A Matter of Time

As a student at the French Culinary Institute, one question I'm often asked about is my opinion regarding the program's quick pace. At the FCI you can complete a culinary program in a six-month day program if you go full-time or nine months if you attend part-time in the evenings.

Each has its pluses and minuses. Both sequences move quickly.

Some chefs at the school will tell you that the program gives you a solid foundation that you can bring into a restaurant. I agree with this point. My knife skills aren't the fastest or most precise. I can't recite every classic French recipe by heart. Nor can I cook every piece of meat or fish perfectly each time. But what I do have is knowledge and recognition of how to achieve what a chef expects in a professional kitchen.

The quick program also allows you to start working sooner and make up for the money you've spent on school (around $30,000).

If there's a downside, it's the fact that so much information is packed into a short amount of time. Some students, including myself, would appreciate more time to work on our knife skills or other kitchen tasks. But I suppose one can gain all of that in a kitchen.

Sometimes I wonder if attending a two-year school (such as the Culinary Institute of America's well-known program) would be a better fit. Through my time at the FCI, though, I've discovered that nothing is more valuable than actually cooking.

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses