August Not-So Rush

Late-summer in New York City is living up to it's notorious rep: the subway becomes a sauna, New Yorkers flee the city and the restaurant scene is dead. Okay, the good restaurants in New York will never be dead, but I walked into Momofuku Ssam Bar with a friend at 7:30 pm and was immediately seated. For a place with a typical half-to-two hour wait, that's dead.

L'Ecole, the FCI's school restaurant, seems to be faring no differently. The $28.00, 3-course prefixe lunch usually draws a steady stream of tourists, weary shoppers and local professionals. It's a bargain compared to its over-priced Soho neighbors, and the offerings are delicious. Eating at L'Ecole was actually what sealed the deal for me when I was considering the FCI. After a beautiful plate of scallops and meeting Jacques Pepin as he wandered around the dining room, I couldn't imagine going elsewhere. But now in a July heat wave, it seems many diners have done just that.

I mention this only because it's something that affects your experience at FCI. Students spend their last two months cooking in the school's restaurant, which is done to give them "real world experience." But with 4 cooks assigned to a station producing 2-4 dishes, the reality level is on par with a Food Network set. It's a great way for first-timers to ease into line cooking, and certainly better than peeling potatoes in another highly rated kitchen. For experienced cooks accustomed to manning their own station, it can be a little frustrating. But regardless of one's experience, late-summer is a rough time to be in that setup. There has been a decent amount of idling once prep is over and a slow service sets in. The chefs help by allowing students to create specials, but beyond that, there's little to occupy time when waiting for orders. Sticking obscene labels on classmates' coats is a popular past time. Another, more challenging prank involves cramming oneself into the condiment fridge and scaring the next person fetching mustard. And there's always fun to be found in stealing important elements of your classmates' mise. But if you have the luxury of a flexible schedule, it might be wise to choose a cycle where you end up working L'Ecole's lunch service during the holiday shopping season.

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            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.
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            • 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.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
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            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
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            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • First opened its doors in 1980 as the Academy of Medical Art and Business.
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            • 7.5 acre campus is located in the foothills of Blue Mountain, north of Harrisburg, PA.
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            • Accredited
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            Virginia College , Fort Pierce
            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
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            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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