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Old 03-02-2006, 04:10 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

Hi group-

Due to some recent major changes in my life, I'm debating a complete 180
degree change in my career, and I'm seriously contemplating a degree in the
culinary arts. I'm 35 yrs old and recently divorced, and sick and tired of
drawing house plans.

I currently live near and work in Gainesville, FL. and because I want to
stay close to my 7 year old daughter, I'd like the school I go to be located
in Florida also. Unfortunately, neither the University of Florida or Santa
Fe Community College offer any sort of culinary programs whatsoever.
Therefore, my choices have been narrowed down to these two possibilities
that I'd like opinions on. Please keep in mind that cost of the school is
not really important, as my Dad has always promised me that he'd put me
through school, anytime, anywhere.

1. Orlando Culinary Academy / Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, I like this
place because they offer a Bachelor's degree in culinary arts.
2. The Art Institute of Tampa - Florida / Associate's (only) in Culinary
Arts. These folks have been aggressively pursuing me since I filled out a
little form on their website, which kind of puts me off.

So, does anyone here have firsthand experience with either one of these
schools? I've worked (non fast food) restaurants before in several
capacities, but never at the level that I'd be at after attending one of
these programs, so I have a very basic idea of what I'm getting myself into
crazy hours, tons of stress, no life, etc... and I'm willing to accept
that, as my life right now is not at all what I thought it'd be at this
stage of my travels.

Thanks y'all !


--
TigBits
(o)Y(o)






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Old 03-02-2006, 04:45 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

TigBits wrote:

Hi group-

Due to some recent major changes in my life, I'm debating a complete 180
degree change in my career, and I'm seriously contemplating a degree in the
culinary arts. I'm 35 yrs old and recently divorced, and sick and tired of
drawing house plans.

I currently live near and work in Gainesville, FL. and because I want to
stay close to my 7 year old daughter, I'd like the school I go to be located
in Florida also. Unfortunately, neither the University of Florida or Santa
Fe Community College offer any sort of culinary programs whatsoever.
Therefore, my choices have been narrowed down to these two possibilities
that I'd like opinions on. Please keep in mind that cost of the school is
not really important, as my Dad has always promised me that he'd put me
through school, anytime, anywhere.

1. Orlando Culinary Academy / Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, I like this
place because they offer a Bachelor's degree in culinary arts.
2. The Art Institute of Tampa - Florida / Associate's (only) in Culinary
Arts. These folks have been aggressively pursuing me since I filled out a
little form on their website, which kind of puts me off.

So, does anyone here have firsthand experience with either one of these
schools? I've worked (non fast food) restaurants before in several
capacities, but never at the level that I'd be at after attending one of
these programs, so I have a very basic idea of what I'm getting myself into
crazy hours, tons of stress, no life, etc... and I'm willing to accept
that, as my life right now is not at all what I thought it'd be at this
stage of my travels.

Thanks y'all !

--
TigBits
(o)Y(o)


Before you jump why not investigate the profession. The job can be a LOT of
hours.

Lou


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Old 03-02-2006, 06:09 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions



Thanks y'all !

--
TigBits
(o)Y(o)


Before you jump why not investigate the profession. The job can be a LOT

of
hours.

Lou


Hi-

I have looked into this pretty deeply. I already work 60-75 hours a week now
split between my regular day drafting job, and my moonlighting at home
drawing yet more houses. I've been keeping these hours for the better part
of 10 years now, and it's just getting old. I love food, love preparing
menus, get along well with people, I have a good sense of what a large
kitchen needs to run on a daily basis, and I can work long hours, after all,
I'm still pretty young!

I would welcome input from others who've made the leap from a profession
that they've become burnt out of to one in the culinary field. I'm not
looking to own my own restaurant, or even run a professional kitchen right
out of school. My short term goal after graduating would be to apply my
newly honed skills inan apprentice capacity, or hell -even a busboy in an
upper class resort setting in Southwest Florida, and see where that leads
me.

I am realistic about this change. I know I won't be the next Emeril (thank
God), or even that bad ass mofo Rick Bayless :-), as soon as I get a
diploma. I realize long hours and extreme dedication and hard work are
required to even succeed at a level that will keep me above the poverty
line. I don't want to be the next Food Network star - I just want to make
people happy with my food, run a tight kitchen and hopefully have a little
bit of fun while doing it.


--
TigBits
(o)Y(o)


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Old 03-02-2006, 06:45 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

TigBits wrote:


Thanks y'all !

--
TigBits
(o)Y(o)


Before you jump why not investigate the profession. The job can be a LOT

of
hours.

