Pick a junior pick his culinary school and answer his many questions!

Discussion in 'General Culinary School Discussions' started by epicchef2be, May 24, 2012.

  1. epicchef2be

    epicchef2be

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    Hi everybody. All the articles I look up about culinary school is pretty much outdated and I've been using collegeprowler to get a view of the different schools i'm planning to apply to. My main focus right now is primarily the CIA and to be honest, no other college really catches my eye. Would it be wise to go for maybe 1-2 years and try getting a job in a restaurant?

    Bit of backstory, I know that cooking is NOT easy at all but I've loved cooking ever since I was 9! It will be tough and getting a job during this economy will be not much easier. I'm not very good at anything else so I am very dedicated to becoming the best cook and hopefully make something of myself one day.

    This is what I know of the schools I've checked out so far. CiA- most reviews are positive, main complaints are that schedules are not picked but set classes, credit transfers do not really happen, it is definitely worth it as long as you put in equal amounts of effort, and I will be closer to my sister because she goes to Columbia.

    FCI: Have not read much about it. i want to diversify and pick which type of cooking I want to specialize in later.

    Johnson and Wales: Not in NYC, I think the CIA would be a better choice, and prices are around the same.

    LCB: Seems too mainstream(?) They try to advertise their college a tad much and it does not seem as good a college as it used to be!

    Looking from what I've wrote down, I think I will apply to these schools just to fulfill my requirements but in the end pick CIA as my culinary dream school! I think I could get used to the set classes the more time I spend there.

    Random but important question: Is France still a large culinary influence? I would LOVE to go there someday and be apprenticed. 

    Ooops! Forgot one more question :( 

    Wouldn't it be extremely hard to actually be a apprentice during this day and age? Everyone should go to college, get their degree and then find a job instead of "I'll go talk to this guy and I'd become his apprentice, then I'll be successful without going to culinary school!"
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Have you ever worked in a restaurant? Do you know that cooking is a trade? Read, Read and then read some more in this section.
     
  3. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I agree with Chefbuba. Have you worked much in the field? If not then do so get a feel for the hours and the life and the pay. School is nice but it is not necessary
     
  4. duckfat

    duckfat

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    That's a very astute observation and the truthful answer is yes. It can be very hard to go that route.  Apprenticeships are becoming a thing of the past. It's far more difficult to get a job under a knowledgeable Chef that is willing to train you than is often portrayed here.

    That doesn't mean you have to go to school to be a Chef but it is the most viable route.

    You should work at least six months to a year in the field before you decide this is the career for you. IIR the CIA now requires six months of work experience as part of their admission requirement.

    The CIA would not be my suggestion for a 1 year  certificate program if they even offer that. Certificate programs are pretty much a waste of $$$ IMO. For a two year degree the CIA can make sense but that is dependent on your financial situation.

    The bottom line is that school is always a solid plan **IF** you actually spend your career in your field of study. If your looking at Universities then you should give serious consideration to the BA programs.

    Best of Luck.

    Dave
     
  5. epicchef2be

    epicchef2be

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    Well, I've worked for about a month in a high end restaurant close to the school I used to attend. The only way I was able to work was because I discovered some very nice people who would let me in, of couse I didn't get paid but I learned quite a bit.

    My situation has me in South Korea for at least a little longer until I finally move back to the states, and I can't work here since I hold US citizenship. 

    Any other advice?

    @duckfat, so in short you recommend culinary school if I am truly wanting to do it/ get a feel for the career? Yes, I wish to someday own my own restaurant and am willing to work my *** for it!
     
  6. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Absolutely!

    Dave