Choose the Right Culinary School and Fulfill Your Culinary Dreams

If you have dreamed of becoming a chef and are finally ready to take the step towards achieving this goal, you probably have thought about culinary schools. How do you know which school is right for you? Do you close your eyes and pick one, hoping your finger contains a touch of luck? Surely there is a better way to choose a culinary school.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Culinary School

1.     Reputation.

When selecting a culinary school to attend, the first thing you need to check is its reputation in the culinary world. It need not be the No. 1 cooking school but it should be known for its standing and ability to produce quality cooks and chefs.

2.     Awards or Citations.

Check if the culinary school has any awards or citations granted by culinary award-giving bodies. This way, you’re assured that the school has standards high enough that others in the industry are not only noticing it, but rewarding it.

3.     Membership in Culinary Organizations.

Check if the culinary school is an active member of any culinary organization. This way, you’re assured that the school is on top of whatever is the latest trend on the cooking industry.

Although food trends are pretty much like fashion (i.e., there’s always something going out of style and something making a comeback), there are still new things that are introduced now and then. An example is the current trend to cook meat using ‘water treatments’, where the meat is flavored and sealed in a vacuum pack and the whole pack placed in water at a specific temperature. It is trends like these that the culinary schools should be on top of.

4.     Curriculum.

What type of cook do you wish to be? For instance, do you want to excel in a specific country’s cooking that may not necessarily the country where you come from? Do you want to be more of a pastry connoisseur? Whatever you want to ‘major’ in, ensure that the culinary school has a good curriculum for it.

5.     Mode of Teaching.

Different people learn in different ways. Further, depending on where you are in your life right now, time or schedule of classes may be an issue with you. As such, check the mode of teaching applied by the school and schedules of classes.

6.     Proximity.

A school may have a good rep but is it really a viable option for you? If distance is an issue, then you may have to rule out culinary schools out of your city OR you can ask if there are local accredited schools.

Why Culinary Education

There are many myth surrounding culinary arts. For example people say culinary is an art and art cannot be taught. This is not true. First culinary is not just an art, its science too. You must know about the ingredients you are using while cooking. You should also have through knowledge of the contents of the ingredients or additives you use to cook food. It helps you to be an informed chef.

Another myth is that culinary education is very costly. You see, any education is costly. Culinary is not an exception. But if you compare, a Bachelor of Engineering Degree is much more costly then a diploma/degree in culinary.

One of the worst myths is that chefs live a great life – full of glamor and no work. This is not at all true. Most of a chef’s time is spent in kitchen with hot oils and burning temperatures.

If you love to cook – culinary school should be your destination. It is never too early for you to think about the opportunities that will come along after culinary training. America need good chef – you can be one of them.

Chef, caterer, pastry chef and restaurant cook are merely the most familiar four options, but there are hundreds of jobs in the food industry. You may want to consider preparing for positions in management as executive chef, or in sales as catering director or in administration in food and beverage management. Maybe you’ll want to explore developing specialty products – a line of sauces or dressings, for example – for retail or wholesale markets. Maybe you’ll want to become a restaurant consultant to entrepreneurs who want to start restaurants. There are also teaching opportunities in professional cooking schools. Still another option is food writing and editing for magazines and books devoted to food and cooking. The options are endless.

For any of these career directions, you’ll find the best preparation in an accredited school program – you’ll come out with a certificate or a degree. This training will provide you with a lifelong basis for understanding quality raw ingredients, creating balance and pleasure in combined flavors and presenting a beautiful plate to the diner. Yes, you keep learning on the job, but culinary school gives you a base of knowledge to test and compare to new trends, new ingredients and your own creativity.

Culinary for Kids

Summer camps started as outdoor encampments in the 1880s where urban children, often scout troops could get away from the noise, overcrowding and smog of early towns, cities and “get back to nature”. Parents who had been raised on farms and in rural settings felt strongly that their children should have exposure to every summer to natural settings and healthy outdoor activities. And so was born the “summer camp” an oasis of swimming, boating, hiking and campfires.

But as the need for such “man-made wildernesses” receded, more and more summer programs began to incorporate educational or skilled based curriculums such as college-credit courses in debate, math, history or journalism. Others created intensive systems for foreign language studies, or college prep such as SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) boot camps.

But one of the most popular of these enrichment courses has been culinary for kids. Cooking programs at kids’ culinary camps are fun ways for children and teenagers to learn math skills, self esteem and discipline and basic chemistry and physics.

Culinary for kids can also be a great way for a child who is experiencing some learning problems, get inspired and motivated about learning again. And it is an excellent way for the more advanced student to maintain their focus and interest in classical subjects taught in an alternative setting.

Five Factors in a Good Kids’ Culinary Camp

Kids’ Culinary Camp Factor 1

– The Type of Camp. Not all Kids’ culinary camps are the same. Some are full blown residential facilities with intensive culinary for kids programs taught by certified chefs while other can be more traditional camps with some basic “cooking” classes thrown in. Others may be like “after school” programs hosted by local cookware retailers or culinary companies.

Kids’ Culinary Camp Factor 2

– Costs. In tough times, parents are aware of costs more than ever. A good rule of thumb is that all things being equal, the closer a summer program is to your home, the cheaper the price. The main reason for this is travel expenses. So to keep costs under control, investigate camps that are only a few hours drive time from you.