The chance to learn Spanish cooking from José Andrés seems almost priceless. But there is a price: The tab for the first 10-week session of Spanish Culinary Arts at the International Culinary Center in New York City, where Andrés serves as dean, is $26,500. Airfare for the 11th week, which takes place in Spain, is extra.
Does that tuition number seem steep? Anything involving the energetic Andrés is sure to be both fun and of exceedingly high quality, so the class fee may turn out to be a bargain. But for roughly the same amount, an aspiring culinary student could get a full year’s worth of culinary instruction at Johnson & Wales or the Culinary Institute of America. A good two-year community college program might cost perhaps one-third of what ICC is charging for a 10-week session here.
On the other hand, this program gives you access to one of the country’s greatest chefs while he’s at the height of his culinary powers. It’s hard to put a price on that. So what exactly will you get if you sign up with Andrés?
“This program consists of 225 instructional hours of Spanish Culinary Arts and 15 instructional hours of Knife Skills,” the ICC (formerly known as the French Culinary Institute) says. The school points out that its fee includes a uniform, a tool kit and all necessary books and supplies.
What exactly will the students walk away with when their 10 weeks are done? “This is an occupational course,” the ICC notes on its website. “Upon completion of the program, the student will be qualified to work in an entry level position in a Spanish restaurant or establishment with a focus on Spanish cuisine.”
Indeed, if you go knocking on the door of a Spanish restaurant with successful completion of the ICC Spanish Culinary Arts course on your resume, chances seem extremely high they’ll give you a job in their kitchen. There are only 22 spots in the inaugural session of this program, so head to the school’s website if you’re interested in applying.
Don’t have the $26,500 but still want to learn from Andrés? Good news. He’s once again a part of the Harvard College General Education course “Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to the Science of Soft Matter.” The general topic is molecular gastronomy, and his lecture this year is set for Oct. 15, 2012. (Stream it live.) His previous Harvard lectures are archived on both iTunes and YouTube, as we imagine this one will be after he gives it next month.
Full price or free, you can’t go wrong if you want to learn about cooking from this talented chef.