We just got the letter today that my daughter has been accepted to the Pastry Arts program at Johnson and Wales!
We're really excited and happy (and I am nervous because we live in Ohio and I will miss her terribly)
So...I thought maybe a good topic might be discussing schools, colleges, college experiences, that sort of thing...Where did you go? How was it? Would you do it again?
Congrats to her! My experience with culinary school was a little late: I attended the French Culinary Institute when i was 34
If I knew when I was 17 that this was what I wanted to do, I would have gone to the CIA in Hyde park, NY... but at my age, and at this point in my life, I'm very happy with the choice I made.
I hope we're able to make it happen for her. This is her passion, and to be honest, she will be living my dream... I couldn't be more happy or pleased for her. Since I have found this site, I have been living on it, trying to read and gain as much knowledge as I can, not only because I love it, but because I want to be able to help her achieve her goals. I want to support her and help her be successful.
I know that it's difficult for most people to understand the skill and time that goes into creating these amazing cakes. While I am not in the biz, I know that this is hard work. I think most people think that it's "just cake", how could it be worth so much money? They do not care to consider the amount of time that goes into it, or that not just anyone has the skill to produce such creations, and they don't want to pay what it's really worth.
My fear for her is this....
I hate to see her leave college with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of student loans, and not be able to pay for them, or provide a living for herself. Like any parent, I want her to be happy and do what she loves. And I know it isn't all about the money...but it sure makes life a little easier when you know the electric bill can be paid this month.
To be in this business, would you begin in a college, or take classes from individuals that teach the different skills?
If you had to do it all over again, where would you start?
I went to The French Culinary Institute as well. I went when I was 21, right after I got my bachelors. I knew it was what I wanted to do but I wanted to have backup skills and education just in case I couldn't pay the bills. Even though I have very high student loan payments I wouldn't change it for anything. I loved my experience there and learned a lot. They give demos multiple times a week and I always volunteered to assist so I met a lot of great chefs and did some good networking that really helped me to get internships after and helped out my resume. I had the same worry about not being able to pay my bills but I was able to make it work. Things were a little tight but I was fortunate enough to not have to do it alone, my husband helped too. I suggest talking to some admissions counselors. The ones at FCI helped me to get an idea of what to expect as far as salaries, etc.
Congrats to her and to you for being so supportive of her dream!
I decided late too... I'm 32 and decided last year to enroll at The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. I take weekend classes to be able to work full time until I "get out there". I graduate from this degree program 4.25!!! It goes FAST!
I went to college for Illustration got my BFA and worked as a graphic designer. Tomorrow is my last day as a graphic designer =D I will be externing at Confetti Cakes in NYC and working part time as a cake decorator near my house at Costco. I can say this is one decision I have no regrets about. I'm excited about this and thankful to have the support of my husband.=D
Good luck to your daughter! =D
I went to the Pastry School of Hard Knocks.
My mom couldn't afford it so I've just learned over the years with hours of hard work and practice.
I just graduated from Johnson & Wales University Providence.
Which J & W location is she considering? I live near, and attended the Providence campus. Of course it's a MUCH bigger school now than it was back when I attended. But it's a GREAT city and a terrific school. If you have any questions about the area, feel free to ask.
Congrats Atomikjen! That's great!
Cupcakeluv24, congrats to you on your recent graduation!
artscallion...She applied at the one in Providence first, got her acceptance letter, and then the next day got another letter saying that location was full. They offered Denver or Miami. She had to think long and hard for about 2 seconds before she chose the Miami location. It's sort of a relief for me, because I would have been worried about her driving in the snow. ( Can you tell I am going to have serious separation issues? LOL)
I hope she is able to go. It all depends on what the *real cost* of attending is going to be. Here in Cincinnati, U.C. has a 4 year pastry arts program. She has already been doing post secondary college for the past 2 years at UC, she's used to it, so that's an option for her. It just all has to make sense financially....
I also still live in Providence very close to J&W. I have been here for 3 years, if you have any questions about the city/ school please ask.
How do you think J&W ranks compared to the other popular culinary schools?
Would you choose J&W again?
Johnson and Wales is the best culinary school on the planet. Well rounded and great opportunities. Worth every penny.
I didn't choose to go with a couple of the other schools because when they came to do demo for my high school Culinary arts class they would either be pushy or I noticed unsanitary practices the demo chefs where doing. I felt that if they where going to send someone to do demos they would send someone who wouldn't put something so close to their nose it made me uncomfortable this demo chef had the Basil so close to his nose it might as well have been up it, and to think he might have been tough that there made me not want to go there ( I am a sanitation FREAK!).Also I felt the pushy attitudes were a bit to pushy for my liking and kinda rude if I do say so myself again it could have just been that particular Rep but I wasn't going to be "bossed" around by a college/university.
Yes I would do it all over again, some of the chefs are hard asses but if you choose to work in kitchens sometimes that's going to be reality, they are just trying to prepare you for the real kitchen/ bake shop world its not always nice.
Thank you both...that is exactly what I wanted to hear!...err...read!