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The Flame

Why do culinary schools give crap knife sets?

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Hey. Well I searched this topic and didn't find anything directly talking about this which I think will do for some interesting discussion among the EG members. I have basically never talked to anyone who was satisfied with the knife sets they got at culinary school.

First off it is amazing that with the thousands and thousands of dollars that you pay that you don't get something better. But I guess when you start you don;t know any better and just realize afterwards about the true meaning of quality knifes.

I personally went to the Cordon Bleu program in the USA and we got a really crap set of knives with not even a known brand name. They were just called "Chef". We got this cart filled with every little detail of things that might just use for one thing in a class during your whole education, but then you'll probably never end up using again.

I think culinary school could easily get rid of all the extra cheap equipment and they could give students just a very high quality basic set consisting of something like a chef knife, utility, serrated, paring, steel, and boning knife.

What do other preset/former culinary students think of the knife/accessories sets you got?

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I've got a very nice Wusthof set at LCB London. I'm so happy with the chefs knife that I haven't touched my old Global since I got the Wusthof.

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when my son went to culinary school they made suggestions and told them what they needed but left the actual purchase to the students (I think they sold knives at the school but also told them online and local resources and encouraged them to shop around) they could buy any brand they wanted and my son also bought a very nice moderatly priced set of Wusthof and is still using it ..


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Well it's encouraging to see that recently people have had better experiences. I went to culinary school 3 years ago, so maybe they've realized it's better to leave it to the students to shop around.

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Perhaps the main reason culinary schools give such "crap" sets is because they do it to piss off off..actually I have no idea.

But when my CIA knife kit wasn't too bad, besides the obviously few which are down right miserable. For example our perisan scoop (melon baller), snapped every time we used it on something besides over riped fruits. Also the strongest meanest peeler i've encountered in my entire life, when we peeled asparagus for example, it literally stripped half of it off. Not to mention the entire thing was stainless steel, which was probably a pound or so.

Though also attended FCI (french cul. in nyc) they too require you to purchase the entire set which is part of your tuition. Unlike the CIA, the FCI gives you this massive construction like toolbox which every tool you have goes in, also a separate knife kit which is quite cumbersome to haul around not to mention.

Though out of both tool kits I received; the chef knife was always the best part of the kit i found. Still use the CIA knife to hack away bones and whatnot. Kind of pick through the good stuff, then recycle the rest to friends and family.

Jim

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Knives are very personal. I think that the crap set is just fine for a starting student. It takes some time and experience to learn what knives one is most comfortable with. I would expect that as the rotations and semesters pass, a serious culinarian would be looking for his or her own knives to love and cherish.


Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I went to CCA in the late 80's, and they provided us with (I kid you not) F Dicks. Can you imagine the amount of jokes about the 8 and 10 inch ones? They were something that you could learn on and made you feel safe down on Polk and Turk. I have never seen them sold anywhere. But I would love to see one and see if they were as bad as I remember, or if they were just used so much they ate a hole in my hand over and over.

Toby


A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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I went to JWU a year ago (transferred the next year because I switched my major) and we got some pretty nice F. Dick knives.

I wrote about them here:

http://josephbayot.blogspot.com/2008/03/jo...ard-issuee.html

I still use my chef's knife because I like the balance and length (had to rework the edge) and my offset spatula, but all the rest is in a toolbox somewhere in case i get nostalgic later in my life.

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I went to CCA in the late 80's, and they provided us with (I kid you not) F Dicks.  Can you imagine  the amount of jokes about the 8 and 10 inch ones?  They were something that you could learn on and made you feel safe down on Polk and Turk.  I have never seen them sold anywhere.  But I would love to see one and see if they were as bad as I remember, or if they were just used so much they ate a hole in my hand over and over.

Toby

Just try a google search for Dick... what could possibly go awry ?

I found THIS LINK for All Things F. Dick , they make a pretty impressive line of cutlery and meat processing supplies, including several models of Captured Bolt guns a la 'No Country for Old Men' ...

Heres a link for a U.S. retailer Clickedy


" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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I was looking back on my notes from last year. I'd stopped by at Le Cordon Bleu's new facility in Bangkok.

They're requiring a set of Wusthof for their students, the same as was described in London. And when I dropped by in Seoul, it was the same. This is a requirement, as they want standardization in the tools the students are working with. I believe it was a 40 piece set.

There are a probably a number there that will see marginal use after school is finished, but I can appreciate the "better prepared" attitude. The knives themselves were all good quality (as you'd expect from Wusthof) so I don't really know what was going on with the US branch.

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Knives are very personal. 

Exactly. I have a $15 knife that I prefer over my $150+ knives for some jobs.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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...

They're requiring a set of Wusthof for their students, the same as was described in London.  And when I dropped by in Seoul, it was the same.  This is a requirement, as they want standardization in the tools the students are working with.  I believe it was a 40 piece set.

...

My Wusthofs are co-branded with the Le Cordon Bleu logo/name so I guess they have some sort of cooperation.

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The CIA knives are absolute trash, as is most of the stuff in the kit. Hardness can't be any higher than 55. The only one I still use is the chef's, and that's only for the jobs that I won't do with my Japanese blades.

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Hey. Well I searched this topic and didn't find anything directly talking about this which I think will do for some interesting discussion among the EG members. I have basically never talked to anyone who was satisfied with the knife sets they got at culinary school.

First off it is amazing that with the thousands and thousands of dollars that you pay that you don't get something better. But I guess when you start you don;t know any better and just realize afterwards about the true meaning of quality knifes.

What do other preset/former culinary students think of the knife/accessories  sets you got?

The knives I got at The Art Institute sucked so much ass I threw them away as soon as I knew better. I think the only parts of the original kit I got 5 years ago are the hamburger flipper, the plastic wooden spoon and the actual toolbox. I got a cheap set of Japanese knives off of eBay that have fulfilled my needs ever since I graduated.

Why do culinary schools "give" crap knives? Cause they are for profit schools, and if they can charge 100 students per quarter $500 for $20 worth of tools, they will. At least that is my take on The Art Institute, I dunno what CIA or J&W charges...

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I dunno what CIA or J&W charges...

Uniforms, books, and tools are about 1100.

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I worked in the kitchen at a Jr College that had a Culinary Arts program and the Students got whatever they wanted,though there were suggestions. So some students had Forschners,some had Wusthoffs, some had a variety with a couple of good pieces and whatever else could be found cheap. It's a good program and low $

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