Baking schools (pastry chef) in Los Angeles?

  1. Hi Everybody,

    I have decided to change careers and move into cooking. I love baking and I am really serious about becoming a pastry chef. Does anybody know of schools in Los ANgeles that are good? They all seem the same to me as I know nothing about programs and instructors. Thanks so much.
  2. I went to CIA in NY. Great school. Being a chef is one of the hardest jobs in the world. I got out of that business many years ago. Think long and hard if you really want to change careers. It is NOTHING like you see on Top Chef or any other show on tv. But if you like working an average of 12 hours a day on your feet, then go for it. Very long hours and very little pay in the beginning.

    With the information and experience I have now, I would forgo culinary school and go to local restaurants. If you can afford to, work for free in different kitchens. Experience is more important on your resume than what school you went to. Everything is practice, practice, practice.

    Then there are your family members who expect you to cook for them every time they come to your house. Most chefs that I know, don't cook at home. I am the queen of take out. The only time I cook is around the holidays.

    If you have any questions, I can probably answer them.
  3. Thanks so much. I am not thinking about getting into a restaurant or becoming a professional chef, I don't have what it takes and I feel I am already too old for that. I am thinking about leaving academia (which is what I do) and shifting into something I can own. I am hoping to open a coffee house or something like that. I just want to be my own boss and I want to be part of something that is not so cut-throat (and believe me, academia is really really tough). It is a long term project, I am not in hurry and I do have a job that pays the bills while I learn and make up my mind. If I decide even having a coffee house is too much, I can keep doing what I do as I have already gotten tenure. We'll see what happens.

    Thanks so so much.
  4. I would look at a few of the local community colleges - I know that LA Trade Tech, Cerritos College, and a few others have great culinary programs. I attended an event catered by one of the community college programs, and it was fantastic!

    You could also supplement that with coursework in small business mgmt, etc. if you need.
  5. That is a great idea! I'll look it up as I had not thought of community colleges.

    Thanks a lot
  6. I think there is an Art Institute (AIU) in LA that has a baking/pastry diploma program. I don't know anything else about it but you could check it out.