Suggestions for chef school in Ontario
January 29, 2007 11:34 AM   Subscribe

What is the best regarded chef/culinary school in or near Toronto, Ontario?

Not for me, but for a close friend. This is a 30-something guy who is essentially a career changer, but has kept his hand in with night-time kitchen/bar/waiter jobs throughout his life as a 9 to 5er, so is quite comfortable with the restaurant environment and the associated demands. (He's new to Toronto, from the US, so no real restaurant-people network in this city yet). Looking to ultimately work in nice restaurants, not catering in universities or private cheffing or what have you. Willing and able to commit to full time study. Family obligations mean he's unable to move to Ottawa to attend the Cordon Bleu place, if he could even get in.

Thanks for any help you can offer!
posted by jamesonandwater to Education (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know George Brown College has a solid reputation, but that's from someone with a very slight potential conflict of interest.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:51 AM on January 29, 2007

George Brown does have a good reputation. Based on it, I took a catering management course there and it was absolutely dreadful--I felt like I was back in high school. However, I took the course in their "continuing education" series (a night program), not their daytime college degree program.
posted by dobbs at 12:00 PM on January 29, 2007

There's a cooking school, if memory serves, out in Prince Edward County (Picton or something) somewhere. I'm sorry I can't remember more than that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:02 PM on January 29, 2007

Yeah, the George Brown Chef School is very good (and highly regarded in the industry), but many of the other less focused programs in their School of Hospitality are not all that useful or inspiring. They're mostly the kind of thing you'd want to do for interest's sake, and maybe to meet like-minded people or make contacts.

Your friend should at least look into the Chef School at GBC, and see what he thinks. If he is dedicated and passionate, and doesn't mind being in classes with a bunch of 18-20-year-olds (assuming he wants to enrol as a full-time student), it might be a good and relatively inexpensive way to get the training he wants.

This is coming from someone with experience as a student and an employee at GBC. I'll also say that I wouldn't recommend any other program there nearly as highly as the Chef School... dobbs is right about it being very much like high school at points.
posted by freudenschade at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2007

Is Ottawa near Toronto? If so, there's Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute.
posted by mendel at 1:15 PM on January 29, 2007

The cooking school that dirtynumbangelboy mentions is The Waring House Cookery School. It is in Picton, which is about 2.5 hours away from Toronto.

My mom and sister have taken courses there, and had a great time. The courses are mostly one-off classes that last an evening or an afternoon. I don't think it's a school that turns out professional chefs, but maybe it could be a start, albeit a small one.

I can get more information about it for you if you are interested.
posted by melissa at 1:37 PM on January 29, 2007

Stratford Chefs School.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 2:45 PM on January 29, 2007

You can always check out the Niagara Culinary Institute.
posted by punkrockrat at 3:31 PM on January 29, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks a million for the input folks, will pass all of this on.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:15 AM on January 30, 2007

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