of fun.
     
  7. chefclaycollins

    chefclaycollins

    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    If a degree is what your looking for maybe an over seas school is what your looking for.

    If a degree doesn't matter, I say travel and learn from the people that know what the food is really about.
     
  8. smokinman

    smokinman

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    I don't know if this will help you or not, but I was in an apparently similar situation and contacted the university where I got my undergrad degree; their Family and Consumer Sciences dept. was willing to work with me to create a Masters program in Foods. I plan to go more into the food writing/cookbook realm of culinary arts, but they were more than willing to work with me, as is the local technical shcool that offers a culinary arts program. Maybe that approach,or something similar, would work for you. Try contacting a unvisersity and see what they offer, you may be surprised. I was.
     
  9. sinatra83

    sinatra83

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Art is a way to express ones self. But at the same time art takes skills and practice. I think that it is important to learn these skills and to practice them. Getting a degree is good, hey just about any school that will offer you a good foundation in these skills will do, even a school like J&W or CIA. And on top of that it looks good on a resume to graduate from one of one of these schools, it will help you with your career. Once you learn the skills of your art form, then it’s up to you to make it yours. I play the trumpet; there are skills that everyone learns while learning to play any musical instrument. Even when learning these skills, your own individual style starts shining through. Once the skills are mastered, you then have the freedom to take your art to infinite places. Think about that. :chef:
     
  10. goddessgrl

    goddessgrl

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    wow it's 30,000 to attend NECI? Is that a year? Darn I'm paying half or a half of that the college I'm going to has the best culinary program around the area that i live in.. Hum I'm pretty lucky i guess.. I definitely look into schools more before jumping into one that cost that much, there's got to be school's out there that are a lot cheaper that have just as good as a program..