Lou


Hi-

I have looked into this pretty deeply. I already work 60-75 hours a week now
split between my regular day drafting job, and my moonlighting at home
drawing yet more houses. I've been keeping these hours for the better part
of 10 years now, and it's just getting old. I love food, love preparing
menus, get along well with people, I have a good sense of what a large
kitchen needs to run on a daily basis, and I can work long hours, after all,
I'm still pretty young!

I would welcome input from others who've made the leap from a profession
that they've become burnt out of to one in the culinary field. I'm not
looking to own my own restaurant, or even run a professional kitchen right
out of school. My short term goal after graduating would be to apply my
newly honed skills inan apprentice capacity, or hell -even a busboy in an
upper class resort setting in Southwest Florida, and see where that leads
me.

I am realistic about this change. I know I won't be the next Emeril (thank
God), or even that bad ass mofo Rick Bayless :-), as soon as I get a
diploma. I realize long hours and extreme dedication and hard work are
required to even succeed at a level that will keep me above the poverty
line. I don't want to be the next Food Network star - I just want to make
people happy with my food, run a tight kitchen and hopefully have a little
bit of fun while doing it.

--
TigBits
(o)Y(o)


SAVE those thoughts, put them in either a letter or a resume. Very nicely
written.

Lou


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Old 03-02-2006, 06:57 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

On 2006-02-03, TigBits wrote:

people happy with my food, run a tight kitchen and hopefully have a little
bit of fun while doing it.


You should do a Google groups archives search. This subject has been
flogged to death over the years by this and other food groups. The
consensus is, if you've got money to burn, go for it. Go to a
prestigious cooking school. But, it will get you only a slight edge
on all the other hard core chef wannabes that can't afford to go or
went to other less high profile schools like college and community
college programs. What's the count now? Over one thousand cooking
schools in the US, alone. Your starting wage in the real world will
still be at the burger flipper/fry cook level and you'll still have to
put in several years apprenticing to tempermental chefs to get real
world experience and build a resume. You have to remember you are
competing with people who want to be chefs so badly, the will
apprentice for free.

You say you have restaurant experience already. YOu may want to
consider cutting to the chase and using it to find a beginning
position under an established chef and starting there. Save you a lot
of time and money.

nb


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Old 03-02-2006, 06:58 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

TigBits wrote:
1. Orlando Culinary Academy / Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, I like this
place because they offer a Bachelor's degree in culinary arts.
2. The Art Institute of Tampa - Florida / Associate's (only) in Culinary
Arts. These folks have been aggressively pursuing me since I filled out a
little form on their website, which kind of puts me off.

TigBits
(o)Y(o)


First thing you need to do is get rid of that stupid screen-name if
you expect serious replies.

I attended that Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale back in the late-80's
and got my associates in Visual Communications/Graphic Arts... I wasn't
overly impressed with their program once I completed it but the Art
Institute of Tampa may be different.
I think this is something you're going to have to figure out on your
own as each school i'm sure approaches their cooking programs
differently- you need to go with the one that best suites your plans...
talk to a school rep. and share your goals- see what each school has to
say, then go from their. Kev

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Old 03-02-2006, 07:07 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
jay jay is offline
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Default Culinary school opinions

On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 16:10:27 +0000, TigBits wrote:


1. Orlando Culinary Academy / Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts


I have heard that an Ivy League education is cheaper..and that they
saddle a lot of want to be chefs with some serious loans that are hard to
pay off.. and the available jobs for new grads are not that good. Check
the completion stats.. large drop out rate.

Try working in a restaurant first. I totally believe in following you
dreams..some dreams turn into nightmares. Go slow and don't quit your day
job.

As others have said..it is a tough business. I don't think the grass is
greener there. Sorry for the sermon..3 kids 2 in college..sermons
just flow...(: Good luck!








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Old 03-02-2006, 07:10 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

notbob wrote:
On 2006-02-03, TigBits wrote:

people happy with my food, run a tight kitchen and hopefully have a
little bit of fun while doing it.


You should do a Google groups archives search. This subject has been
flogged to death over the years by this and other food groups. The
consensus is, if you've got money to burn, go for it. Go to a
prestigious cooking school. But, it will get you only a slight edge
on all the other hard core chef wannabes that can't afford to go or
went to other less high profile schools like college and community
college programs. What's the count now? Over one thousand cooking
schools in the US, alone. Your starting wage in the real world will
still be at the burger flipper/fry cook level and you'll still have to
put in several years apprenticing to tempermental chefs to get real
world experience and build a resume. You have to remember you are
competing with people who want to be chefs so badly, the will
apprentice for free.

You say you have restaurant experience already. YOu may want to
consider cutting to the chase and using it to find a beginning
position under an established chef and starting there. Save you a lot
of time and money.

nb


No joke, nb! Nothing says experience like experience. No way would I think
I could walk in with a degree and command a great salary and work less than
75 hours a week.

