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Choosing a Culinary School

Do you dream of becoming a chef some day?  Perhaps you’d like to be a celebrity chef like Wolfgang Puck or Bobby Flay.  Many of the best culinary schools produce future celebrity chefs.  However, there is more to top culinary schools than merely turning out famous chefs.  There are many underlying factors to consider in choosing a culinary school.

Finding the right culinary arts school requires thorough research before you make a decision.  The culinary field is a fast growing industry and it is crucial for you to choose the right school to start your career in becoming a master chef.  You may also have to consider your preference for a particular regional cooking or a specific cooking style.  However, there are a few basic factors you should think about when you evaluate top culinary schools.

First of all, you have to consider the relevance of the curriculum and the courses offered by the school.  The top chef schools train aspiring chefs in the latest restaurant and professional kitchen techniques.  After all, these are skills that restaurant and hotel owners look for when they hire new chefs.

The best culinary arts schools strongly emphasize hands-on studies.  Cooking is an art, and the best way to learn is by doing it.  The most popular and well-respected professional cooking schools put their students into work-study situations.  Student chefs should have the opportunity to work with their chef instructors in a realistic stressful kitchen setting.

The leading culinary schools offer a variety of degrees and programs.  Look for a culinary school that offers programs for culinary specialization and options for a liberal arts degree.  Some schools offer accelerated professional programs and programs designed for both full-time and part-time students.

The most popular culinary arts schools have good working relationships with top hotels and well-known restaurants.  This connection to the culinary community will help their chef grads find good jobs.

If you are looking for a top culinary school, you’ve come to the right place. This website is a comprehensive directory of leading cooking schools and culinary career information. Explore the site for free and find out what working as a chef is really like. When you’re ready to get off the couch and into the kitchen, search our network of culinary arts schools. You can request information from one (or several) cooking schools without any cost or obligation.

If you have a passion for cooking, you can learn how to become a pastry chef, sous chef, line chef or executive chef at one of the top cooking schools.

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Professional Cooking School

If you are passionate about food and love cooking, you may want to become a chef.  The best way to start your cooking career is to attend a professional cooking school.  A culinary school will prepare you to work in restaurants, bakeries, catering and “food to go” services.  You have to know what to look for and what to expect from a professional cooking school.

Before you start looking for a cooking school, you must have an idea of what you are going to do.  Check out the hotels and restaurants in your area and find out what appeals to you.  Try talking to the executive chefs and ask about the different fields of professional cooking.

Once you have an idea of the culinary field you want to get into, you can start searching for schools that offer the appropriate culinary program you need.  Look for a professional cooking school with proper accreditation from the American Culinary Federation (ACF) or the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT).

A professional cooking school will require you to submit a high school transcript and proof that you have graduated.  A GED (General Educational Development) is also acceptable.  Letters of recommendation from prior employment in the food industry may also help with your application.  Some schools may require prospective students to take an entrance exam or have an extensive cooking background.  At any rate, you should find out in advance what the cooking school may require for admission.

Many schools for professional cooking offer programs that emphasize “learning by doing.”  Special attention is given to the practical side of food preparation.  Graduates of this kind of culinary arts program are qualified to work in entry-level food service positions such as sous chef, baker, pantry person or short-order cook.

Students will also learn how to plan for catered affairs and how to prepare, garnish and serve hot and cold foods for parties and receptions.  They also learn techniques of cooking and packaging gourmet food.

In a professional cooking school, students also learn about restaurant operations.  This involves supervising daily restaurant operations including recipe selection, menu planning and cost control.  Students also learn to keep inventories and set prices.

Part of a culinary school experience is externship where students learn to implement the skills they have obtained in the classrooms and kitchen.  Externship provides actual experience in a restaurant, bakery or other food service establishment.

Students should remember that they don’t have to travel far to find a professional cooking school that can provide the training they need in a specific culinary field.  A school close to home may be able to provide the quality and type of culinary education that they require.

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Culinary Classes

Cooking is a skill, but cooking great food is an art.  Some people spend a lifetime perfecting their culinary style and technique.  If you want to master cooking, whether for fun or to become a professional chef, culinary classes can get you started on the right track.

Perhaps you have never cooked before, but this cannot stop you from getting into a culinary class.  Or perhaps you think you already “know it all.”  There is a wide variety of culinary courses that can teach something new to everyone.  Cooking classes will increase your knowledge and learning of the culinary arts.

If you are just starting out, you can join a cooking class for beginners and learn the basics of cooking.  On the other hand, if you already have some cooking experience you can try out a more advanced culinary class that can teach you original and professional-level techniques.  You can have fun learning how to cook.  At the same time, you will acquire new skills that you can use everyday.

You will have to find a good culinary school where you can start taking classes.  There are numerous cooking schools across the country offering a number of options in culinary courses and programs.

The cost of culinary classes varies greatly, depending on the cooking school, type of course, and the amount of time needed to complete the course.  Some courses take only a few days while others may last several months.  This is something you have to keep in mind when choosing a cooking class.

You must also decide if there are any particular cooking techniques that you would like to learn.  This will help in your decision about the right class for you to join.  Once you have decided on a culinary course, get registered and prepare the materials that you might need.  Your chef-instructor will be able to tell you exactly what you need.  Be open-minded and pay attention to the instructor.  Ask questions, take notes, and participate in the actual cooking.  This is the best way to get the most mileage out of your culinary classes.

What you learn will depend on the type of course that you choose.  In a cooking class for beginners, you will start with the basic techniques that you can build on as you go through the entire culinary course.  More advanced courses will teach techniques and original recipes that require experience to prepare successfully.  You will learn to prepare delicious entrees, appetizers, salads and desserts.

The things you learn in culinary class will add to your knowledge and expertise, making you a better cook.  You can use what you learn to impress your family and friends, or to launch a new career in the culinary field.