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Kenk

Toronto Cooking Schools

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Can any one out there recommend a good cooking and or restaurant management school in the Toronto area? I am looking for information on the best schools and/or the most affordable that provides good training for professional cooking/restaurant management.

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This is the one that springs to my mind first:

George Brown College


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Hi Kenk,

I am also looking into chef schools. In my research so far the names that come up most often are George Brown, Humber and Liason in Toronto. GB and Humber are definitely the most affordable, less than $3500 for one year of training. Don't have figures for Liason, but on first impressions it seems a bit expensive - approx $6000 for 15 weeks of classes.

If you're willing to extend your search to outside of Toronto, there's Stratford chef's school and and of course Cordon Bleu in Ottawa.

s

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If you are willing to spend a year in Montreal, there are two english cooking schools. P.A.C.C. aka Riverside tech. and Pius. I have just finished the professional cooking program at Riverside. The whole cost for my year was roughly 450$ that included books, equipment, and my whites. Impossible you say not when it's a government program. You pay the 450$ the government shells out 12000$. In Montreal the school districts are broken up into boards. the school board that is in charge of the english tech, is the Pearson school board. I'm pretty sure they have a web site. Anyway the program is broken up into moduals, the same moduals that you need to uptain a red seal. The teachers are from all over the country, and for the most part very good (you can't like everyone). The classes are usually 18 to 20 students. You can go either during the day, 8:00am to 4:00pm or night 3:00pm to 10:00pm. Rent in Montreal is on the rise but no where near TO. Well hope this helped.

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The CIA has just opened a school in Niagra Falls. Have no clue as to the cost. Probally an arm and a leg. I'm not sure about the Liasson Schools. Isn't it only a diploma course? We had a cook come from Liasson, she paid large money to go there and I swear she was greener than green. I personally thought all the taught her was to be a good prep cook

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The CIA has just opened a school in Niagra Falls.

Is that Niagara Falls, New York, or Niagara Falls, Ontario?

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I don't think it is CIA that has opened in Niagara Falls; you must be thinking of the new Niagara Culinary Institute (NCI) at Niagara College.

I was there for the international meeting of Les Marmitons a week ago, and the facilities and faculty are truly world class. Several people who had been to some of the best (including CIA) thought that it is the finest facility in North America.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about Les Marmitons, I am starting a Niagara Chapter. Please send me an e-mail through the eGullet form.

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I believe your right. I saw the advertising on TV about a week ago. For some reason I thought they said CIA. My chef instructor while in school was a guest on the show. I remember thinking, wow what an excellent school... way back when. after seeing the commercial breifly Culinary Institute must of been what caught my attention. Either way, its about time they got such a prestiges school so close to home. Although George Brown is pretty good too.

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My chef instructor while in school was a guest on the show.

Chefs13, Who was the instructor? The have some great people: Mark Hand, Ray Poitras, Michael & Anna Olson, etc.. We have a lot of talented chefs in Niagara, and many of them are going to be involved at NCI.

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Gourmando Chef Micheal Wilson, he was 1 of the instructors at The College of New Caledonia in British Columbia, he was there for over 26 years. He unfortunately passed away a few years ago. He is sadly missed thats for sure. He trained in Scotland, Paris and Italy among many places.

Since his death they have taken the Culinary Arts Program of the curriculum and now have a new instructor that teaches, everything regarding the hospitality industry except cooking. The restaurant at the college is still open, Chef Wilson was the founder of Kodiaks (Restaurant on campus). I left and came home to Ontario about 7 years ago. Stopped along the way and did some cooking in Edmonton and Calgary

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I second Le Cordon Bleu. I'm a former graduate of the Ottawa location. Excellent training. Beautiful city to learn in. The bilingualism was an asset.

