Seeking info on Escuela Torreblanca

Discussion in 'Choosing A Culinary School' started by gontothekitchen, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. gontothekitchen

    gontothekitchen

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    ?
    I'm looking to go to pastry school in the next year or so and am trying to balance quality education with not going into massive debt. Someone in a previous post mentioned Escuela Torreblanca in Spain, and after looking into it, it looks interesting. However, I'm having trouble finding any information from previous students or unbiased sources. It's a relatively new school (2013) though operated by a highly regarded pastry chef. There is a six month professional program, but they also have a much less expensive three month program that claims to be a more intense version of the six month program. There doesn't seem to be an internship component, though they offer lifetime access to their job listings - no idea how good it is. Does anyone have experience with this school or know anything about it (beyond what's in their promotional material)?

    For reference, I'm a 33 year old career changer with a side job in food retail, and I stage every other week with the pastry team at a highly regarded cafe. I'd like to work in high end restaurant pastry here in the US. I think I have a solid knowledge base, but have no formal training and know there are gaps.
     
  2. sgmchef

    sgmchef

    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    148
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Hi there gtk,

    I looked at the school website for a few minutes and was struck by a few things.

    You need to be able to speak fluent Spanish to get full value. The offer of complementary interpreter service presents a filter of information that is less than ideal. I love when the instructor speaks for 3 minutes and the translation takes 20 seconds! Wait a minute! What did I miss? Just information, that's all...

    There is a page worth of emphasis on non-EU Visa paperwork like "It is very important that the study visa is for studies (type D)" and "renewal 2 months before expiration", and another Visa document if you want to work while attending. Plus more rules for you to consider.

    If you go, you will learn, and probably have a wonderful life experience if you go to embrace the Spanish lifestyle! If you don't speak Spanish though...

    If you were to combine a certificate from a community college Pastry program, with your practical experience, that might do the trick for getting hired somewhere as a baker.

    Maybe a Baker will come along and give better advice!

    Good Luck!
     
  3. gontothekitchen

    gontothekitchen

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    ?
    Sorry, I should have mentioned that I am fluent in Spanish, so that won't be an issue. I am also looking at a community college program (Seattle Culinary Academy), but that program is much longer, and I haven't been super impressed with the student work I've seen posted on social media. I still have to go out and visit though to get a sense of the kinds of instructors and facilities and alums of the program. That program does have a more varied curriculum including what appear to be restaurant management type classes versus just technique, which seems to be the focus of the Torreblanca program. I don't know what would be more helpful if the goal is to work in a higher end restaurant (not necessarily fine dining, but like a one Michelin star level type of place). The other top contenders now are ICE and ICC (I'd have free housing in NYC), though they're way more expensive, and I don't know if it's worth the $$$, especially if I want to work in Seattle, not NYC.