The questions and answers included below have been developed based on common inquiries we receive in regards to our school and programs. We provide them here to assist the applicant in making an informed decision about attending our school. Should any of your questions remain unanswered, feel free to call us at 718.758.1339, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT CKCA AND OUR PROGRAMSWhere are you located? What is the area like?
Our exact address is 1407 Coney Island Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11230. We are on the second floor of the building, upstairs from Happy Home Housewares. The area is considered Midwood or Brooklyn. It is an orthodox Jewish community. Our block consists almost entirely of shomer Shabbos shops. The neighborhood is very safe.
We are easily accessible by public transportation. If you plan to ride the subway, take the B or Q train to Avenue J. The area is also serviced by the following buses: B6, B11, B68, and B29.
Metered parking is available on Coney Island Ave. Meters are in effect between 9 am and 7 pm. Street parking is available on the residential side streets off of Coney Island. We recommend looking for parking to the west side of the avenue between streets E. 7th and E. 10th. We also recommend leaving an extra 15 minutes to find parking, especially on Thursdays when alternative sides is in effect.
The advantages are many. For one, CKCA offers the same quality of education that other schools do but at a fraction of the price. Most importantly though, we are the only cooking school in the US where an observant Jewish person or otherwise kosher keeping person can receive a classic education in culinary or pastry arts and fully participate in their studies without having to endanger their commitment to their beliefs and lifestyle. As a kosher cooking school, we are focused on adapting the classic approach to the culinary arts for the kosher, shomer Shabbos world. No other culinary school is going to be able to address the challenges involved in adapting classic sauces, baking pareve desserts, or cooking for Shabbos and Yom Tov— just to give a few examples. Finally, for the career-motivated individual, we offer unparalleled access to a network of employers involved in kosher food service. Other schools are not focused on establishing relationships with kosher restaurants, caterers, bakeries and other places of employment to the extent that we are.
The instructors who teach our programs are all professional chefs with years of work and teaching experience. All of them have taught at other culinary schools, including The NYC College of Technology (CUNY), Kingsborough Community College (CUNY), The Art Institute of New York, Le Cordon Bleu Florida, and The French Culinary Institute. For more information on our chefs, please see the program specific pages in this packet.
We are currently pursuing trade school certification with the NY State Department of Education. We expect to receive state certification & licensure within the next 2 years.
Unfortunately not. However, we can arrange for a tuition payment plan in most circumstances.
Comparatively speaking, our programs are actually less costly than nearly all other culinary schools out there! If you divide the cost of tuition by the number of training hours offered, you will see that other schools range between $40 – $65 per training hour. Ours is $35 per hour—significantly less expensive. When you take in to account the fact that kosher meat, poultry, fish and other food is on the average more expensive than non kosher food, you will see that our programs are actually very fairly priced for what we offer.
Absolutely. Plating and Presentation is an integral part of our programs. You will learn how to garnish, plate, and present every item made in class.
We have intentionally designed shorter programs in order to keep the cost of tuition down. Our programs are no less rigorous than those of other schools and are certainly still long enough to equip the student with a solid foundation in fundamental culinary skills & techniques so that they may successfully enter the workforce at an entry level or, for those with experience, improve their existing job prospects.
As a cooking school that doesn’t regularly serve food to the public, we are not required to have kosher supervision in the same way that a restaurant or other food service establishment would. Cooking in our kitchen is a transparent process. The student is involved at every step of the way and sees for him or herself what ingredients are being used. All of the meat we use is hasidic shechita. Bread is pas Yisroel. Cooking is bishul Yisroel. Wine is mevushal. All vegetables, leafy greens, herbs, etc are thoroughly washed and checked by shomer Shabbos members of our staff. Packaged goods must all carry a reliable hechsher—OU, OK, Star-K, Kof-K. Kashrus is a number one priority of ours and, needless to say, we are a fully shomer Shabbos business. Both of our programs incorporate a lectures series on the modern application of kashrus in food service, given by Rabbi Zushe Yosef Blech, author of Kosher Food Production and a leading authority on the subject.
The focus of our programs is technique. In order to learn the application of technique, we will practice a variety of different styles of cuisine and cooking methods. The student will be exposed to cuisine from all over the world. Many of the dishes we make are not even widely available kosher.
You are encouraged to apply as far in advance as possible. Dates are announced well in advance, admissions are rolling and we only accept 12 students per semester. Therefore, once we have 12 students, registration will close. The bottom line is, register early!
The maximum number of students we admit per class is 12. This is about as small a class possible in culinary education.