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Back in November, I decided it might be fun to try out some cooking classes. I'd never done any, but it would surely be a good way to improve my kitchen skills and try some new dishes. I ended up taking four classes in the last two weeks. They were all quite different from each other, and all good:

Introduction to working with chocolate - <a href="http://www.jsbonbons.com/classes.php">J.S. Bonbons</a>

Knife Skills - <a href="http://www.calphalonculinarycenter.com/">Calphalon Culinary Center</a>

Moroccan Cuisine - <a href="http://www.myplacefordinner.com/">My Place for Dinner</a>

Big Brunch - <a href="http://www.thecookworks.com/">The Cookworks</a>

I chose them based in part on what I knew schools were famous for (chocolate, brunch), and the others based on items which caught my eye on their webpages. There are <a href="http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_PrintFriendly&c=Article&cid=1093948627358">an enormous number of other cooking schools in town</a>, however. I'm considering taking another class or two, and I could do it by whim again, but recommendation seems a safer route.

Are there any you'd particularly recommend?

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Back in November, I decided it might be fun to try out some cooking classes. I'd never done any, but it would surely be a good way to improve my kitchen skills and try some new dishes. I ended up taking four classes in the last two weeks. They were all quite different from each other, and all good:

Introduction to working with chocolate - <a href="http://www.jsbonbons.com/classes.php">J.S. Bonbons</a>

Knife Skills - <a href="http://www.calphalonculinarycenter.com/">Calphalon Culinary Center</a>

Moroccan Cuisine - <a href="http://www.myplacefordinner.com/">My Place for Dinner</a>

Big Brunch - <a href="http://www.thecookworks.com/">The Cookworks</a>

I chose them based in part on what I knew schools were famous for (chocolate, brunch), and the others based on items which caught my eye on their webpages.  There are <a href="http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_PrintFriendly&c=Article&cid=1093948627358">an enormous number of other cooking schools in town</a>, however. I'm considering taking another class or two, and I could do it by whim again, but recommendation seems a safer route.

Are there any you'd particularly recommend?

I had a terrible experience at a class at Dish, but it could have been the presenter (Rob Raiford). They strike me as more of a store than a cooking workshop. I prefer the GBC courses as they are a lot more hands on, especially the ones for cooking professionals. The Loblaws courses can be really good, especially when they pull in someone great like John Higgins. Quite a number of the FoodTv Canada people and cooking instructors from the Toronto colleges do the odd course at Loblaws. Not all are hands on though.

Mark

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I have been going to Bonnie Stern for 20 years or more, particularly when she brings people in. I have seen some amazing cooks there. They are all demo clases, though.

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I got a gift certificate for Dish and I too found it to be bad. I also felt like it was more of a store, and my hands on class was barely hands on. The instructor was not prepared and the place was missing equipment required for some of the dishes, i.e. Strainers and non-stick pans. The dishes were split up into groups and I never really saw what was going on with other dishes. I really didn't walk away with much new knowledge. The only class i did enjoy was an Indian one. I've never really tried cooking Indian and found it to be a good introduction.

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It looks like I really lucked out, given my somewhat arbitrary method of choosing my classes in the first place. All four courses I took were very hands on, and in only one of them did all of us not help make - or entirely make - every dish. Even then, at The Cookworks, we all discussed every recipe, were encouraged to circulate to see how work was going, and took home copies of every recipe.

I've heard very good things about Bonnie Stern's cooking classes, but am sure I was told along the way they're not hands-on. Good, highly informative, but not hands-on.

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George Brown College offers a Sushi course through it's Continuing Education

Program.

The course is 6 weeks (6 x 4 hour classes). The cost is $258.00. The instructing

chef is David Chung. Sometimes it runs on a week night and sometimes on a

weekend day.

Here is the website:

www.coned.georgebrown.ca/section/culi/asia.html

I've taken the course and would recommend it.


I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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George Brown College offers a Sushi course through it's Continuing Education

Program.

The course is 6 weeks (6 x 4 hour classes). The cost is $258.00. The instructing

chef is David Chung. Sometimes it runs on a week night and sometimes on a

weekend day.

Here is the website:

www.coned.georgebrown.ca/section/culi/asia.html

I've taken the course and would recommend it.

