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Jan 6, 2009 12:34 PM

Culinary Schools -- East Bay

Greetings chow hounders!

I have been taking alot of advice on where and what to eat from this board and everything has been great, thanks to all.

I recently moved to Berkeley from St. Louis so all the fresh local food and restaurants around here are a real treat. Back in St. Louis I have worked at a few of restaurants but never had any professional culinary schooling. Throughout my life I have had a real passion for cooking and would like to pursue that passion further.

I was wondering if any experienced SF chefs out there could inform me of good culinary schools close to the Berkeley / East Bay area?

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    1. Here is one more. Laney Jr College. The old department was Jack Greenspan, but I have heard that he has been sick. There is another department head. But I have seen the kitchen and it is first rate.

      There are of course more on other side of the bay also.

      1. If you're really serious about culinary school, there's The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (Napa Valley). Culinary school is very expensive (which I'm sure you know) so might as well attend the best school possible.

        1. I would skip culinary school altogether. Go to a restaurant you love, express your extreme interest, and work from the bottom up. I went to culinary school, taught a culinary program, and cannot really recommend it. Too expensive, not enough hands on experience. Most of what I learned came from restaurants and personal projects. A place like Greystone is better to attend once you have some experience. I strongly recommend NOT going the school route.

          1. I am student at california culinary academy in SF and its one of the top culinary schools in the country.
            If you have a passion for cooking this school is well worth the cash! And when you start you will realize why its better to go to school and get a step ahead of everyone els. Good luck!

            2 Replies
            1. re: jacobfarleigh

              I really appreciate everyone's advice, thank you so much. I think Im going to attend Contra Costa and try to work my way up at a successful restaurant around Berkeley. Hopefully you all will be frequenting one of my establishments in the future!


              1. re: Bosshoggin

                That really is a good plan. Won't cost you a lot, you'll get experience at the same time, and see how much you like it.