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Pastry schools


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#1 Desiderio

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 05:54 PM

Unfortunally I didnt go through a pastry school, I worked in my parents restaurant and there I did few classes ( one with the cordon blue in Rome ) and couple more with the local italian bakers assosiation.Now I havent been in the pastry and baking field in a long time ( sometimes feels like was another life , and maybe it was :sad: ).I really want to make pastry and chocolate my life my career but I am afraid Iam getting too old and the time is restricted due family and money.
I live in Colorado 40 minuts north of Denver , now I am wondering if any of you guys knows a pastry school around here that wouldnt involve 3 years and 50.000 dollars fee,or maybe short classes or monotheme classes.
I know I know I am asking too much , but I dont see how I could attempt or even think to enroll in a regular college/pastry class .I was looking at the French pastry school , but is in Chicago , the class its 6 months wich isnt too bad but the distance and the fees are unfortunally out of discussion :sad: .
Eckk I dont mean to cry on myself :laugh: common , I already found this great site and since then my passion is back stronger and its helping me to make some good change in my life.
I am by the way going to attempt to the Wybauw fine chocolates class in november at the French pastry school , and thats I guess one step .
Vanessa

#2 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:58 PM

I will give you my experience with culinary schools and opinions about them. First off let me tell you that I did attend a Le Cordon Bleu here in southern Ca and I have regretted it ever since. Why? Well for starters it's not worth $40,000! I was a sucker to ever imagine going to a culinary school and pay that kind of money, especially considering your average salary is $8-10hr, $12 if your lucky when you graduate. I can go on and on about the absurd amount culinary schools charge.

Let me give my short story. While in the middle of attending the school I was in (LCB), I got wise and said this is ridiculously expensive to make peanuts when I graduate. As I was attending this school I became friends with most of my chef instructors and one day voiced my opinion to them. Well low and behold they felt the same way. One of them told me to stop wasting my money and check out Jr. colleges that offer culinary programs, one in particular. The one he recommended was Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA. So I went to check it out and for the first time I didn't feel like I was being sold a used car. No pressure to signup, bla bla bla. Keep in mind, I went to many different schools, including flying to New York and looking at schools there. My belief is that if you can find a Jr. college in your area that offers a culinary program, jump all over it. If you don't have in your area, try to get a apprenticeship in a restaurant, because you will learn way more on the job than in school. Plus you will not have to pay off a $40,000 tuition loan. I'm sure people will tell you that going to a major culinary school is the only way to go, I say to them bu11$h1t. I will give some great examples of why I believe this to be true. Have you ever seen the TV show Top Chef on the Bravo Channel? Two of the people on there went to my first school, Le Cordon Bleu. The dark haired girl in the beginning that didn't know anything. She is actual going there now (she might of just graduated). The other one that went there was Dave, the bleached blonde gay guy (great guy). He was actually in my class when I went there. Both of them are ok (maybe not) at what they do, but the dishes they did were just not up to par. That gives you some kind of example of what comes out of the LCB (there are exceptions of coarse, this is just an example). I will give you an example from the Jr College I went to. His name has slipped my mind (maybe Jason), but he graduated about 4 years ago and now has won the World Pastry Competition in Vegas last year (maybe 2004, I forget). So where you go to school is not all that relevant. It's all about what you do to prepare yourself and what you put into it. I can go on and on, but I will save you from my opinions. Save your cash and put it to better uses. I forgot one thing, all those classes you take at a Jr. college are transferable to a 4 year college (at least here in CA).

If you want to go to special classes that have guest chefs, I think that's a great idea. It's way cheaper to attend a few of those classes that focus on a specific need, then to pay $40-50k.

Sorry if someone out there doesn't agree with me, but I cringe whenever someone tells me there going to go to school and pay $40-50k to get a job that pays $20k a year when they graduate. I say spend the money on equipment and practice at home (then use the equipment at your own shop when you're ready) if you're in such a hurry to spend that kind of $.

#3 Desiderio

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 11:35 PM

I will give you my experience with culinary schools and opinions about them. First off let me tell you that I did attend a Le Cordon Bleu here in southern Ca and I have regretted it ever since. Why? Well for starters it's not worth $40,000! I was a sucker to ever imagine going to a culinary school and pay that kind of money, especially considering your average salary is $8-10hr, $12 if your lucky when you graduate. I can go on and on about the absurd amount culinary schools charge.

