WanaBe a ChefNeed Recommendation - Tampa/Florida culinary schools

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Looking for a Culinary Arts Program?

If you live near any of the programs listed below(or are interested in living these areas while in school)click on the link to get free, no obligation information on the programs.

All the Best,

Atlantic Culinary Academy (NH)
California Culinary Academy
International Culinary Academy (PA)
The Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago
Western Culinary Institute (OR)
California School of Culinary Arts, Pasadena, CA
Texas Culinary Academy, Austin, TX

WebFoodPros.com: WanaBe a Chef: Need Recommendation - Tampa/Florida culinary schools
By Rosalyn (Rosalyn) on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 03:19 pm: Edit

My sister just graduated from high school and has decided she wants to be a chef. I'm helping her collect information to determine what she needs to do in order to achieve her goal.

She's currently working in a steak house as a cook so that is probably a good step. We figure she needs to go to school, but we don't know if it is better to do a 2 year community college program or go to a university.

I understand that there are quite a few cooking schools in Florida where we live. We live in the Tampa, Florida area. We would sure appreciate some recommendations from anyone who knows about these things. At this point, we are greatful for any insight.

As far as culinary schools go, if we could get your top 3 picks & your reasoning, it would help us immensely to narrow our search. We are looking for the best value for the money and also trying to choose a path that will ensure she will be fully prepared to have a career, not just a job.

Thank you, in advance, for your assistance.

By Chefmurph (Chefmurph) on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 09:26 pm: Edit

To give you an opinion on particular schools would be unfair and of no real value to you. Giving you a list of what to look for in a good school would be of much more value to you.
First, who's doing the teaching? I feel that this is the most important part of the education check up. Check the credentials of the culinary faculty. How many are certified: CMC, CEC, CCC, CEPC, CCE? What culinary schools did they go to? If you can't afford the big money schools then look for a school with big money teachers.
Next what kind of facilities do they have and what kind of condidtion are they in? Go and observe the school when it is in session. Is there enough equipment and space for the number of students in the class to work independently or in small groups? Do they have an outlet for the products made by the students? Eat there and see what they do. As the saying goes the proof is in the pudding or whatever is the product of the day.
How easy would it be to get a job at least part time while going to school? Unless of course money is of no object and you don't need to work! There are not to many of these students around today.
I guess you still need to look at the other financials too. What do you get for the money? Is it extra for specialty classes? like chocolate or ice carving etc? What hidden costs are there? You want each school you are comparing to give you the absolute total bottom line, not one penney more cost of going to their school for a complete education. That is the only way to compare one to another. Then you can decide what the real cost is and if one is truly cheaper than another.
I suppose the last thing is the reputation of the school. I put it last because although it carries weight, what you as an individual learn is far more important than what some guy on TV or in a magazine learned 10 to 15 years ago. I am a firm believer that if you go to a community college and stand right next to the teacher and ask intelligent questions garnered from a review of yesterdays notes you get a much better education than someone who goes to a high powered culianry college and stands in the back chatting with another student.
WHAT YOU LEARN IS UP TO YOU! Don't get me wrong, if you can swing it go somewhere good, you will be able to tell if you use the other things I have described to you to make your decision. If the school has all the pieces it will probably not be really cheap but you can make trade offs and still come away with a good education in the end.
Good luck on a successful career!

By Colin (Colin) on Saturday, July 15, 2000 - 03:31 pm: Edit

I agree with Chef Murph and especially about visiting the schools and seeing what is offered. To start though, you can contact them and ask for brochures and information packets where you can begin comparing. Most schools also have web sites now where you can access information, as well as contact them online. Two Florida schools that I know have web pages are Johnson and Wales University and the Florida Culinary Institute.
Best of luck,

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