This is the first of my culinary school reviews--Art Institutes of Washington.
Location: 1820 Ft Myers Dr., Arlington, VA 22209 Phone: 703-358-9550
They were having an August Open House and I decided I should go. (The Art Institute holds open houses frequently.) It was a cooking school tour and more -- everyone was very nice and there was no high pressure to apply - very casual and it was all about the information.
This is how it went:
They had it set up so that I didn't have to pay for parking at the garage conveniently located next door (very nice way to get started). When we went in there was a hospitality greeting space in the lobby where we filled out an information sheet. Then we were taken up in elevators to the culinary school floor.
The school occupies nearly all of the twelve floors. The school is located in a "very hot" area for culinary--Arlington, Virginia which includes Clarendon.
Next, we were taken to a room on another floor where various speakers gave talks. We were told this room was usually the restaurant space open to the public (Culinaire Restaurant) but transformed for the open house presentation.
Soon after the talks, the photo shows the restaurant was quickly restored. This is where the students can learn everything about running a restaurant.
We were asked if we had any questions afterwards.
Highlight of the Tour--Chef Carolyn Forte
Next we were given a talk by one of the chefs at the school. It was Carolyn Forte, currently teaching Baking and Pastry 101. I thought this was the highlight of the tour because she was so impressive as a speaker and educator. Her background included an outstanding education and employment at the finest hotels and restaurants. Though I was only there for culinary school reviews, I felt the culinary passion stirred within me thinking of being taught by this chef with her wealth of knowledge.
Demonstration on Chocolate
Not only was her resume impressive, she was a gifted speaker and educator. We clung to every word. Then she gave a demonstration on chocolate to all the prospective students in the kitchen.
Afterwards, she asked if there were any questions and there were many. We gathered around her while she talked. She said many times that she loved to talk about cooking and it was very evident. Food Network should snap her up--a real talent.
Here the chef gives an impromptu demonstration on the technique of dipping chocolate. Next, if we could drag ourselves away from the interesting discussion with the chef, it was suggested to go to the floor where we could meet with admissions and even apply. I skipped this part but wish I hadn't because here I would probably have gotten more information.
They offered a housing tour if we wanted it. The housing was located in a private apartment building where they had a block of apartments. This wasn't mentioned on the website and that is why I mention to always ask schools about this to find out more.
We were encouraged to explore the entire school which had other areas of interest such as art, photography, fashion and more.
I also would have liked to explore the food photograph studio where Food Art was taught--that sounded interesting. So my advice is to stay and take in everything-- don't leave too soon like I did. I asked the Director if I could just take the Food Art class but that was only for enrolled students--no public classes.
The Open House was very informative and even fun. Not boring at all.
I probably hurried away too soon but I was there for 2 1/2 hours so I did learn a lot.
Culinary School Reviews: The School was The Art Institute of Washington in Arlington, VA--their August Open House.
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