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Four-year college or culinary school?


Harry91
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Ok, well im sort of in the same deli ma and i want to add onto the thread some more. So a comparision:

CIA vs FCI vs J&W vs Cornell

Right, so it seems that these 4 schools are the top in culinary courses and hospitality (mainly Cornell for that). The problem is of course which to choose, in terms of both course and school.

All 4 schools are pretty darn expensive, so lets forget price for the moment and start with CIA.

CIA: Big, established and obviously so well known. Now ive heard TONS of stuff about it, both good and bad, but it seems like a pretty good place to go to if you just want a pure culinary course.

FCI: Same as CIA really, except maybe smaller, but from what ive read, its reputation is well earned and the its quite highly respected.

J&W: Seems to offer the most balanced as you can take culinary AND hospitality. Its also a university instead of just a pure cooking school/hotel management place. The issue of course, is it as good as the first two?

Cornell: No culinary courses, but they do have an exchange with the CIA for that part. Also a university and not just a cooking school, but would it be too business like for me as i prefer cooking?

These are my thoughts so far on the subject, and am having a very hard time too choose. Anyone else with any thoughts?

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Congrats.. go to Cornell you can't go wrong there for any profession! I go to JWU and majority of the kids probably won't end up working in the business or wouldn't cut working in the hospitality business. No matter what degree you obtain, particularly from Cornell, is not going to hurt you. Plus Andy Bernard went there, I would go for that reason alone.

Many people coming out of Cornell are often working the business or management side of the hospitality business, so if that's what you want to do it will only help. If you are looking to go into the culinary side it will help a lot when you want a management position.

Edited by mattyp1214 (log)
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Hi again, was looking through the courses in Cornell, they have this sort of joint degree course thing with the CIA where you basically do sorta like half and half from each programs, seems pretty balance.

Anyone know anybody whose done this?

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Ok. This is close to home for me. I went to college, worked in a few kitchens, found out I loved to cook, and then went to the CIA. And wasted $40,000 and change. For the money you pay, the education and quality of teachers there simply isn't worth it. The best chef I had there was in the last kitchen class I took, after 90% of the AOS program was over. I have worked in San Francisco, New York, and Spain (Mugaritz), and can tell you that the best thing the CIA did for me was networking. As far as learning how to cook, not $40,000 worth. No way. Go to college, have fun, work on the side, and then go cook your ass off.

Good luck.

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  • 4 months later...

It's been a long time since I last posted on this thread, so I figured I'd update it.

I graduated high school, and am definitely attending Cornell in the fall to major in Food Science (I also finagled it so that over the summers I can take some classes at the Culinary Institute of America for *hopefully* no cost to me).

Right now I'm spending the summer doing an internship at Michael's Genuine Food and Drink in Miami, Florida (a 50 minute drive from my house, but WELL worth it)

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