I can't tell if the OP means he/she is willing to work that many hours *or*
if he/she is ready to stop working those types of hours. News which is not
news - professional chefs work incredible hours and until/if you run your
own restaurant you aren't free to just come and go. You're there overseeing
everything from morning to night.

Purely IMHO, age 35 is a bit late to be getting into the professional
cooking game. The OP mentioned Emeril and Rick Bayless; they didn't just
spring from the foam and come out cooking. Whatever your opinon of these
folks and those who went before them, they put in a lot of hours in the
school of hard knocks before anyone ever heard of them.

Jill


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Old 03-02-2006, 07:26 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

In article , wrote:

TigBits wrote:


Due to some recent major changes in my life, I'm debating a complete 180
degree change in my career, and I'm seriously contemplating a degree in the
culinary arts. I'm 35 yrs old and recently divorced, and sick and tired of
drawing house plans.

I currently live near and work in Gainesville, FL. and because I want to
stay close to my 7 year old daughter, I'd like the school I go to be located
in Florida also. Unfortunately, neither the University of Florida or Santa
Fe Community College offer any sort of culinary programs whatsoever.
Therefore, my choices have been narrowed down to these two possibilities
that I'd like opinions on. Please keep in mind that cost of the school is
not really important, as my Dad has always promised me that he'd put me
through school, anytime, anywhere.

1. Orlando Culinary Academy / Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, I like this
place because they offer a Bachelor's degree in culinary arts.
2. The Art Institute of Tampa - Florida / Associate's (only) in Culinary
Arts. These folks have been aggressively pursuing me since I filled out a
little form on their website, which kind of puts me off.

So, does anyone here have firsthand experience with either one of these
schools? I've worked (non fast food) restaurants before in several
capacities, but never at the level that I'd be at after attending one of
these programs, so I have a very basic idea of what I'm getting myself into
crazy hours, tons of stress, no life, etc... and I'm willing to accept
that, as my life right now is not at all what I thought it'd be at this
stage of my travels.


Before you jump why not investigate the profession. The job can be a LOT of
hours.


Sounds like he's already factored that in. He's also factored in the
outrageous cost (not that I know what those two places charge), and it
doesn't matter since he isn't paying for it.

What concerns me is his statement about "level that I'd be at after
attending one of these programs". My understanding is that right after
you get out, this diploma is worthless as far as money and
responsibility. My understanding and experience is very limited, and
doesn't apply to your coast. Still, you ought to check this out. The
people who run kitchens don't like culinary academy graduates. They
will attempt to give you the same level of responsibility and money as
the kid who just fell out of high school with no idea what to do, except
earn enough to buy food and pay the rent.

I've tried to argue with my daughter about this. Her roommate is a
student at CCA (California Culinary Academy). It's US$20000 (yup, four
zeroes) for nine months. But her friend knows what she's doing. OK.
Not my job, and certainly not my daughter's job. The sad thing is that
there is an excellent culinary academy right here at the junior college,
which I assume is really cheap.

--
Dan Abel

Petaluma, California, USA
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Old 03-02-2006, 07:45 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

On 2006-02-03, jmcquown wrote:

Purely IMHO, age 35 is a bit late to be getting into the professional
cooking game. The OP mentioned Emeril and Rick Bayless; they didn't just
spring from the foam and come out cooking. Whatever your opinon of these
folks and those who went before them, they put in a lot of hours in the
school of hard knocks before anyone ever heard of them.


I don't think starting late is a problem. Better late than never. But
yes, even the biggies paid their dues. Emeril was no overnight
wonder, having worked as a kid in the industry, completing a
university culinary program, and paying his dues in France before even
trying to get a good position in his home country. There are
exceptions, to be sure, but not many. Jumping right into the trenches
would also be a good way to discover if it's really what one wants. I
attended a small cooking school and discovered it was not, but then
I'm weird.

nb


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Old 03-02-2006, 08:34 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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(TigBits)WROTE:
Hi group-
Due to some recent major changes in my life, I'm debating a complete 180
degree change in my career, and I'm seriously contemplating a degree in
the culinary arts. I'm 35 yrs old and recently divorced, and sick and
tired of drawing house plans.
I currently live near and work in Gainesville, FL. and because I want to
stay close to my 7 year old daughter, I'd like the school I go to be
located in Florida also. Unfortunately, neither the University of
Florida or Santa Fe Community College offer any sort of culinary
programs whatsoever. Therefore, my choices have been narrowed down to
these two possibilities that I'd like opinions on. Please keep in mind
that cost of the school is not really important, as my Dad has always
promised me that he'd put me through school, anytime, anywhere.
1. Orlando Culinary Academy / Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts, I like this
place because they offer a Bachelor's degree in culinary arts.
2. The Art Institute of Tampa - Florida / Associate's (only) in Culinary
Arts. These folks have been aggressively pursuing me since I filled out
a little form on their website, which kind of puts me off.
So, does anyone here have firsthand experience with either one of these
schools? I've worked (non fast food) restaurants before in several
capacities, but never at the level that I'd be at after attending one of
these programs, so I have a very basic idea of what I'm getting myself
into crazy hours, tons of stress, no life, etc... and I'm willing to
accept that, as my life right now is not at all what I thought it'd be
at this stage of my travels.
Thanks y'all !-----------------------------------------------------
RESPONSE: Your post bought back memories of a few year ago when working
with dog groomers @ a dog day care center.