Let me give my short story. While in the middle of attending the school I was in (LCB), I got wise and said this is ridiculously expensive to make peanuts when I graduate. As I was attending this school I became friends with most of my chef instructors and one day voiced my opinion to them. Well low and behold they felt the same way. One of them told me to stop wasting my money and check out Jr. colleges that offer culinary programs, one in particular. The one he recommended was Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA. So I went to check it out and for the first time I didn't feel like I was being sold a used car. No pressure to signup, bla bla bla. Keep in mind, I went to many different schools, including flying to New York and looking at schools there. My belief is that if you can find a Jr. college in your area that offers a culinary program, jump all over it. If you don't have in your area, try to get a apprenticeship in a restaurant, because you will learn way more on the job than in school. Plus you will not have to pay off a $40,000 tuition loan. I'm sure people will tell you that going to a major culinary school is the only way to go, I say to them bu11$h1t. I will give some great examples of why I believe this to be true. Have you ever seen the TV show Top Chef on the Bravo Channel? Two of the people on there went to my first school, Le Cordon Bleu. The dark haired girl in the beginning that didn't know anything. She is actual going there now (she might of just graduated). The other one that went there was Dave, the bleached blonde gay guy (great guy). He was actually in my class when I went there. Both of them are ok (maybe not) at what they do, but the dishes they did were just not up to par. That gives you some kind of example of what comes out of the LCB (there are exceptions of coarse, this is just an example). I will give you an example from the Jr College I went to. His name has slipped my mind (maybe Jason), but he graduated about 4 years ago and now has won the World Pastry Competition in Vegas last year (maybe 2004, I forget). So where you go to school is not all that relevant. It's all about what you do to prepare yourself and what you put into it. I can go on and on, but I will save you from my opinions. Save your cash and put it to better uses. I forgot one thing, all those classes you take at a Jr. college are transferable to a 4 year college (at least here in CA).

If you want to go to special classes that have guest chefs, I think that's a great idea. It's way cheaper to attend a few of those classes that focus on a specific need, then to pay $40-50k.

Sorry if someone out there doesn't agree with me, but I cringe whenever someone tells me there going to go to school and pay $40-50k to get a job that pays $20k a year when they graduate. I say spend the money on equipment and practice at home (then use the equipment at your own shop when you're ready) if you're in such a hurry to spend that kind of $.

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I really appreaciate you answer, coming from someone that went through the process.It is indeed redicolus , the price they charge ,here close to where I live I have the Art Institute in denver where they do offer culinary and pastry courses and no need to say the fee is over the 30k.
No way .I think you are right when you say save the money and use it to buy equipment and work , and also I was just thinking after I posted this thread that I would rather enjoy go and work for free to a local chocolate shop or a pastry or restaurant.I just need to find the courage and just go .
Another thing I was thinking was asking some of the professionals here on the site , if they eventually will host a stage or a class, I think that would be the best,maybe something to keep in mind :biggrin: .

Thank you for your time Christopher :smile:
Vanessa

#4 nightscotsman

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:09 PM

There have been several threads here on pastry schools and the value of paying for an education versus learning on the job. Here are some: click.

I attended the French Pastry School and would do it again in a heartbeat. When I went, tuition was $13,500 for the six month program, and though it is higher now, it's nowhere near the $30-40k or higher they charge at most other private schools. I got two very important things for my money: 1) comprehensive training covering all aspects of pastry, baking, chocolate and desserts using modern techiques and tools; and 2) access to the extensive industry connections of the instructors. Being an older person making a career change with no experience, I just did not have the years it would take to work my way up where I wanted to go, so attending a school offered me a kick-start. Right out of school I got a job at Bellagio here in Vegas making over $15 an hour with full benefits, making world class pastry for a highly respected team of chefs. After two years I've moved on to a pastry cook postion at Robuchon at the Mansion in the MGM Grand.

Of course I'm not saying that going to culinary school is the best route for everyone. But for me, the investment has been more than worth it. Beyond helping to land me a couple of great jobs, I just love being able to confidently say "yes" when a chef asks me if I know how to do things like temper chocolate, make a cremeux, or pull sugar.

#5 Transparent

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:37 PM

This is an interesting thread. I'm doing research into Colleges right now (Junior in HS) and I'm contemplating pastry arts as something after college. My life goal is to be a IT Pro/Graphic Artist/Pastry Chef in my resume.

I don't know what A 'Jr. College' is. Can you elaborate?

I can see a lot of debt in my future. :P

#6 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:44 PM

This is an interesting thread. I'm doing research into Colleges right now (Junior in HS) and I'm contemplating pastry arts as something after college. My life goal is to be a IT Pro/Graphic Artist/Pastry Chef in my resume.

