Thoughts On The FCI

30 Mar

My trip to the French Culinary Institute was AMAZING!  The whole weekend was pretty great actually.  Last Thursday I had my official lay off meeting.  I can now really get the ball rolling on what I can do with my future, so our trip came at an optimal time.

My day at the FCI started out by sitting in on a level one class.  They were working on cakes made with liquid fat and making a carrot cake and chocolate cupcakes.  The classroom was fantastic.  The chef would demo something and all the students would scatter to work on it.  Everyone just knew right where to go and they were so organized!  They worked as partners and they were doing this strange thing as they worked, they would clean.  No dishes piled up and no one was covered in anything…very strange to me.  If you read this blog regularly, Dan often talks about how dishes and messes are handled in our kitchen.  As I sat there admiring the speed and efficiency of the students and feeling out of place something happened to make me feel right at home!   The fire alarm went off.  Now setting off the fire alarm is something I have a true knack for, not so much with baking but regular cooking.  Once I heard that alarm I was ready to fling open windows (there were none in the classroom) and start waving a hand towel under the detector.  The students on the other hand,  just kept working until the Chef said “Ok this isn’t a drill we have to go outside.”  So for twenty minutes the entire school stood outside in their nice white coats, checkered pants and white caps.  Sadly I didn’t get to see any of the final projects because shortly after the fire drill I had to move on.

The rest of my visit consisted of meeting with financial aid, career services and I had an interview with a tour of the entire facility.  All were uplifting and depressing at the same time.  The school seems awesome and well respected but just so darn expensive.  All the financial aid rep could do for me was telling me about one $20,000 scholarship, a few other web pages of scholarships  (which I either don’t qualify for or have already missed the deadline) and loans (federal and private).  Career services on the other hand was much more positive.  They gave me a lot of good ideas to get started as soon as I get into the city in July.

Then came the true selling point and the best way to a fat girl’s heart, they fed Dan and I a fantastic meal!  There is a restaurant attached to the school, L’ Ecole. The students in the classic culinary program work the restaurant as their final level.  They gave us lunch on the house and it was more than just lunch.  We ordered our appetizers, and they brought out our two plus more of things the waitress just “insisted that we must try.”  This pattern continued through the entire meal.  Every bit was so delicious we couldn’t stop putting it in our mouths.  I was so uncomfortably stuffed at the end of the meal, but it was worth it.

I’m going to apply and apply for the scholarship.  If I don’t get the scholarship, I’m not going.  I have undergraduate student loans and I just can’t fathom adding $40,000 more.  If I do get the scholarship, it would make things a little more reasonable.  I’m also going to go to Work Force NY and see what kind of unemployment educational benefits I can qualify for.  I’m sure it won’t be much but even a few thousand dollars would help.

So keep your fingers crossed for me that I get the scholarship, otherwise no white coat for me!

P.S. A special thanks to my friend Zack the most amazing host in NYC! 


3 Responses to “Thoughts On The FCI”

  1. Darlynne March 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Terry, I am so excited that you went to NYC to check it out and get the scoop on the school. I’m just so excited for you and in total support of your efforts. You can do it!

    • tconigl1 March 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

      Thanks! That means a lot coming from you because you’re one of my inspirations. Maybe when I open my shop, even though it won’t be around here, maybe I can sell Life’s So Sweet Chocolates too!

  2. Sara April 1, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    This is so awesome. I really hope you can find a way to work it out!

    Also, we were in NYC over the same weekend? That would be rather coincidental!

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