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Cake Decorating Course at French Culinary Institute OR ICE OR none? Any reviews or thoughts....

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello All,

 

I am seriously considering attending the cake decoration course at French Culinary Institute or Institute of Culinary Education.

 

Any feedback on which institute is better?

 

Also, these courses are very very VERY expensive FCI - 21,000 USD and ICE - 14,000 USD - which pretty much means my life savings :(

 

Has anyone attended or have any thoughts on these courses? Any help in this matter is highly appreciated.

 

 

Thanks in advance:)

post #2 of 16

There are many other options.

 

Look up the community college closest to you that offers a baking arts program.  They do continuing-education courses where you pay maybe $300 and get several lessons.  You then decide if you like the style of education that college offers.

 

Look at the Wilton school in Chicago and the Bonnie Gordon school in Toronto for one-day courses.  Again a few hundred dollars BEFORE you commit to a longer course. Their long courses are more reasonable than you listed. The cental Wilton school has better training than your local Wilton-at-Michaels commercials masquerading as courses.

 

Look at your local adult-education courses.  They probably offer a basic decorating course.

 

You need to know that you could pay for 2 or 4 years of culinary college--what you listed for tuition is the low end of the range that offers a diploma or certificate. People usually get student loans for those diplomas.

 

Another option is to spend $100 on hardbacked Wilton books on ebay, and then watch Youtube videos of techniques to learn them yourself.  The books have a lot of useful information packed in--like candymaking from a Swiss chef.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks bakingirene icon_smile.gif

I am from India. I would be travelling from here just for the course. Hence I need to think a lot more. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of attending courses over time icon_sad.gif
post #4 of 16

Hi I'm an allumni of the French Culinary Institute, I took the pastry arts program. Great program for learning the basics in each section of the curriculum, goes very fast. Its best that you go in with some knowledge or experience baking. We only had 1 week and a half with Ron Ben Isreal to learn sugar flowers which is not nearly enough time to actually get the skill down. As for the cake decorating program I was considering attending as well but honestly don't expect them to teach me any more than what I can learn from here or any other cake tutorial site. Ask to see if you can sit in on a class to see if its a program that right for you. hope this helps

post #5 of 16

Here is another cake decorating school in NYC. Way less money and its really good! WWW.Sugarroom.com

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot icon_smile.gif. Really helpful
post #7 of 16

You really don't need to drop all that money to learn cake decorating.  There are SO many books out there that can help you with the basics, and there are also free videos on YouTube.  Many popular decorators also have videos that you can buy.  Some are a little pricey, but they are good if you need to see how something is done in person.


Now if you want to learn actual pastry, that is another thing that you can do without school, but you need to have a good idea of what your results should be if you are trying to teach yourself.  I have been to France several times so I know what certain pastries are supposed to taste and look like.  But books can help you learn the skill and technique. 

post #8 of 16

plus you can know all the techniques and have every tool

 

you just simply gotta practice to get this down right

one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
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post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NandiniGandotra View Post

Thanks bakingirene icon_smile.gif

I am from India. I would be travelling from here just for the course. Hence I need to think a lot more. Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of attending courses over time icon_sad.gif

Well.  Please consider a course in Australia as being that much closer to home.

 

Hre is what I can tell you about all the courses in North America.  They teach the basics of baking and icing cakes in THEIR style and they teach THEIR style of  decorating.  There is a significant variety of style in what you can learn.  You can see from online cake shops in Canada that some cater to immigrants from your side of the world but using techniques learned here.

 

For yourself, you must consider how you intend to use your coursework in India.  Are you planning to bake cakes?  French pastries? Other sweets? Do you need a dliploma, and will it be accepted in India?

 

You will also have to deal with immigration rules and restrictions, like proving that you have a certain sum of $$$ in your Indian bank account.

 

So maybe you should consider some books that will help you locally.  I can recommend the Alan Dunn books on making gumpaste flowers.  Some of the Wilton hardback books have extensive lessons in piping and candymaking and are reasonably priced other than shipping.  Plus Youtube.

post #10 of 16

I attended several weekend classes at ICE, and agree with what others have said.  If you are looking specifically for cake decorating there are much cheaper ways to learn.  The Wilton's Masters Program is a good starting point.  Also, consider DVD's and YouTube.  There are many excellent books and cake deco magazines.  It may be a little time consuming trying to find out what you are interested in and what areas you like, but it is significantly cheaper than the two schools you mentioned.

post #11 of 16
Hi everyone l live in belguime and i took a 4year course and it cost me about 200eu but even though i still go to youtube and use books to learn more if anyone is intrested in eupeen pasties feel free to ask
post #12 of 16

Here's the thing if you are looking to become a Cake decorator there are many online resources to learn the skills necessary to become a cake artist. Many of the well known cake designers are coming out with "how to" videos and yes you have you tube. Now if you are considering Pastry Arts then I highly recommend you do attend a Culinary School such as the French Culinary Institute! Sure you can learn from a book but Pastry is a science! and you will need the hands on experience. If you are looking for a degree program in Pastry Arts then the Culinary Institute of America is the way to go and is considered the best Culinary School in the country!  Hope this info helps :) 

 

http://www.cakesbydesign.cc/

 

http://university.pinkcakebox.com/

 

http://www.craftsy.com/classes/cake-decorating

 

http://www.caljavaonline.com/classes1.htm#ron_ben_israel

 

http://www.mikesamazingcakes.com/

 

http://www.confetticakes.com/classes.html

 

www.sugarroom.com

 

www.wilton.com

 

http://www.nycakeacademy.com/

 

http://www.mycakeschool.com/

 

http://www.cakesuniquelyyoursschool.com/

 

https://www.sugarflowercakeshop.com/events/type/classes

 

http://www.wildflowersbylori.com/classes.html

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene View Post

... Look up the community college closest to you that offers a baking arts program.  They do continuing-education courses where you pay maybe $300 and get several lessons.  You then decide if you like the style of education that college offers.

 

... Look at your local adult-education courses.  They probably offer a basic decorating course.

 

... Another option is to spend $100 on hardbacked Wilton books on ebay, and then watch Youtube videos of techniques to learn them yourself.  The books have a lot of useful information packed in--like candymaking from a Swiss chef.

BakingIrene has some good suggestions. For others reading this thread: Taking local classes in Adult Ed programs is an affordable way to learn. And many community colleges have, or are starting, culinary arts programs. Even YouTube has great instructions to get people started... I'm a self-taught pastry chef and found enough books to move me in the right direction.  

VISIT US at BAKINGFIX

 

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VISIT US at BAKINGFIX

 

             Bookshelf    Consulting    Classes    Blog    Facebook  

    

 

 

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post #14 of 16

Agreed.  "The university of Youtube" as I call it, is where I learned most of my cake decorating skills.  I graduated from a baking and pastry program which, as mentioned above, only gave me the basics.  I could travel down Negative Nancy Lane on the whole school subject, but I will say this: yes, I made good connections, and yes some of my classes were worth the money, but only a few.  I went to school to be a pastry chef so our goals may be a bit different, but if cake decorating is what you want to do, learn from the people here, on youtube, or with online classes, etc.  Many of the people here are very willing to share their techniques and experiences.  It really is what you make of it, if you are driven you will succeed!

 

All in all though, not worth the money to only learn how to decorate cake. 

 

Instead of spending so much money, maybe you could fly out for a specialty class with one of your favorite cake decorators?

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time out to help me out. I really appreciate the support and this has definitely helped me get a lot more clarity!!! Thanks again :)

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