I don't know what A 'Jr. College' is. Can you elaborate?

I can see a lot of debt in my future. :P

View Post


I guess "Jr. College" is a little out dated, maybe I should have said community college. Which are 2 year schools where you can go for your freshman and sophmore years of college.

#7 Desiderio

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:50 PM

There have been several threads here on pastry schools and the value of paying for an education versus learning on the job. Here are some: click.

I attended the French Pastry School and would do it again in a heartbeat. When I went, tuition was $13,500 for the six month program, and though it is higher now, it's nowhere near the $30-40k or higher they charge at most other private schools. I got two very important things for my money: 1) comprehensive training covering all aspects of pastry, baking, chocolate and desserts using modern techiques and tools; and 2) access to the extensive industry connections of the instructors. Being an older person making a career change with no experience, I just did not have the years it would take to work my way up where I wanted to go, so attending a school offered me a kick-start. Right out of school I got a job at Bellagio here in Vegas making over $15 an hour with full benefits, making world class pastry for a highly respected team of chefs. After two years I've moved on to a pastry cook postion at Robuchon at the Mansion in the MGM Grand.

Of course I'm not saying that going to culinary school is the best route for everyone. But for me, the investment has been more than worth it. Beyond helping to land me a couple of great jobs, I just love being able to confidently say "yes" when a chef asks me if I know how to do things like temper chocolate, make a cremeux, or pull sugar.

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Thank you, I was wondering about the frenche pastry school , I was really intrigated by that , I guess I will see it in person in november and who know s maybe in the prossime future I will have the chance to do what I like .You are right about the age and the experience , thats my trouble , I dont have the years of experience and a good training will help get me there.
Do you do any training ?? :raz: If yes let me know please :biggrin:

Thank you
Vanessa

#8 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:55 PM

I attended the French Pastry School and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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This actually would be the only "Culinary School" that I would ever recommend due to it's price (which is about $15,000 last time I looked) and reputation. This school is also very specific in what they teach and don't waste your time with other meaningless info. I was actually going to mention them as my only exception, but Desidio already mentioned them by name as a place she looked into. Like I said before, $40-50k is way to much and The French Pastry school is the only one out there that's not taking advantege of those young students that are thinking of joining the whole culinary career boom here in the US of A.

By the way, it's good to hear you're doing so well.

#9 Transparent

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 01:17 PM

This is an interesting thread. I'm doing research into Colleges right now (Junior in HS) and I'm contemplating pastry arts as something after college. My life goal is to be a IT Pro/Graphic Artist/Pastry Chef in my resume.

I don't know what A 'Jr. College' is. Can you elaborate?

I can see a lot of debt in my future. :P

View Post


I guess "Jr. College" is a little out dated, maybe I should have said community college. Which are 2 year schools where you can go for your freshman and sophmore years of college.

View Post


Community College? I'm not sure that's done any more. Typically, we apply for either a 2 or 4-year college, end of story. I'm not sure that we can only spend two years in community college and the rest in a 4 year college short of a transfer. I can't think of any private college even considering applicants like that though.

Hehe, I don't think I would have worked myself to the bone to get into a state college, much less a community college.

The French Pastry School looks really solid. Does anyone know similar schools in the NYC area?

Edited by Transparent, 19 April 2006 - 01:18 PM.


#10 alanamoana

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 02:06 PM

off topic, but to clarify:

Community colleges (as Christopher Michael knows) are very common in Southern (and Northern) California. The idea is to go for a two year "associates" degree at the minimum...or to turn the two years into a four year degree by transferring to a four year college or university. In California, you can go to a community college with the intention of transferring...if you maintain a certain GPA, you qualify to go to any California State University (Fullerton, etc.)...if you maintain a slightly higher GPA, you qualify to go to any University of California (Berkely, Los Angeles, etc.).

It is a great way to save some money and really decide your course of study before jumping in. Pros and cons abound.

Orange Coast College in Orange County is very well known for its culinary program. At least it was when I lived down there about 10 years ago...wow, was it that long ago?!

Transparent: if you live in the NYC area (Brooklyn sort of counts :wink: ), then you must know about ICE (Institute of Culinary Education) and the French Culinary Institute...both in Manhattan. Both expensive. I think (without any experience with any of those particular schools to back this up) that the Frency Pastry School in Chicago might be a better choice.

#11 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 02:18 PM

Community College? I'm not sure that's done any more. Typically, we apply for either a 2 or 4-year college, end of story. I'm not sure that we can only spend two years in community college and the rest in a 4 year college short of a transfer. I can't think of any private college even considering applicants like that though.

