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Culinary School in Montreal / Quebec


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#31 Culatello

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 11:22 AM

ITHQ is hands down the best school in the province,they have great contacts in France & Italy ,if your planning a stage in Europe and they just renovated there Kitchens and more. : :biggrin:
Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia
My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994
I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

#32 cook-em-all

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 02:00 PM

I was fourtunate to have teachers who were in there sixties(lots of experience), unfortunately it seems now there are a lot of teachers at ITHQ because they could'nt cut it as cooks and want a Monday to Friday 9-5 job.

Long live Francois Picard even if he called me Roast Beef.

#33 jokhm

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 07:26 PM

I'm also a recent graduate from St. Pius as of February this past year. Definitely some amazing times mixed with a few major criticisms. All in all I'm quite happy I did it. Considering the short length of the program, if you are deeply interested in professional cooking, starting with this and moving onto a more advanced program later on is a great idea. The way the program here is oriented is much more towards giving you a large kitchen workplace experience. It excels at that. What it falls flat with is structure, organization and facilities. Besides that, the teachers (a majority) are absolutely fantastic. Some may not seem like teachers, but they just require students that can learn to take knowledge from bits and pieces. Everyone there can teach you quite a bit, some are just far better at it in a traditional teaching sense. So, I suppose my 10 months had a good deal of intense learning and fun mixed with a few periods of frustration with the non-linear and completely unstructured way that the program sometimes progresses. Take a tour, meet some of the teachers and then see what you think. For the time and price, I say it is worth it.

Joel

#34 Rex

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 07:31 PM

Come on Jason your french is excellent. Your italian I'm not sure...
Alexandre G.

#35 riboflavinjoe

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 08:40 PM

well, cookemall, i have to put in a plug for m. francois riopel, my chef for my first two semesters. sure he is young (approx 40) but he was a solid guy to learn from, he had some good ideas for transmitting the knowledge he had, and he also made the silly things like chaud froid as interesting as he could. he let us go crazy on our buffet module, and constantly refered to how such and such a recipe or mise en place could be handled in the work environment.
"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

#36 ExCentriX

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 07:50 AM

From what I read in the Riverside website, seems as though their new location just opened up this year. Were they situated somewhere else before? Maybe it's just their head office that they moved.

Even though I would understand the basic conversations in french, I will most definately have difficulty in the more advanced terms. I would not want to be confused while the teacher is explaining an important aspect in making the perfect sauce. As good as ITHQ may be, won't you find that if I will be spending half the time trying to figure out what the teacher is saying, I will be not even be able to take the full advantage of this better program?

In any case, I will be going to the schools to visit and see the place in person.

Thanks again for all the info and support. I greatly appreciate it.

Zach: I will take up on your offer, and come have a drink with you soon! :hmmm:

Rex: Thanks for the encouragement in my French. I agree with you that my Italian isn't so great, even if I am Chinese! :raz:

#37 pss999

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 09:29 AM

How about the US schools? I know they're deadly expensive, but anyone know how the ITHQ compares to, say, the CIA in NY or the NECI (New England Culinary Institute)? Or even J&W (Johnson & Wales)? Anyone here been to a school in the US?

I'm more into bread baking personally... took some baking and pastry courses at the ITHQ (the evening/weekend courses for the public), but have recently been going to the King Arthur Flour school in Vermont for all my courses instead.

Thanks -- great thread!

#38 dearprudence

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Posted 26 August 2003 - 08:34 PM

lol- why the lack of love for chef green? :shock:

#39 youngbro

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 12:25 AM

I guess there aren`t that many of us Riversiders out there. I had a great experience learning to cook there. Great teachers who take you along at good pace. They had good experince. It was a great learning evironment. They have top of the line equipment, they just renovated to add a classroom and tons of fridge space for a butcher course. They also offer a contemporary cooking course for people with professional cooking diplomas. But if you are living in Montreal and àre not quite fluent in french...yes you will learn french cooking terms at Riverside but you will feel more at ease and confident in your first kitchen experience if you don`t have to say ppppardon all day long and pretend you know what`s going on. For you I would suggest I.T.H.Q. I wish I knew when I was a 17 year old punk inlisting at riverside I loved to cook,that`s what I would have done. Anyway take the time to visit and get info on all your options. good luck.......Tony....

