WanaBe a ChefBashing Culinary School

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By Tobeachef (Tobeachef) on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 02:32 pm: Edit

Name is fred and i go to CIA. And, i would simply like to know why do so many people in the culinary field hate culinary school graduates so much? Its like most chefs have some bias against people who just want to be in this field and have gone through, what we consider, an awesome program. Yes, it's a lot of money, and yes we do "pump out the graduates" but there are some of us who truly love this industry. I just find it unfair that because i love this industry, and thought i could get the best education i could possibly get from this school, people in the field have already made their judgement call, and think i'm destined to fail. If i am wrong in anyway, please respond. I'd love to see the error of my ways, but if i'm right. I hope that attitude is fast fading because statistically, we could potentially be the wave of the future in the culinary field.

By Cookingfresh (Cookingfresh) on Monday, February 06, 2006 - 02:04 pm: Edit

Fred, I don't know bout the rest of the chefs out there, I can only speak for myself. First off I didn't have the chance to go to school so I can only judge culinary students from what I've seen and hired in the past. I have nothing against students or graduates, I thinks any education is beneficial to any person. Having said that, I have hired local school and acclaimed school grauduates and the thing I've noticed is that the ones that put an effort into the education are the ones that put an effort into the jobs. Those that don't don't. If you come out of school with out practical hands on work experience don't expect to be taken to serious. A combination of both will get you further along in your career. Several of the grads I've hired are not open to the idea that there are several ways to do the same thing, the book way and the practial way as well as a chefs desired way. I've seen more "next superstar" than those willing to do the 10 years of work for the 10 minutes of glory that most hands on, working 70 hours a week,actual time in the kitchen, blood sweat and tears chefs that make up 99% of the really good cooks out there. To quote Dennis Leary " Thats just my opinion, I could be wrong"

By Foodpump (Foodpump) on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 10:09 am: Edit

Really like cookingfresh's opinions and agree with them, especially the one about those who put an effort into education, put effort into their jobs.

What I have seen and experienced myself about cooking school graduates is this: A large portion of them feel that since they paid big bucks for their education, are somehow entitled to earn more, or at lest demand more than cooks with little education but more experience. Please bear in mind that for most of us employers, experience is the trump card when hiring. Experience is the main meat dish, education is just gravy: Nice if it's good, but not absolutely neccesary.

Those graduates with very little experience in the field prior to their courses are reluctant to start in lower positions, and some even go as far to say that they'll only start at a Sous-chef position--or nothing at all.

Now these opinions come from talking to grads during interviews. I'm in the wrong country to interview CIA grads, but I understand that they must work in the field BEFORE starting their courses, so I hope that that the above mentioned attitudes aren't as common with CIA grads...

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 10:24 am: Edit

Fred, CIA is probably the exception to the rule to a certain extent...."certain" beign the operative word.
Yes, there are always those half percenters who are excellent at their craft but, the fact is the majority are less then average.
I also never went to formal culinary training, after I had worked in the business for 8-9 years, my employer paid for my education and went to Hospitality management school, many kids go to CIA, then go to Cornell, UNLV or FIU, some are superstars and some are slackers.
The bottom line is, what can you do with 18 sautee pans on Saturday night at 8:00PM?????
By and large, most kids that go to a Culinary program straight out of high school are in for a shock when they go to work.
The reality is, they'll be working a line somewhere for 9-10 bucks an hour, few will be Tim Ryan...he is one of the ultimate culinarians out of the CIA.

By Tortesrus (Tortesrus) on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 11:07 am: Edit

Fred- I am a CIA grad - so I know where your point of view is, and where the point of view of the other contributers come from. Reality-The CIA is exceptional for learning the knowledge that being a culinarian requires -but the skills, the ability to perform in a high energy intense fast paced environment comes with experience. Alot of CIA grads come out of school calling themselves
"Chefs"- and don't really have a clue what that term means in the field. Many of the top chefs in the business are CIA grads- they didn't get that way solely because they were grads- but because they had the ambition drive and desire to excel and be the best that they could. If you follow along those lines you too will have success. Take your time at the CIA seriously- utilize every chance that you have to learn as much as you are able to in every area that you can. Odds are you will never have an opportunity like that again. When you get out into the field-expect to start at the bottom- but pick the best places and the best chefs to learn from. The CIA is a great learning tool. All tools are only as good as your ability to use them. Best of Luck to you.

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