Hehe, I don't think I would have worked myself to the bone to get into a state college, much less a community college.

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I don't understand what you mean by "I'm not sure if that's done anymore". Are you saying no one goes to a community college? Or transfers from community college to a 4 year university? If that's what you're saying, you're 110% incorrect. I only know of a few people personally that went to an "Ivy league" school. The rest of the population go to state schools and sometimes start at a community college. If you're considering a private college like Harvard or Yale, then no, a community college is not for you and maybe even the culinary world. Look, the culinary world is not what they make it seem on TV. It's not glamorous, easy and most likely will not make you rich. If you have that preconceived notion it's like that, then go to Yale, Harvard or whatever private school you would like to attend and stay away from a career in culinary arts. If you're willing to sweat in a hot kitchen and run around like a mad person, then culinary maybe your career. You made a statement about you didn't work yourself to the bone to get into a state college, much less a community college. You actually think going to a culinary school is equivalent to going to a private/Ivy league school? Don't fool yourself. Most of the culinary schools give you a certificate of completion or a AOS, which neither one does you any good in the non-culinary world. I'm sorry if you think I'm being harsh, but most people that are just coming out of high school have no idea of what's going on, except what they see on TV. Most people cannot work their butt off to make crackers, much less work their butt off period. I have seen a ton of people come and go in this business and I'm just trying to give a picture thru my eyes. So please do yourself a favor and don't be so closed minded. Well boys and girls, that's enough of my opinion. Everyone has to choose what's good for them, whether it be a $40-50 culinary education, a community college or for some that are more privileged than others, a Harvard or Yale. Bottom line is that you get out whatever you put into it.

#12 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 02:26 PM

Orange Coast College in Orange County is very well known for its culinary program.  At least it was when I lived down there about 10 years ago...wow, was it that long ago?!

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It's actually still a very good school with a great reputation. I might have my bias for them, because I thought it was great. They might be a community college, but they kick the butts of all those expensive schools in culinary competitions. They even go to Italy to compete in the world competitions. It's amazing what you can get for your money if you just stop and take a look around. Alright, now I'm finished.

#13 nightscotsman

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 03:29 PM

Oh, a couple other things I liked about the French Pastry School experience:

1) They don't use a standard, off the shelf text book. Instead they've put together two heavy binders of recipes gathered from many sources designed to cover all the essential techniques. The recipes produced excellent results (using the best, natural ingredients) and were geared for realistic and efficient production. The notebooks are tweaked, updated and reprinted after every semester.

2) They don't believe in internships. When I asked them about this they looked at me like I was crazy and said - "why work for free?". Most of the other private schools require an extensive intern/externship where you not only usually work for free, you have to pay the school tuition while you're doing it. Sure, it can be good experience, but seems like a rip-off to me.

Oh, and by the way - they are very upfont with the fact you will not be a chef when you leave the school. Graduating is only the begining of a life-long learning process.

On another note, I also recommend looking at local community colleges. As others have said, there are several with very good programs for way, way less money than the private schools. Many have classes taught by top local professionals. They may not be as elite, or have the most beautiful kitchens, but it is really true that for the most part, you get out of an education what you put into it. Work hard (and clean!) in class, ask lots of questions, let instructors know you are ambitious, read and experiment on your own at home, do stages at restaurants or bakeries. People will notice and offer tons of help.

#14 S_tran

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 04:54 PM

This subject really hits home because i just finished a program at the Art Institute which took over this culinary school here in Vancouver called dubrulle. ALthough I did not take the Pastry program i took the culinary one but i am interested in pastry too. IMHO i seriously do not think that culinary school is even necessary. Although i met some great instructors and people, the program at my school was a mess. I was very dissapointed withthe program and even though i got a scholarship to the school i gave it up and i just couldn't do it anymore. They say they interview people and screen people before they come in but the truth is as long as they had the money to get in they're in. They put the garde manger course in at the end of 1.5 year program for thepeople paying 33 thousand dollars a year but not for the one year program which was the strangest idea because what is the first low entry job someone will offer you? GARDE MANGER or prep. But thats beside the point.They didnt teach us butchery, no terrine, pate, classics BUT we learned how to make gumbo! (No offense but do you get what I mean?) So i just voiced my opinion by just leaving... I am choosing my own educational path by going to franch on june 3rd, got my ticket ready and leaving for a while instead of paying to learn nothing. I'd rather work for free and learn in a professional context so I will be staging. ON THE OTHER HAND, in my opinion community colleges are a great way to get training, because they have the facilities and government funded and the ones in Vancouver are great. I wish i had made the choice to do that instead but its kinda too latea lthough imight do some pastry courses. IF you do decide to goto a school though really pick their brains and ask them questions and know what you want to learn and see if they can provide you with that. From my experience, there is no difference between a good community college where you can pay 3000 dollars for good training or paying 30,000 for a private sub standard training.

