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Culinary School Top Students in the Kitchen


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When I was watching Iron Chef America with Kelly Liken as the challenger, the show menttioned that she was the top student in her class at the CIA.

Now, I'm curious who were the top students each year at the CIA and other top culinary schools. And, how much of that correlated with success in the restaurant industry once they graduated?

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Very little in my case (but I guess I'm still evolving!).

Put anyone into the correct setting and they may flourish. Once that setting changes, it may not be the same.

As far as I know, the CIA does not publicize nor record "top students" in a class and I feel this was merely a ploy and verbiage tactic used on the show to show him/her to be better than someone else.

There would be so many ways to measure this too... GPA, Chef Recommendations, Practical Exams, Etc, Etc, Etc.

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  • 1 month later...

Like any college, the CIA does rank the students and has a Deans List every semester. Students who are on the Deans List for all four on-campus semesters graduate with Honors.

And yes, it's very competitive. There was a rush to view the Deans List each time it was posted, with students high-fiving each other when they made it. My graduation copy of my cumulative grades lists my ranking in my class, so yes, they do keep an accounting.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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I graduated top of my class at FCI, which definitely doesn't mean as much as CIA because there are 25+ graduating classes each year of only 24 people max.

There was a few others in my class that were likely better line cooks than I am, just didn't do as well with exams and the such.

It was competitive for a couple people...and I thought it would be good to be on top.

Probably matters a little with your first job out of school...after that it likely means little

I did get an engraved knife though!

Edited by ChickenStu (log)
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