Culinary Art Schools Learn Real-World Lessons

Cooking schools are not just for students, anymore. Members of the general public who keep an eye out for bulletins from local institutions might find a special treat, too.

Plenty of culinary art schools are known in their local community as the best places to get great food.

Students spend many arduous hours, at work over a hot stove or with their noses in the books trying to learn the concepts and fundamental information it takes to be a great chef. But nothing prepares them for the real world of career cooking quite like a live audience.

For that reason, many culinary arts schools boast cafés or restaurants where their students can practice their new skills on real-life taste testers. Some culinary arts schools charge top-dollar for their meals through benefit dinners with proceeds going to charity or the school’s program costs while others incorporate scheduled restaurant hours into the student curriculum.

Junior cooking programs supported by high school districts often hold special events for their students. Aiken High Celebrity Chef Dinner Is an event hosted by culinary art students in Aiken High School’s cooking school program. The five-course meal is $50 a plate and half of the ticket costs are used on supporting the cooking school program for future culinary artists. At the Celebrity Chef Dinner, guests dine on crab cakes, French onion soup, watermelon salad and a surprise entrée. For this event, students teamed up with a local chef at Houndslake Country Club for kitchen and facility use.

Meanwhile, culinary arts colleges like Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC often hold regularly schedule meals. However, Wake’s culinary arts students handle things differently than many other schools. The public can go online to enter a lottery to earn a seat at one of the three weekly lunched at “Flavors Restaurant” where fine dining and three course meals are served up for only $8 a person.