...just my two cents

#15 SweetSide

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 05:23 PM

As someone who is also in Nightscotsman's position, only much less prestigious, I can offer a different perspective.

I, too, changed careers after 20 years and a private school bachelor's degree and a private school masters degree in something completely unrelated. Did my two degrees get me where I was in my old career -- no. My WORK did.

After 20 years, I left it and attended my local pastry school. Just a run of the mill school. No name anyone outside of CT would recognize. Was it worth it? Yes. Because I live in an area that is pastry challenged, and I could not relocate for school or apprenticeship as much as I would dream about it, I went to school so I could learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. Now, I too can say I can ___ and ___ and yeah, I've done ____ once or twice. But I still HAVE TO WORK MY A$$ OFF.

My advice is simply to work your A$$ off in the best place you can. Even if it's your own kitchen.

Can anyone tell us what college Thomas Edison went to?
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#16 Desiderio

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 06:05 PM

[quote name='SweetSide' date='Apr 19 2006, 06:23 PM']
As someone who is also in Nightscotsman's position, only much less prestigious, I can offer a different perspective.

I, too, changed careers after 20 years and a private school bachelor's degree and a private school masters degree in something completely unrelated. Did my two degrees get me where I was in my old career -- no. My WORK did.

After 20 years, I left it and attended my local pastry school. Just a run of the mill school. No name anyone outside of CT would recognize. Was it worth it? Yes. Because I live in an area that is pastry challenged, and I could not relocate for school or apprenticeship as much as I would dream about it, I went to school so I could learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. Now, I too can say I can ___ and ___ and yeah, I've done ____ once or twice. But I still HAVE TO WORK MY A$$ OFF.

My advice is simply to work your A$$ off in the best place you can. Even if it's your own kitchen.

I was too considering the fact that the place where I live it is pastry challenged( honestly this place is "good food challenged"), and I do think I have an opportunity here ( in Italy was out of discussion , sex age and everything its a barrier and I did experimented personally ), But here I think I can .Like You were saying I cant relocated for 6 months out of state not now with a baby and a family and bills to pay, no way,so I was looking at some local schools and I found one that isnt too far from where I live .It is in Boulder its called culinary school of the rockies heres the site.
http://www.culinarys...try-program.php

Now the school I dont know and the price for the class , wich is 23 days long , is almost 6K , it si worth it?? Sounds a little too much to me.
Vanessa

#17 Transparent

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 07:33 PM


Community College? I'm not sure that's done any more. Typically, we apply for either a 2 or 4-year college, end of story. I'm not sure that we can only spend two years in community college and the rest in a 4 year college short of a transfer. I can't think of any private college even considering applicants like that though.

Hehe, I don't think I would have worked myself to the bone to get into a state college, much less a community college.

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I don't understand what you mean by "I'm not sure if that's done anymore". Are you saying no one goes to a community college? Or transfers from community college to a 4 year university? If that's what you're saying, you're 110% incorrect. I only know of a few people personally that went to an "Ivy league" school. The rest of the population go to state schools and sometimes start at a community college. If you're aconsidering a private college like Harvard or Yale, then no, a community college is not for you and maybe even the culinary world. Look, the culinary world is not what they make it seem on TV. It's not glamorous, easy and most likely will not make you rich. If you have that preconceived notion it's like that, then go to Yale, Harvard or whatever private school you would like to attend and stay away from a career in culinary arts. If you're willing to sweat in a hot kitchen and run around like a mad person, then culinary maybe your career. You made a statement about you didn't work yourself to the bone to get into a state college, much less a community college. You actually think going to a culinary school is equivalent to going to a private/Ivy league school? Don't fool yourself. Most of the culinary schools give you a certificate of completion or a AOS, which neither one does you any good in the non-culinary world. I'm sorry if you think I'm being harsh, but most people that are just coming out of high school have no idea of what's going on, except what they see on TV. Most people cannot work their butt off to make crackers, much less work their butt off period. I have seen a ton of people come and go in this business and I'm just trying to give a picture thru my eyes. So please do yourself a favor and don't be so closed minded. Well boys and girls, that's enough of my opinion. Everyone has to choose what's good for them, whether it be a $40-50 culinary education, a community college or for some that are more privileged than others, a Harvard or Yale. Bottom line is that you get out whatever you put into it.

