Former students of the International Culinary Center in New York City are suing the school for an “ongoing fraudulent scheme.” The lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week, alleges that the ICC gave “false and misleading” facts in order to attract prospective students, including a promise that students could gain well-paying, top-tier culinary jobs immediately after graduation.
The plaintiffs, Larry Grabovan and Daniel Oglander, are both former students of the ICC, and both entered entry-level culinary jobs after graduation, not the high-level jobs promised by the school. Both are severely in debt and they claim that the education that they received was “effectively worthless to them,” and that they could have gotten these jobs without paying the thousands of dollars to attend the school.
This isn’t the first time that a culinary school has been sued for allegedly fraudulent claims. Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California settled with a plaintiff outside of court for reparations of $217 thousand after a similar lawsuit in 2013. Some chefs and professionals are beginning to doubt the merits of culinary school in light of the multitude of lawsuits. Eric Ripert has stated that the tuition of culinary school is problematic because, unlike other four-year colleges, the jobs awaiting graduates of culinary school often pay far less than other jobs.
Dorothy Hamilton, founder and CEO of the ICC, spoke to The Daily Meal, saying, “The lawsuit is baseless and we stand behind our 30-year history of excellence in education.”