One common question you may have asked yourself in school was, “am I ever going to use this?” This can be a valid question depending on the topic and on the career that you’re working toward. If you aren’t going to be an engineer, you may not use calculus very often. Not going to be a chemist? Then you may not refer to the periodical table much outside of chemistry class. While an important part of a well-rounded education is having access to different concentrations and a variety of subjects, it is also important that your institution prepares you for real-world situations and life in the professional world. This is exactly what happens at Louisiana Culinary Institute .
When you decide to pursue a culinary career and attend culinary school there are the obvious skills you expect to learn, as well as the different concentrations that you are passionate about. However talk to any chef, manager, or restaurateur, and they’ll tell you that there is a lot more that goes on in the real world than just what happens inside the kitchen.
Whether you opt for a degree in advanced culinary arts , advanced baking and pastry , or hospitality & culinary management you will receive the highest training in techniques, strategy, and all things culinary. And as important as these skills will be as you begin your career, you’ll also be exposed to mathematics, English composition, leadership, accounting, entrepreneurship, and more.
These classes will prepare you for the ins and outs of everyday life in a restaurant, bakery, or hotel. Another additional benefit from a comprehensive curriculum is that you won’t be relegated to your single focus. As well as the peripheral classes that will give you the knowledge to manage the indirect responsibilities of running a kitchen, you’ll also be exposed to other concentrations as well; allowing you to know what goes into each role in the culinary sector.
At Louisiana Culinary Institute you will be prepared for each element of the real culinary world. Everything is in place from an experienced staff, to a carefully cultivated curriculum that will give you the skills and tools to be successful.
The students that pass through the doors of any educational institution all have unique stories, and all take their own path. Navy veteran and Louisiana Culinary Institute alumna, Aimee Tortorich of Gov’t Taco is no exception.
Tortorich began her culinary education at the Art Institute in San Diego, California. While enrolled, her mother fell ill and she left school to return home to Louisiana to care for her. After she recovered and the time came for her to return to California, she opted to stay in Louisiana.
After researching a number of schools she toured LCI. To say she was impressed would be an understatement. It didn’t hurt that the first chef she worked for, Nathan Gresham, was also an LCI alum and helped along the way. Tortorich’s love for the competition and the local chefs sealed the deal. She enrolled as a transfer student.
What was the best part of her education at Louisiana Culinary Institute? Students were encouraged to volunteer; the faculty to student ratio was also a key benefit; and the real world competitions like the Race to Cannes, were all high points of her time at LCI.
Tortorich also offers some words of advice for current and future LCI students , “Try out as many different fields as possible. LCI offers so much. Get involved and test out every aspect from catering to management.”
The reputation of an educational institution is directly reflected by the success and happiness of their graduates. This is an especially defining characteristic when it comes to culinary schools. At traditional universities, while there are a number of key differentiators, it is difficult to foster the creativity and energy that premier culinary schools can in their students. For Louisiana Culinary Institute alum, Christina Cox, this is exactly what drew her to LCI.
As a junior in high school Cox toured Louisiana Culinary Institute and her mind was made up. With desires to become a chef at an early age, there was no more research to be done once she stepped foot on LCI’s campus. So what was it that made this the right choice for her?
The faculty . Of course the teachers and chefs at any institute should be a key consideration, but it was their honesty during her tour that sealed the deal. “The professors didn’t sugarcoat anything, and I loved that,” remembered Cox. They explained a simple formula: if you can get to class on time and keep up with the curriculum, then you are meant to be in this industry.
Along with supportive parents, Cox’s favorite aspect of her education at LCI was that the instructors knew where to focus. This type of industry insight prepares the students for the ins and outs of the food service and hospitality industries that they couldn’t anticipate from a textbook. Everything is timed as a well-rounded curriculum including leadership, accounting, and entrepreneurship classes.
What are a few words of wisdom that an alum can pass down to current and prospective students? “Make sure you are there before Chef Mike says, ‘Good afternoon!’ because that means you’re late. Have your uniform intact and looking nice. Be prepared the night before. Be ready.”
Christina is just one shining example of the chefs that come out of LCI. She is now a chef at the Blue Rose café in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Graduating from LCI doesn’t mean that you walk out of the doors forever. There is a tremendous amount of alumni support, which is just another thing that sets LCI apart.