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Culinary School Help! [moved from General Chowhounding Topics]

Hi,

I am going to be graduating this year and I was looking for a culinary school to go to that is not so expensive. I live in New York City but unfortunately I am not rich at all and all the schools here are to much money and I would like stay in the North East like Vermont, New York, Boston, Pennsylvanian, Connecticut and Maine. I had looked at places like The French culinary institute, CAI, and New England Culinary Institute. But they were all way to much for what I can pay. Since I was 11 I knew I wanted to be a chef once I found out how hard it was to be a Baseball Player :( but I just don't know where to look anymore.

Thank you

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  1. Try the Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh (no laughing allowed!) They have a great program and rank up there with the best.

    Also, depending on your financial situation, check out Johnson and Wales University; they have a great culinary program and various campuses all over the country. Their financial aid program is great, as is their internship program, and since they are all over the country, they aim for "geographic diversity."

    Good luck on your endeavors. Perhaps we'll be dining in your establishment one day! Keep us posted.

    1 Reply
    1. re: beccaboo

      Thank you very much I will check it out.

      I really wish I could have my own restaurant.

    2. You might reconsider culinary school and just start working in kitchens. Not only will it give you an idea if this is a career path you really want to follow you will also save yourself money. If you haven't read Heat by Bill Buford I'd suggest picking up a copy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: KTinNYC

        I must agree with the idea of working in kitchens. Jackp and I have a nephew who worked for years as a line/prep cook in restaurants while he was a skateboard/snowboard bum before he went to culinary school in Fall River, Mass. He says that often, people working for him who have gone to culinary school without actually working in restaurants for an extended period don't have the know-how necessary to really work well with food. For example, they might have spent one week in culinary school learning how to clean and fillet a fish, but don't really have a feel for the meat and what can be done with it and how to get the best flavor from it.

        You might find that working on the line is the sort of experience that points you in the right direction.

      2. Have you checked out Sullivan University in Louisville, KY? Don't laugh... it's one of the top 10 culinary schools in the country....

        1. Check out L'Ecole Culinaire in St. Louis. Muuuch cheaper, though definitely a trek.

          And we're a big baseball town to boot.

          1. Definitely work in a fast-paced kitchen before culinary school. A friend of mine was on the cusp of graduation (internship) and switched from a relatively low-stress kitchen to a top tier kitchen. He is a reasonably talented cook. It broke him within a week and he decided to switch career paths.

            J&W used to be located in Charleston and we currently have AI and a wonderful technical school program. Many of the people I knew who graduated J&W did not get the optional business degree. The business degree in conjunction with the culinary degree will give you a much higher degree of job flexibility. Chefs have a tremendous amount of responsibilities that have nothing to do with cooking. A culinary degree by itself is not a guarantee of good employment.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CharlestonChow

              Agree dual degree is a good idea. My son attended J&W in Charleston, but I was referring to the Providence location. His culinary/hospitality management degree has opened many more doors than just a culinary degree would have.

              And you are certainly correct about different kitchens affecting your perception of what it means to be a chef.

              Once again, best of luck to the OP