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Woah, hold on there. Perhaps I didn't phrase it the right way. At least from the process in my school's college office and councilor, there is no transferring from community college to a private one.

I definitely don't equivocate going to culinary school to going to a private school, but whatever steps I take for my education, I want to have the best possible. If that's pompous and elistist of me, fine. I don't work my ass off for my 90+ average to go to school in a community college with people that just half-assed their way through high school. Half of the quality of education you recieve will depend on who you're learning with - trust me on this.

I've stated before: The pastry arts is something I'm looking into after college. I know how tough it is in the culinary field - no, ANY field. But frankly, this is for my own personal gain, not for whatever monetary reward I may or may not recieve.

One aspect of me that must people don't seem to understand is the reasoning why I want to go to college. Sure, it's great to get a job and higher wages, but I just want to learn. I'd stay in college 10 years if I could, just so I could learn whatever I wanted to. I don't do anything solely for a paycheck, it's for myself - not my bank account.

And you're right. You get from an education what you put into it. I have school and homework till 2AM at night two or three days a week, and wake up 7 in the morning. I want my fair share.

#18 ChristopherMichael

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 12:57 AM

I don't work my ass off for my 90+ average to go to school in a community college with people that just half-assed their way through high school. Half of the quality of education you recieve will depend on who you're learning with - trust me on this.


This is the most ignorant and immature statement I have read or heard in a very long time, maybe as long ago as high school (what a coincidence). You're really showing your age with every post. By the way, you might want to learn to spell before going to a "private university" or at least learn to use spell check. Oh yeah, colleges use your GPA, not your percentage. I just love people that aren't as intelligent as they might think they are. I'm done with you, so don't directly respond to me anymore. Thank you very much!

I did edit my post to make it a little less harsh and I also thought to myself "why am I defending my choices to a child ?". Sorry everyone, for derailing this thread off topic.

Edited by ChristopherMichael, 20 April 2006 - 02:03 AM.


#19 turkeybone

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 01:04 AM

I just did a quick glance over this thread and I saw a bit about 2 years, 4 years, transferring between schools, NOT transferring into the Ivy League, etc. :blink:

Well, to blow all your minds, the CIA and Cornell University have come up with their "Alliance" program whereby you get both an AOS and Bachelors in 4 years.

So what have been people been doing before this was official? Doing their 2 year culinary school run, then transferring into the Ivy League Hotel Administration program. :raz:

Edit -- I know we're getting super off topic, but I want to add that Ive graduated from the Ivy League, AND soon to graduate from culinary school, and Ive seen people transfer in, out, up, down, whatever. Private schools look at the quality of the person, not just the diploma. Didn't you see "Rudy"? He transferred from junior college into Notre Dame, and they carried him off the field! :wink:

Edited by turkeybone, 20 April 2006 - 01:12 AM.

Rico

#20 chefette

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 05:01 AM

This is an interesting thread. I'm doing research into Colleges right now (Junior in HS) and I'm contemplating pastry arts as something after college. My life goal is to be a IT Pro/Graphic Artist/Pastry Chef in my resume.

I don't know what A 'Jr. College' is. Can you elaborate?

I can see a lot of debt in my future. :P

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I guess "Jr. College" is a little out dated, maybe I should have said community college. Which are 2 year schools where you can go for your freshman and sophmore years of college.

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Community College? I'm not sure that's done any more. Typically, we apply for either a 2 or 4-year college, end of story. I'm not sure that we can only spend two years in community college and the rest in a 4 year college short of a transfer. I can't think of any private college even considering applicants like that though.

Hehe, I don't think I would have worked myself to the bone to get into a state college, much less a community college.

The French Pastry School looks really solid. Does anyone know similar schools in the NYC area?

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You might look into the NY City technical College - they have a few really dedicated kickass instructors there and I have seen alot of very impressive work come from their pastry students in competitions - and the price is right

#21 SweetSide

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 05:19 AM

Woah, hold on there. Perhaps I didn't phrase it the right way. At least from the process in my school's college office and councilor, there is no transferring from community college to a private one.

:blink: You need a new guidance counselor.


I don't work my ass off for my 90+ average to go to school in a community college with people that just half-assed their way through high school. Half of the quality of education you recieve will depend on who you're learning with - trust me on this.

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And you are counseling people twice your age? Again, tell me what college or school Thomas Edison went to?