Students’ practical skills and technical proficiency are assessed on a regular basis in order to measure their progress and evaluate their career potential for apprenticeship and job placement. To this end, our programs include a series of short quizzes and practical skill assessment “drills”. At the end of the semester, students take a written exam and practical final. Reading from the course textbook is assigned as homework on a regular basis.
IS THIS THE RIGHT PROGRAM FOR ME?I don’t have any professional experience, can I apply for admission to one of your programs?
Yes. Professional experience is NOT required.
Regardless of how long you have been working in the industry, there is ALWAYS more to know. Many of our students are working professionals—yet they learn something new here everyday. Why? Because we teach our students the skills & techniques that are difficult to pick up on the job. We also explore cooking methods and cuisine that one might not encounter cooking in a kosher establishment. Our chefs have experience cooking beyond the traditional confines of kosher and Jewish cooking. They have interpreted what they learn for the kosher world and are teaching it to you in our classes.
If you have a strong passion for cooking & baking and are looking for a comprehensive education in a rigorous environment, then our programs are absolutely for you.
Our programs are open to both men and women. The ratio of men to women has historically been about 50/50. Although we would prefer to host separate men’s and women’s classes, at this time it is not possible.
The food service profession has traditionally been dominated by men. However this has changed considerably over the last few decades. The fact that about half of our students are women is evidence of this shift. We advise potential students to consider the strong likelihood of a mixed-gender work environment when deciding whether this is the right career path for them.
Attendance is a very important part of the student’s final grade. A small number of absences are permitted and the student is allowed to make up classes should their attendance record jeopardize their final grade.
Because our goal is to train students in hands-on, practical skills, reading and writing in English, although very important, is not absolutely essential. However, students do need to understand English and at the very least be able to communicate at a basic level. Although the class is conducted entirely in English and students are required to communicate in English with the staff and their classmates, we have instructors and staff members who speak Spanish and Hebrew who are able to mediate if need be.
WILL GOING TO CKCA HELP ME WITH MY CAREER?What kind of job will I be able to get after I graduate?
Our goal is consistent with that of other culinary schools: to train the students to be able to operate at an entry level. For those who come to us with previous work experience in food service, our program will strengthen their existing skill set and put them in a better position to assume greater responsibility and therefore earn a higher income. Quite often, students come to us with ideas about how to incorporate in to their new career path the education, training, and experiences they have accumulated through previous work and schooling. Students with business, management or marketing experience often consider going in to business for themselves. Those who are self-starters and enjoy working independently pursue work as
private chefs or caterers for small events. We are here to help them make informed decisions about how best to pursue the opportunities that they seek.
Yes we do. A student may come to us at any time after they graduate for assistance finding a job. We are committed to developing relationships with chefs, restaurateurs, caterers, manufacturers and others in order to serve our students’ ongoing employment needs.
The apprenticeship is a 6 – 8 week, 250 hr, unpaid, on the job training experience. Students are placed in a food service setting, most often a restaurant or kitchen of a caterer, to work full or in some cases part time in order to get a sense of what it is like to work in the field. They most often work in the capacity of a prep cook, assisting the chef and other cooks to prepare for service. Apprenticeship placements are given based on a student’s performance in class, their geographic needs, and preference in terms of work environment. The apprenticeship is not mandatory, but we strongly encourage students with no
previous food service experience to do one. It provides an opportunity to work in an establishment that they otherwise would not have access to.
There is no program, school, or license that will automatically make someone a “Chef” or “Sous-Chef”. The term chef is a professional designation that one must earn. It signifies that a person has the knowledge and professional experience to assume a leadership role in the kitchen. Attending our programs will give you some of the knowledge and help you to build a solid foundation in culinary technique that, along with hard work and dedication, will enable you to ultimately earn the title chef.
For every business that serves food to the public, the law requires that there must be at least one person on site at all times who holds a valid license in food safety. In NYC, this license is issued by the city’s own department of Health. Nearly everywhere else in the country, Servsafe is the recognized form of licensure. We train our students on the material for each exam. The Servsafe exam is administered to the students on-site, free of charge. The NYC DOH exam must be taken in Manhattan on a date assigned to the student by the city. We guide the students through this process. Possessing the appropriate licensure in food safety for where you intend to work will make you a more valuable employee and therefore improve your chances of getting a job.
COMING TO CKCA FROM OUT OF TOWNI am from out of town. Do you offer housing?
Although we do not offer housing directly, we can assist students from out of town to find a place to stay. Please mention that you will need assistance when applying so that we may share our resources with you as soon as possible.
In most circumstances a student visa is required for anyone staying in the US for a period longer than 3 months. Since our full-time programs are usually less than 3 months, no visa should be required.