Culinary school for 19 year old

My 19 year old son had a poor experience in high school and has doubts about further education. He is tentatively considering culinary school, in addition to trying to find work in a kitchen. Are there any good local programs for someone this young, without college experience? I know Laney has a program, but I don't know anything about the quality. I suspect the Culinary Institute of America is meant for people older and already more invested in the field? Any resources or experience you can share would be a help. Thanks!

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Hello, culinary schools accept all ages, from right out of high school to someone reinventing their career.  As a graduate of culinary school and someone who has worked in the field for many years, I can tell you that it's a wonderful field to work in but there are many trade-offs.  Working in hospitality means late nights and weekends at work, most if not all holidays spent at work, long shifts and not great pay unless you do your time and work your way up the "food" chain.  It takes an enormous amount of dedication and time.  But it's also lots of fun, you make great friends and coworkers that last a lifetime, and the opportunity to be creative is endless.  Bigger named culinary schools like CIA have a bigger price tag, similar to bigger name universities.  There are culinary schools everywhere though, in junior colleges and some connected to universities without the price tag.  You want to make sure that the school teaches the basics of cooking and builds upon those ideas in upper level classes. If they can place you in an exterships, even better because that will get your foot in the door when you graduate.  I paid half of what CIA charges to get my degree in the same town with a city college culinary program and then did my exterships with some big chef names and that worked out great.  Most chefs that look at your resume want someone who's done the work, doesn't matter where you start.  I'm not sure of culinary programs down here but can help you with the North Bay if that interests you.  Hope this information helps you. 

I believe that Diablo Valley Community College out in Pleasant Hill has a culinary arts program as well.

Santa Rosa Junior College has a wonderful culinary arts program. We know several people who have transitioned to full-time employment in some of Sonoma County's finest restaurants-- there is a good connection between school and community. We know many others who adore the cafe run by the SRJC culinary program, where aspiring chefs in training prepare delicious meals at a low price to the public. SRJC is a great community college with its own farm (Shone Farm) and cool farm-to-table learning opportunities. I solemnly swear that I do not work for SRJC-- just a fan.

City College of San Francisco also offers a reputable culinary arts and hospitality management program.  My roommate in college went through it, and although challenging, it gives a students the entire picture of the profession.…

Contra Costa College has a good program.

I own Stateside Treats -- born from the Cupkates Food Truck and Stateside Bakery shop. I could help facilitate him having an informational discussion with our pastry chef to give him perspective. Also, I am willing to sit down with him to give him an overview of the business.

I can be reached via my BPN username, below.