Sure, it's great to get a job and higher wages, but I just want to learn. I'd stay in college 10 years if I could, just so I could learn whatever I wanted to. I don't do anything solely for a paycheck, it's for myself - not my bank account.
...

I want my fair share.

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And, who is paying your bill?

Please take ChristopherMichael's last post to heart. You've no experience and your ignorance and immaturity are showing.
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#22 SweetSide

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 05:25 AM

[quote name='Desiderio' date='Apr 19 2006, 09:05 PM']
[quote name='SweetSide' date='Apr 19 2006, 06:23 PM']
As someone who is also in Nightscotsman's position, only much less prestigious, I can offer a different perspective.

I, too, changed careers after 20 years and a private school bachelor's degree and a private school masters degree in something completely unrelated. Did my two degrees get me where I was in my old career -- no. My WORK did.

After 20 years, I left it and attended my local pastry school. Just a run of the mill school. No name anyone outside of CT would recognize. Was it worth it? Yes. Because I live in an area that is pastry challenged, and I could not relocate for school or apprenticeship as much as I would dream about it, I went to school so I could learn as much as possible as quickly as possible. Now, I too can say I can ___ and ___ and yeah, I've done ____ once or twice. But I still HAVE TO WORK MY A$$ OFF.

My advice is simply to work your A$$ off in the best place you can. Even if it's your own kitchen.

I was too considering the fact that the place where I live it is pastry challenged( honestly this place is "good food challenged"), and I do think I have an opportunity here ( in Italy was out of discussion , sex age and everything its a barrier and I did experimented personally ), But here I think I can .Like You were saying I cant relocated for 6 months out of state not now with a baby and a family and bills to pay, no way,so I was looking at some local schools and I found one that isnt too far from where I live .It is in Boulder its called culinary school of the rockies heres the site.
http://www.culinarys...try-program.php

Now the school I dont know and the price for the class , wich is 23 days long , is almost 6K , it si worth it?? Sounds a little too much to me.

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[/quote]

I don't know about that school, but I am in your position. Husband with major job, child in school, responsibilities as Mom. Talk to the students and graduates. They like to talk. Talk to the OLDER students -- those who are doing this because they want to. Career changers. Some of the younger students are going to school because they still don't know what they want to do and aren't committed.

Then, go with your gut. Only you know what you can afford. My school was $15K for 9 months. To me, it was worth it. But, I have no financial stress in my family. And, maybe, you'll luck on to something on your journey. A great apprenticeship -- with or without school. Hitting the lottery so tuition becomes a moot point...

Best of luck to you.
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#23 Desiderio

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 07:24 AM

Thank you Cheryl , I really appreaciate the time you guys took on this thread to help me out .

Thank you
Vanessa

#24 Transparent

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 08:04 AM

I think I'd need to elaborate much more to get even a tiny bit of my point of view across. Sorry I sidetracked the thread so much.

I hope you all don't get me see me in a bad light after this though. I don't view my goals as being immature, but hey - who does? I'll let you know in 10 years. I do appreciate the point both Cheryl and Christopher are trying to hammer into my head though.

But before I leave this thread and cause any more harm, allow me this in my defense: 90+ isn't a measure of my percentile grade, and nor do I think a numerical grade is a measure of intelligence; just how well a person played their cards in academics.

I would've thought you'd be nice enough to allow me two spelling mistakes though.

#25 Sugarella

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 02:31 PM

Immaturity and lack of intelligence shows far greater in name calling than it does in giving misinformation. Mind your manners, kids.

As for pastry schools, if money is the issue I recommend getting into whatever school you can that's reasonably priced and is local, after having done your homework on the school of course. Believe me, you'll spend at least the tuition doing your own trial and error at home with retail priced ingredients. School, in the long run, is cheaper and it takes a lot less time to learn it all right the first time. I wish I went.

#26 Artistic Sugarworks

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 07:26 PM

I have a question that maybe someone here can answer (sorry if they have been and I missed them).

Why do the schools require that you take the culinary course before allowing you to take the pastry course? (The 2 local to me require this) I have looked into both schools here and both are quite expensive when combined with the culinary course. Not to sound crass, but, I want to bake, not julienne and sear. I don't see that that Culinary part is necessary for me to be able to bake. (If you disagree here, please be kind in telling me)

I would love to be able to just take a Pastry Course, unforyunately, that isn't possible as the schools I've found that offer just Pastry are way too far to commute (out of state) and I don't think my Husband, kiddos and boss would allow me the time off to attend. :biggrin:

Thanks for any light anyone can shed on this for me.

