I am in Orange County, and food has always been my hobby and my passion, so lately I've been considering taking it to the next level. I have taken recreational classes at the Laguna Culinary Arts school, and I know they have a professional chef program as well. Does anyone have any experience or advice to offer about taking this route? There is also the Le Cordon Bleu California School of Culinary Arts that I have heard great things about, however would require a much more significant immediate life change to attend, as I could do night classes at the Laguna school and still finish in a year and keep my current job, that way even if nothing panned out professionally, at least I didn't lose my current career for a pipe dream. But I do have concerns whether having the "big name" behind you helps get you started, much like going to a well known college vs a small private institution no one has ever heard of.
Anyone have any helpful words of advice or warning for me?