Schools of Culinary Arts
Hello, i am currently sixteen and am considering being a chef. I go to community college right now, and haven't decided on a what to major in. If anyone could give out some names of awsome cooking schools that would be really helpful. THanx ;)
The Culinary Institute of America- http://www.ciachef.edu/
Johnson and Wales- http://culinary.jwu.edu/
New England Culinary Institute- http://www.neci.edu/home.html Alton Brown is a NECI grad.
The French Culinary Institute-http://www.frenchculinary.com/ They focus on pastry and baking
The Cordon Bleu,Paris, http://www.cordonbleu.edu/ Julia Child went there.
The Art Institutes, http://www.artinstitutes.edu/culinary/ They are located in many cities.
A complete list of cooking schools-http://www.cookingschools.com/
The French Culinary Institute has programs in pastry and baking, but it isn't their main focus. It is about 50% of their programs which also include regular culinary programs- The Classic which leans towards French Cuisine and a new one in Italian Cuisine which is taught 1/3 in NYC and 2/3 in Italy..
Jacques Pepin is a Master Chef and Dean, as is Wylie Dufresne, Jacques Torres, André Soltner, Alain Sailhac, Cesare Casell, Andrea Robinson is Master Sommelier and a Dean, and Bobby Flay studied there. (I don't know whether that's good or not.)
If I were you I would do a lot of research about what it is like to work in a culinary field. Also get a job right away in a restaurant kitchen. Many people think being a chef is glamorous, but 1/3 or more of all culinary students drop out before finishing the program as the reality sets in. Also don't expect to make enough money to raise a family as a chef. The average income is around $35,000 with many making less.
That said, there are tons of other careers in the culinary areas. I studied at the FCI and several other schools around the world and have done some work as a private chef and food consultant, and now I write about food and beverages. It's a lot of fun.
There are a lot of community colleges out there that have good culinary programs. I'd start looking around for one of those first, they're a lot cheaper to get your feet wet.
MAny of the commercial schools are turning into student loan mills, you'll graduate owing more than you'll make in your first five years. Check the staff to student ratio, it's a good indicator of the quality of instruction you'll get.
Le Cordon Bleu's 18 month education runs around $48K. Art Institute's is $36K. Schools like Johnson & Wales and CIA will run you $58 - 70K depending on your course. Economically, find a community college in your area that offers the AAS - Culinary degree (Associates of Applied Science). That way, if you choose to go on to University (for culinary or not) after you're done, you've got your generals out of the way for usually under $9K.
School will get you part of the way -- on the job will be your best teacher. Get a job right now in a restaurant doing dish or prep. That will tell you whether or not you'll like it enough to pursue as a career.
Since you're in Reno, if you choose, you can go to Vegas after school and apprentice with any of the known chefs in the area. That education is priceless.