Woman came in and took position as a general helper in the day care side
after she had quit her job at the main corporate headquarters for K-Mart
in Troy Michigan.
She left behind a $70,000 plus numerous benefits job because of high
level stress & burn out.

Owners of day care did verify her stats and hired her for minimum wage,
no health insurance, for walking dogs outside with pooches not breaking
away from leashes and getting hit by cars plus picking up dog poo &
making sure dogs didn't kill one another during their play time inside.

This woman claimed she always wanted to work with animals and the day
care was near her home.
I personally thought this girl was krazy as hell dumping a job with
excellent pay & benefits in this day of age to work in a zoo.

Really don't know if she's still employed at the day care as I started
to feel like bolting into traffic myself place was driving me stir
krazy.

35 years old and willing to work as a bus boy I hope you don't end up
regretting this as I have had my share of that job title years ago when
a lot younger than you, it was back breaking unthankful job.

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Old 04-02-2006, 12:11 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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TigBits wrote:
My short term goal after graduating would be to apply my
newly honed skills inan apprentice capacity, or hell -even a busboy in an
upper class resort setting in Southwest Florida, and see where that leads
me.



You don't need culinary school to get a job as a busboy. I know you've
said that you've researched this, and I believe you, but there's still
nothing like getting into a professional kitchen and getting your
proverbial feet wet. Part of your research should be working 6 months
in the front of the house as a waiter. Even with little or no
experience you should be able to get a job somewhere waiting tables.
The next part of your research should be working 6 months or more in the
back of the house. This will be harder to get without experience, but
you ought to be able to find something washing dishes or, better yet for
your purposes, prepping. Bakeries sometimes take on apprentices, and
that's good food experience too.


For me, the biggest surprise about the food industry was the people I
was working with. I had the worst time fitting in and working as a team
with people I didn't get along with or feel like friends with.


I don't know anything about the schools you mentioned but would like to
know more. I hope you'll keep the group informed on what you find out
and what you decide.


--Lia

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Old 04-02-2006, 03:47 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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TigBits wrote:
Hi group-

Due to some recent major changes in my life, I'm debating a complete 180
degree change in my career, and I'm seriously contemplating a degree in the
culinary arts. I'm 35 yrs old.


I know this is going to sound horrendously brutal but it's the truth,
you are too old... by at least 15 years, more like 20. The truth is
that at your age people go to culinary school to pick up a few pointers
to improve their homemaker cooking skills some but will never be any
good as a pro. If you've had years of professional cooking experience
previously and want the degree to add to your resume then go for it...
otherwise you'll be wasting your time and money, because I seriously
doubt you'll last a week at any job above burger flipper. To first
enter the culinary field at 35 to become a professional cook is
tantamont to taking your first ballet lesson at 35 in hopes of becoming
a prima ballerina. For either ideally one must begin at about age
five. You can be the best home cook of everyone you know but put you
in a professional kitchen you'd not know up from down. Home cooking is
as different from professional cooking as night from day... the reason
many food tv celebrity cooks appear so clumsy and inept is because they
are pandering to home cooks, when in fact they themselves stink at home
style cooking. People who cook for a living rarely cook at home, and
they laugh at all the rage in expensive designer kitchens, because
none, absolutely NONE are designed for professional cooking.

Sheldon

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Old 04-02-2006, 04:02 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions


kevnbro wrote:
TigBits wrote:
folks have been aggressively pursuing me

TigBits
(o)Y(o)


First thing you need to do is get rid of that stupid screen-name if
you expect serious replies.


Hey, don't knocker it... even if she can't cook a lick, once she gets
her TigBits in the door she's got it made. hehe

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Old 04-02-2006, 04:49 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Culinary school opinions

On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 20:02:22 -0800, Sheldon wrote:


kevnbro wrote:
TigBits wrote:
folks have been aggressively pursuing me

TigBits
(o)Y(o)


First thing you need to do is get rid of that stupid screen-name if
you expect serious replies.


Hey, don't knocker it... even if she can't cook a lick, once she gets
her TigBits in the door she's got it made. hehe


I was thinking TigBits .. formula1addict .. was a man.. my bad.



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