#40 elfin

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 06:25 PM

What is the buzz abouit the Hotel d'Institut-a hotel management and cooking school located on Rue St. Denis. We stay there and enjoy the free breakfast prepared by students. I think that it is sponsored by the government. We never stayed for any other meal. The tour of the kitchen was interesting and the students friendly. An economical place to stay.
What disease did cured ham actually have?
Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

#41 riboflavinjoe

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Posted 05 September 2003 - 08:55 PM

elfin, sounds like you're speaking of ITHQ, l'institut de tourisme et d'hotellerie du quebec. it has already been referred to in this thread.
"Bells will ring, ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting.... the bell... bing... 'moray" -John Daker

#42 chefantoine

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 08:09 AM

:shock:
Well to read about St. Pius X Culinary Institute (my work place) on the net is quite a surprise. A big hello for all the former students and teachers who have responded to this inquiry.
If I may let me clarify a few topics that were discussed.
1- We are a public school and a public school is open to all. We cannot or should I say not allowed to have a selection process. (I know most schools do but that is not my philosophy)
2. The ITHQ wth all it's great facilities is supported by the Bureau of Tourism and not the education department. The guidelines that they follow from the government courses must however be respected.
3. It is hard to soar like an eagle when.... The truth is the ITHQ does produce excellent students but when you select your students you usually will pick the best of the bunch and not a potential failure. With this said where have the ITHQ students been when the school wide competitions happen. And why is it that the only competition they win are the ones we (Pius) find out about after it is a fait accomplit
4. Dollar per dollar the regular schools produce more students on the job market than the ITHQ. (You know renovating buildings full of asbestos is expensive).
5. The mandate from the government is to train people so they can go on the job market as soon as possible. I challenge anyone to show me who as done the better job. The regular schools or ITHQ.
6.As for facilities well yes we are an english school with the occasional narrow minded uninformed idiot running the place down but we have survived and our equipment is up to par now. Yes there still a lot of work to do but we are dealling with gov. funds and the last 3years have been very positive
7. The reason we are successful (read some restaurant revues lately?) is because of the dedication of the teachers. A new stock pot or sauteuse will not make a cook but the dedication of one human being sharing his or her knowledge with another may lead to a lifelong carreer and for many a chance of finally having someone actually care about them as a person. Give us your poor your...... and we will give them a fighting chance to earn a living.
8.Yes we have our problems but who does not. Is it the aging teachers at certain prestigious institions hold th torch long enough to permit other younger ones to come in or is that too late because many of them got fed up 10 years ago and went to bigger and better things. Time will tell.
9.And finally speaking of arrogance it never fails to surprise that a certain school always seems to think they fly above the rest. After attending many meetings for the new program in cooking I was glad to hear that the CSDM (my old school board) will forge ahead with their new facilities in Old Montreal. They had offered a partnership with another school in the downtown area but was turned down twice.
Arrogance has it's price.
Chow ya'll

#43 fireweed

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:53 AM

Welcome to egullet, Chef Antoine! I think you'll enjoy your stay.
You made some good points in your post; however, I did have to smile a bit to my self when I read in the Gazette last week about Pius's stash of cash ($2000 was it?) that was discovered months after a Valetines day dinner that had produced the revenue...Definately some stuff falling through the cracks here. It's good to have great teachers and all, but how about some equally great directors?

#44 Lesley C

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 08:00 AM

Another welcome to chef Antoine :smile: . Especially if he is who I think he is. :wink:
Fireweed, I missed the Pius report in the paper about the money. Can you supply more details. Who is taking the heat for this one? The school principal?

#45 Culatello

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 06:41 PM

Lesley of coarse it's who you think it is. :biggrin:
Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia
My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994
I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

#46 chefantoine

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:01 PM

Yes it is I, :biggrin: . The money was not missing but put in the :cool: wrong safe. The school is divided now but we still share the same building. The other news about the $20,000 was not from the culinary but the adult sector. I'm not sure what happened there but the gazette reporter got it wrong.

#47 jokhm

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:28 PM

hahah.. sad.
Didn't see that happening at Pius
/sarcasm

I seemed to get the impression that this behaviour was far too easily possible with my 10 month stay at Pius. There were cracks forming in every direction. But.... the teachers (my teachers)... we're fantastic. I at least left with that. I hope they weren't affected by the cracks, but regardless, they made learning about food more exciting than you could ever imagine.


