Okay this was not an easy choice but I did have some criteria to consider. These were my guidelines for choosing a school:
1. Professional Culinary program
2. Outside of Israel
3. Located in a big city center
4. Good reputation and well known school
Some of the options out there are:
1. CIA (Culinary institute of America – New-York) – This is the best school in America. Located in Hyde Park NY, about 2 hr from Manhattan, living in a collage complex. At least 2 year study and about 10K$ a semester. They also accept only students with at least 6 month experience in the field. Not for me I guess,
2. FCI (The French Culinary Institute – New-York) – This was an actual option as they have a great reputation, program and located in Manhattan. The 6 months (and 600 hr) program costs more then 44K$. A bit too steep.
3. ICE (The institute of Culinary Education – New York) – Was also an option but the safer and easier one. It’s a 440 hr. program followed by a 210 hr externship. The tuition is reasonable as well: 30.5K$ with a 3K discount for international students. (so 27.5K$ for about 5 months 5 days a week 4 hours a day and then 3-4 weeks of the extership, with little chance of staying in the US afterwards). I was going to apply here if I wasn’t accepted to the ESCF.
4. LCB – One of the Le Cordon Bleu branches (in Paris, London or USA). This was my first thought obviously. After watching Julie & Julia it felt like the only choice. Apparently the well known Paris branch is not alone. There’s a London, Sydney, Tokyo and several other branches. Several years ago some of North America’s culinary schools got into an agreement with Le cordon blue to carry the brand name and teach the Cordon bleu teaching technique. I was disappointed to read some bad reviews of these schools saying it’s not worth the high tuition. I was also disappointed to read about the Paris branch that has been neglected for the past few years. Leaving only the London branch a real option. I was under impressed with the commercial feeling they left, relaying mostly on their brand name. Also I read that there’s a long demo every day and afterwards some practical learning, making it a less hands on program.
5. Lenôtre (France). Another well known name in french cooking. Problems: outside of the city and teaching only in french. Also I heard it’s pastry program is better then the culinary.
6. Ai (The Art institute – Several branches in the US) and some other options I was not attracted to. Another reason is that I couldn’t find any recommendations to go there but to save my money and enroll to a state school that will give just about the same for cheaper tuition.
While contemplating mainly on ICE New-York Vs. LCB London The name ESCF-Ferrnadi started popping out in every message board and forums I read. About why I choose ESCF -Ferrandi on a higher priority in the end I will need a brand new post. Until then…