I too have taken the course at GBC and would recommend it. However, David Chung also teaches sushi making through Loblaws at their various locations and its cheaper to do it there. He does not really go into too much detail regarding the slicing of the fish, but he does demonstrate a variety of styles, including gunkan, reverse rolls, large rolls (futomaki), regular rolls (maki), hand rolls (temaki), nigiri sushi, and hakosushi (box style that is popular in Osaka). The fish is pretty much just salmon, but he does use fake crab, tobiko, ebi, and a few others. His class on how to make tamago (egg omelette) is worth it.

Mark

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I've been at GBC for a year working towards my certificate. There are a couple of things to keep in mind. If you're looking for quick techniques and special interest cooking where people are going to demonstrate and send you home with recipes, I would suggest one-off course at various locals in the city - you pick. If you're looking to learn techniques and fundamentals to then apply to creating your own dishes from first principles GBC is a good start for the home chef. After all, be it Spanish, Chinese, French or Japanese the fundamentals to marinade and make a sauce are pretty similar - only the ingredients really change.

Something else to be prepared for - at GBC you've got the whole spectrum of people with different skills. In my social circle I'm known as a creative and pretty good chef, at my first GBC class I was light years ahead of my classmates. Now however, as I progress down the path towards the certificate, I find that the class is made up of some damn good home chefs and I learn as much from my interactions with them as I do in the class itself.

There are those who treat cooking as a craft and others who treat it as an art. It's all in your frame of mind. GBC is a good program and if you let yourself re-learn the fundamentals, you'll be amazed at the confidence you'll have when you leave.


Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Pork chops?

Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.

Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal. (The Simpsons)

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I've been at GBC for a year working towards my certificate.  There are a couple of things to keep in mind.  If you're looking for quick techniques and special interest cooking where people are going to demonstrate and send you home with recipes, I would suggest one-off course at various locals in the city - you pick.  If you're looking to learn techniques and fundamentals to then apply to creating your own dishes from first principles GBC is a good start for the home chef. After all, be it Spanish, Chinese, French or Japanese the fundamentals to marinade and make a sauce are pretty similar - only the ingredients really change.

Something else to be prepared for - at GBC you've got the whole spectrum of people with different skills.  In my social circle I'm known as a creative and pretty good chef, at my first GBC class I was light years ahead of my classmates.  Now however, as I progress down the path towards the certificate, I find that the class is made up of some damn good home chefs and I learn as much from my interactions with them as I do in the class itself.

There are those who treat cooking as a craft and others who treat it as an art.  It's all in your frame of mind.  GBC is a good program and if you let yourself re-learn the fundamentals, you'll be amazed at the confidence you'll have when you leave.

Its funny that you speak about good "home chefs" when referring to GBC's professional programs. It was my experience when I was there that the "home chefs" rarely lasted, especially into the second year. Those who were slightly less artisticly inclined, but focussed on the craft of cooking were the ones who went on to work and continue to work in the industry. 90% of my graduating class no longer work as cooks/chefs and it was not necessarily the best who stayed.

For the record, I definitely fell in the home chef category, although more traditional cooking focussed than gourmet (which I despise almost as much as I despise the concept of 'fusion' cuisine).

It has been my experience that the GBC's Continuing Education Courses and night courses are geared more towards home chefs looking for techniques and recipes than the regular daytime courses. A great course is the "High Tea" course for all those intricate little amuse-bouche snacks.

Mark


Edited by Librarian_chef (log)

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I am wondering if anyone has suggestions for cooking schools both for the serious cook and for someone who wants to just sit with a glass of wine, eat and watch.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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A couple of years ago I went to Dish cooking studio as a birthday treat (pre Food Network days). It was a great evening, everyone helped to create the menu. I think we prepared a rack of lamb, a risotto and a lemon curd, so it wasn't the most challenging menu, but it was fun and the chefs are there to assist with all aspects. The level of participation is voluntary and you can definitely kick back with a glass of wine and watch.


Muskoka Kid

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