Joel

#48 chefantoine

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:57 PM

:wacko: Always cracks in the system but really this is a special situation for an educational institution.

Edited by chefantoine, 25 November 2003 - 09:42 AM.


#49 fireweed

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 09:53 AM

Lesley,
The article was on the front page of Thursday's paper, November 20th, and Allison Lampert wrote it. Didn't really say who was taking the heat, but I doubt Mr. N!

Fireweed

#50 alessa

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 07:04 AM

It is the teachers and administrative staff that are willing and actually do go the distance that make the greatest difference to all the students at Pius Culinary.

#51 cricklewood

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 11:04 PM

Hello all, I am new to the board(been reading posts for last 4 months) but figured it might be fun to relate some of my recent experiences and in the process vent a bit. I have always wanted to work in restaurants and the last 2-3 years I have been reading,studying,experimenting extensively with cooking. After many years of working crummy office jobs I finally gave in to the voices in my head and at 25 decided to go into culinary school started a program in feb2004 and am into the last leg of my program I finish in june and have a 3 week stage I need to set up. I am also in the process of looking for a job in a kitchen(can't stand working current desk job anymore) the problem is that every restaurant I apply to seem willing enough for the stage and seem somewhat interested for employement but as soon as they look at my cv and see that I don't have any kitchen experience they get all hesitant and vague about employment and say "maybe after my stage". I can understand that they might be reluctant to take on a complete newbie, but how the heck am i supposed to get any experience if I cannot get a place to take me in. It is sad because I have been working really hard in school, staying extra hours and in general get 100% on most of my exams, I also read up extensively and will even spend my spare time trying out different methods at home. The problem is that there seems to be no way I can communicate this to the people I talk to, I rarely talk to the chefs and if I do, I dunno how to express this without sounding like a fool. I know that you gotta start from the bottom and freely accept the challenge would also want in return a chef or place where I have the opportunity to learn and apply myself. Anyhow so that's the predicament anyone have any suggestions?? Otherwise I am having a great time in school it's such an odd change(i feel like I lead a double life) to be in after working in offices since I was 17 but for the first time it feels like everything is in it's right place. I also find this place amazing, I have learned about new places to visit in Montreal, techniques from chefs and amateurs alike it's really cool.

#52 Pots

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 07:07 AM

First of all congratulations on selecting this profession as a career.Very rewarding and unlike any other job you could ever experience.If your serious you will go far and enjoy the benefits.For now they are a long way in sight,but keep in mind it is a process to become a chef, or even a chef-de partie---not a position that is given.

As for chefs not willing to look at you till after your stage,this is proper as the process involves seeing what you can do and then the chef will have clear insight as to how you will do.Most chefs can figure out how good you will be,just after a few days in the kitchen,as not only skills are important-but work ethic,hygene and attitude are really important in this field.
As well if you are real serious about this career,and you want to end up in a top notch resto,then ask the chef if you can do a trial shift.This is common practice.
As well do not look at your 3 week stage as a requirement,but rather as a stepping stone and introduction to the industry.My own stage period was for 4 months and was not the end of school,but between semesters. ( 20 years later,I can still say it was the most influential experience ever)
Good luck,choose well and workhard.Perhaps you will impress a chef.

#53 cook-em-all

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 09:27 AM

Pots is 100% right. Your Stage is essentially your interview. There is a serious problem with the latest generation of culinary grads who seem to look at there stage as a bother. If you want a job in a pro kitchen, choose your stage wisely. If you get the stage you were looking for- make it count. Work as many hours as you can, bring enthusiasm, good attitude and work ethic and it will usaully translate into a job oppurtunity. Good luck.

