Best Decision Ever

Going to culinary school has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. Not that I have a track record of awesome decision making that could compete with it for the title of “Best Decision Ever,” but it has been a fantastic step. Moving from Virginia to New York was scary (and freezing) at first, but ultimately liberating (and there are way better eats!) It is hard to find a substitute for the fulfillment I get from being surrounded by people who care as much about food as I do and share in my love for cooking and eating.

I would recommend the French Culinary Institute to anyone I know, as it is filled with the most intelligent and informative instructors around, plus it offers such an array of flexible schedules (which is great for me because I am not a morning person.) I hate to sound like an FCI flunky, but it really has been such a great experience for me- and I’ve only just about finished Level one. Hopefully I’ll still love it six months from now!

I am pretty much a self taught cook. I’ve worked the line at some great restaurants, but that didn’t really constitute “cooking,” per se, more like “assembling”. I put together salads and desserts, sometimes plating entrees, but nobody let me get near a piece of fish or anything expensive (probably for good reason). At home, though, I created elaborate meals (with varying levels of success) and read anything food related that I could get my hands on. Fantasies of leaving my bartending gig in Richmond and coming to culinary school began occupying my mind about two years ago, but it always seemed just that- a fantasy. Then, a particularly obnoxious boss had me on the brink of walking out of my job, and I made the decision to apply to the FCI. Within a few weeks I was enrolled and had put in my notice at work and had never felt happier or more nervous.

After the first day of class, I knew I had made the right decision. My Chef gave us a rundown of what each level entailed and we began cooking on the first day! Even simple vegetable preparations had me enthralled because I was learning the right way to prepare them, not the half-assed-get-it-out-now-or-chef-will-scream-at-you way that I had seen in restaurants or the I-guess-this-is-how-you-do-it way that I had perfected at home, but the absolutely-100%-classic French-way, the right way. Every day I am still enthralled to walk into class in my whites and learn something new; nothing reminds me more that I really did make the Best Decision Ever.

Tonight we’re working with Veal, yummy… I’ll let you know how it goes!

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Culinary Arts (D)
            • Program areas include Culinary Arts, Culinary Management, and more
            • Students are taught cooking styles from around the globe, including Classical European, Asian, and Latin cuisine
            • Curriculum designed to prepare students for a career as a chef, with course topics that include Culinary Techniques, Management by Menu, and Nutrition
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Italian Culinary Experience
            • 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
            Show more [+]
            Culinary Arts
            • 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).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid