But, before I give you some great tips I want make sure Im not wasting anyones time. Just One question, you have worked in a restaurant before havent you? It just surprises me how many people go to culinary schools today who have never worked in a real kitchen. They think that they will go to school, get their diploma and then find a nice Chef job. Sorry people, it just doesnt work that way, so if you havent spent the time sweating your butt of behind the line, if you havent worked for 6 days straight 12 hours a day at full throttle, if you dont have battle cuts and burns go and get them, come back later, we will still be here. Don' worry, the culinary arts profession isn't for everyone.
The Right Stuff
For those of you that are still with us, congratulations. You are considering exploring one of the most demanding and rewarding professions out there. But, you still have a ways to go before youre the next Wolfgang! We will do our best to get you going though.
When choosing to pursue a culinary arts profession, a diploma from a good culinary school is a good springboard. But with the growing number of want to be Chefs there has also been a flood of culinary programs offered. You need to know how to sift through these to assure you are getting the education you want and need to succeed.
Prepare For Success
You need a program that prepares you for success and one of the first thing you should consider when looking at these programs is how well they are providing that success for their past students. You need to find out how many of their past graduates have received jobs at the level you are hoping to achieve on your completion of the program. The school will give you their employment rate of graduating seniors, but go a little further with that. A job at Wendys doesnt really count now does it? Also ask the school what kind of employment assistance they offer their graduates if any. Good programs realize the importance of placing their graduates and will offer a lot of assistance and placement programs.
Look for programs that have a good reputation or following. Yes, like Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the likes, but it doesnt have to be of this caliber as there are certainly good programs that will fit your needs in many areas of the country. This will also help you later with networking. If you are planning to stay in a specific area after graduation look and see if there is a program that has a good reputation in that area.
Make Sure School is Accredited
Make sure the program is fully accredited. They should offer an associate degree (usually a two year program teaching the fundamentals) as well as a bachelors degree (usually a four year degree which will bring in more operational skills).
Now that you have weeded out the programs that just dont fit the bill, its time to focus on the most important aspect of the programs. Who is really going to teach you what you want to learn. Take a good look at the facilities the schools have. Do they have adequate space and kitchens to teach the amount of students they have? Does the class sizes allow for enough one on one time with the instructors? How much kitchen time is designated for each year? As a good bench mark good programs run in the 500-700 hours per year mark. Remember youre going to school to learn to be a Chef, or culinary arts professional, not just read about it.
Make Sure It Is Designed For Your Needs
Bottom line; make sure the program you choose fits your needs and expectations. Learning is always good; just make sure your hard earned moneys well spent. You can look at our resources section for a decent list of culinary programs, but again just because they are in our link section it doesnt let you off the hook in doing the research on finding the program thats right for you.Go from Culinary Arts Profession to Kitchen Prep List
Kitchen Prep List
30% Food Cost?
Reducing Food Cost
Restaurant Research - Menu
History of Mexican Cuisine
Traditional Mexican Foods
More Nicaragua Food
Adding Menu Items
Choosing a Culinary School
Top Culinary Arts Schools
Top Online Culinary Schools
Do's Finding the Best Culinary Schools
Dont's Finding Culinary Arts Schools
Vegetatian Culinary Schools
Sous Chef Definition
Cooking Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon Cooking Time
Growing Culinary Herbs
Cooking Fresh Shrimp
Cooking Pasta for a Crowd