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Oct 3, 2007 08:25 PM

L'École Culinaire???

I just moved to the city of St Louis MO with the intention of atteing Le'Cole Culinaire. I have toured the schools facilities, observed students in class, dined with one class on their project, and have decided to attend there. But I am curious as to if anyone has heard of Le'Cole Culinaire and if there is any comments good or bad on it? I hope to actually begin classes within the next year.

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  1. It hasn't been around long enough to have a good reputation, but it is an branch of Vatterott College. I felt the instructors were very good, but the way the program was set up was focused on making money. The schedule is very restrictive and doesn't leave a lot of room for having a full time job if you need money. I'm eager to see how the graduates do.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Merrittduncan

      I just graduated from Lecole and what i say is u get out of it what u put in. Im satisfied fro right now...if u want to learn how to cook go to school. It a change the way u view food entirely, that's what it did for me. Lecole got me a great job at the Moonrise Hotel cooking at eclipse andits amazing. Probably would have never gained the experience and be able to do what I do today if it wasent for that school. Its a espensive but at least you will be able to make the money back to pay it off instead not being able to pay nothing at all..!!

      1. re: Merrittduncan

        Im doing just fine ...from the look of the path im taking my career in the industry will be pretty exciting the options for me are limitless

        1. re: Merrittduncan

          the schedule is not restrictive. you as the student have the option of choosing night or day classes and you can switch if needed.

        2. Just so you'll know, the culinary program at Forest Park Community College is supposed to be top rate.

          1. I just wanted to let you know that I know a few people who have graduated from the program at Le'Cole and one is working in Las Vegas now, one worked under a great chef at Wapango in Chesterfield and one has a great job in a bakery now. It doesn't instantly make you a chef, but having a culinary degree helps you get much better jobs in the industry and helps you move up faster. Good Luck and if you can...ask to be in Chef Sparks' 101 class. He is AMAZING!

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. Number one culinary school is NECI, followed by CIA, and FCI in NYC. Otherwise you're quite well off moving to any "food town" and offering to wash dishes in the kitchen of a chef you admire. Invest your tuition in cookbooks, culinary travel, and cooking tools. Take a food safety course on the side for certification. Keep moving and pushing yourself into new kitchens with chefs who have the most to offer. Work two jobs. If you can't get in the front door of the kitchen you'd like to work in next, find someone who has worked their (and is still in good standing) and offer your services. Better jobs and faster tracks have very little to do with culinary school, and a lot to do with your personal motivation.

                1 Reply
                1. re: blowphishery

                  I was going to stay silent on this, but I completely agree with this post.

                  When I worked at Harvest, the CIA, Johnson & Wales, and NECI were all represented in the kitchen, and there was nothing they knew that I did not because of a tremendous amount of reading and dedication (two jobs for a while) on my part.

                  Of those three, the person that went to New England seemed to have gotten the most practical experience out of it, but he's the only person I personally knew that had gone there.

                  Speaking for the midwest, I'd worked with some people when I staged in Chicago that went to Kendall College, and they spoke very highly of that program, as do others.

                  At the end of the day though, I feel like if you can't afford to go to one of the two or three top schools, you're definitely better off spending your money in another way and just working as much as possible in good places (which sometimes means getting paid little).

                  I will also add that I worked with several people from L'Ecole's first graduating class, and they were less than enthused with the program. Perhaps things have changed, I really don't know.