#54 gus_tatory

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 10:28 AM

hi cricklewood and welcome to eGullet!

i am an adult (mid 30s) who is entertaining the idea of going back to school (i'm an administrative professional now)--to the ITHQ.

if you feel like it, can you talk a bit about a typical day, the curriculum, etc?

good luck.
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."
--Isak Dinesen

#55 chefworks91

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 02:19 PM

Well, just read the thread and it brings back memories.
This sounds all too familiar, I was also one of those people working in an office job 9 to 5 and was getting nothing out of it when I decided to go to culinary school. Only difference was I was 32 years old, you are still a pup!
Anyhow, what I want to tell you is to go to your stage with a positive mind set, be willing to take the good with the bad. Trust me I 've worked with many people with no experience and if you have a will to work hard, learn, and have a good attitude your chef will see this. Sometimes people who are willing to learn and do not come out of school thinking they know it all are easier to work with.
So, stay positive and keep us posted as to where you will be going to on your 3 weeks of fun,fun,fun!!
What school are you going to?

#56 cricklewood

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 09:17 PM

Wow I did not expect so many responses, thank you all for your kind words. I did not mean to come off as brash in my post, I was tired and a bit frustrated, I do not view my stage as a obligation or bother quite the contrary I look forward to it and am really excited, also a bit scared. I know that a long road lies ahead and it won't always be easy, I am not in a hurry to get a high positions quickly, but I do want to leave my crummy office job asap, working in that kind of environment is becoming hazardous to my sanity. So I am on a double quest stage and work, but seems I can't get anyone interested in hiring me for work, I am willing to do some trial shifts but have not yet been able to speak to a chef concerning this, just gotta keep trying. Cook em all(thanks for the heads up) I have applied at your establishment last week but came at a time where no one was available, a girl politely took my cv and suggest I come back another day have not had a chance due to loads of work to hand in this week. Thanks again for your responses, i was just bit down since I genuily feel that i have something to offer to someone willing to take me in but that I could not express this to anyone. Gus_tatory I will do write up for you on another post.

#57 chefworks91

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 11:39 AM

What school are you attending, and where are you planning to do your stage?

#58 cricklewood

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Posted 12 February 2005 - 06:36 PM

What school are you attending, and where are you planning to do your stage?

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I attend cfp Jacques-Rousseau in longueil, I live on the south shore so it was easier for me to start off my day there and go into town afterwards to go to work. My program started in feb2004. The school is well equipped, properly staffed Classes are mon-fri from 8am to 2:30pm. We spend most of that time in the kitchens although there is a fair bit of theory involved as well. The school has a restaurant so we get to practice our menu simple, table d'hôte and à la carte menus in the production kitchen for actual customers. Gus feel free to ask any questions of message me if you`d like. Chefworks I am not set on one particular establishment to do my stage in, I would like to do it in a resto that isn't too large so I can maybe get some interaction with the chef. So far I have made requests at Garçon, Cocagne,l'express, café mélies, le2, Le castillon, an a few others, waiting for some replies.

#59 atomic

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Posted 19 February 2005 - 11:58 PM

although i'm sure your teachers have warned you on the reality of being a cook, i feel it's my duty to let you know that you're about to go through a radical change in lifestyles.
because people sometimes forget to mention that cooking in a pro kitchen has nothing to do with what charley trotter does on t.v. (there is no silence and there are no soothing lights :biggrin:
if you can handle stress, pressure, heat, noise, perhaps sometimes organized chaos (depending on where you work) none the less a rush is a rush no matter where you work, the stakes are always the same: great food all the time nomatter if you're doing 30 or 300 covers.
if you can handle it (not everybody can), it will be the best change of your life.
because it is fun, you do learn alot and you will meet interesting people that i can guaranty, ask anybody.
my advice to you : dont take it to seriously, dont forget to have fun (because cooking is fun) and you never where it's going to take you

good luck!

#60 cricklewood

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Posted 20 February 2005 - 06:48 PM

Atomic thanks for the heads up, I am quite nervous about the change it's gonna be radical in everyway, I currently work an office job I have been there for 5+years and make quite a bit more than the average salary. I know I'm headed for a rough end of year lotsa hours stress and little pay but I feel it's all for the better. I know I can handle the stress I just gotta learn to relax your advice was given to me by my teach, he said I work really well but I get too nervous, he says just have fun and relax(he jokingly suggested I have 1or 2 beers before my first shift in a kitchen to loosen up :laugh: ). On the other hand I have some cool stuff to look forward to. We are doing a friends and family dinner in may, basically I invite 4-6 diners and cook a 4(i'm gonna sneak in more)course menu(of my devising) for my table. I see it as my last time to show off( creation wise) before I finish school, i will post my menu up if anyone is interested in checking it out or helping out.