#27 alanamoana

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 08:23 PM

artistic sugarworks,

you seem to already have a cake business up and running. what are you looking for in attending pastry school?

you might be better served by taking some continuing education courses at culinary schools (to bolster your skills where you think you need them). the french pastry school in chicago has a lot of very interesting three day courses throughout the year taught either by their staff or guest chefs who are tops in their field. i'm sure the schools in new york city also offer these short classes.

as an investment in your business, they are probably tax deductible expenses and three days at a time three or more times a year...i'm sure your family could spare you :wink:

just something to think about.

Edited by alanamoana, 20 April 2006 - 08:23 PM.


#28 bibbotson

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 09:25 PM

This has been a good thread, as have all the similar ones I've read over the years. (As with "what shoes do you wear in the kitchen," this topic returns perennially.)

As someone who has seen the whole gamut, from elite high schools to large public universities to the Ivy League and community college, let me offer the following:

I am a career changer, and as someone who vacilated for nearly 10 years about whether to switch, whether transforming a hobby into a job would lead me to hate it, I would wholeheartedly do it again, and sooner, if I could. But certainly only make an informed switch -- read all the threads like this you can, read "The Making of a Pastry Chef," talk to working PCs, etc. It's not easy, but no career is. Buty if you have a sense of the difficulties, you're ahead of many students who only find out over time.

There is no one perfect solution. The private programs at the ICE and FCI offer a good education, but their tradeoff is money for time. You finish quickly, which for students I've known from there was most important to them. My program -- I'm enrolled in the AAS Hospitality Management program at the New York City College of Technology -- takes longer and is a more general degree. But the entire degree costs 1/4 of that at FCI... the longer time is a drag, but it provides a longer "seasoning" time -- I've had time to work the James Beard Awards, the U.S. Pastry Competition, the Salon of Culinary Arts, help run a culinary workshop program, etc. My networking opportunities have been just as good as those of anyone from those other programs, and I've had time to develop a good professional development plan. I've met or worked with as many or more "big name" PCs as some people I know at those other programs. It's a function of your aims and ambitions, not the program you attend.

But very important to note: If you attend FCI or many of the other more expensive programs, you need to understand that the Federal title those programs are under changes the amounts of aid available. I was supposed to start at FCI in 2001, and had to cancel because of the cost. The program was $24K(?) but only $4K was available in Federal loans. The rest was up to me, and private loans are a dicey proposition (I have some from my graduate school days, and they are rough).

In contrast, my program at CityTech is fully-coverable under Federal aid. I'm taking loans, but other students cover their full tuition with grants. And when I graduate, these loans can be consolidated and fixed, unlike private loans.

In bristling defense of community colleges: Hey, having been at nearly every type of school, I will attest that students with half-assed motivations and poor attitudes exist everywhere... as do brilliant underachievers, brilliant overachievers, students with a heart of gold and high hopes but poor preparation, working mothers who are talented but pressed on every side by competing demands, etc. The full range of types were there at my "gifted" high school, at my large public university for my first degree, my Ivy League graduate program, and now at my community college.
Brian Ibbotson
Pastry cook

#29 alanamoana

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 10:05 PM

In bristling defense of community colleges: Hey, having been at nearly every type of school, I will attest that students with half-assed motivations and poor attitudes exist everywhere... as do brilliant underachievers, brilliant overachievers, students with a heart of gold and high hopes but poor preparation, working mothers who are talented but pressed on every side by competing demands, etc. The full range of types were there at my "gifted" high school, at my large public university for my first degree, my Ivy League graduate program, and now at my community college.

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Thank you for this most eloquent argument...the opposite of what mine would have been had I allowed myself the pleasure...

#30 tan319

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 05:38 AM

I have to weigh in here for a second .
I have very mixed opinions on school BUT...
From what I've seen, C.C.'s are a 50/50 thing, I've had to show people how to properly blanch a green vegetable after they've been in school for over a year.
Most importantly, if you know that pastry is going to be your gig, that's your passion, I don't think there's any question that you probably want to bite the bullet and do the 6 month intensive course at the French Pastry School in Chicago like nightscotsman did.
With teachers that are French, one of them an MOF, both of them great, GREATLY respected chefs and now they have an American on their team too.
Your "return on investment" may not be great but if you're considering working in the food/restaurant business you shouldn't be thinking you're going to make very much money anyways.
At least with these guys they seem to have a decent placement program and if I was doing this again the only places I would be going to would be Vegas or somewhere where you could make decent money.
ICE also seems to have a decent program and some graduates who've done well ( 11 Madison Pastry chef Nicole Kaplan).
2317/5000