› Culinary Schools

Best Culinary Schools
What To Look For


Why should you be interested in the best culinary schools? Well, if you're visiting us at Enjoy How To Cook, chances are you're interested in cooking and learning how to cook. And we've got lots of information to help you really understand how cooking works.

But what do you do if you don't just want to learn to cook? If you're really passionate about cooking, you might be thinking of making a career out of it. And that's where culinary arts schools come in.

There's a lot of information online, and you can learn a lot. But the best culinary schools give you even more than information: you get professionals to guide you, a structured curriculum, and a lot more insight into the professional world.

That's why I created this section. If you love cooking so much that you'd like to become a professional chef, read on.

I'll talk about the advantages of going to a culinary arts school, and about different things to consider when looking at culinary schools. Then, I'll give a list of some of the best culinary schools.

Why Go To Culinary School?

If you're really serious about wanting to pursue cooking as a career, then it's a good idea to look into getting a culinary arts degree. You can learn a lot online (a ton, in fact), but the best culinary schools just offer so much!

Here are some of the benefits of going to a culinary arts school.

  • You have expert chefs to teach and guide you. Often, when we're learning to cook on our own, we tend to make lots of mistakes, and slowly learn from them. It helps to have a chef watching over your shoulder to keep you from making at least some of those mistakes!

  • You get credentials. After graduating, you'll have a culinary arts degree. And like any other field, a degree can open all sorts of doors, or at least make it much easier to get a foot in!

  • Depending on the school, you can learn about so much more than just how to cook. Here are a few things you might learn:

      Best Culinary Schools - Spoons
    • A history of cooking, how cooking techniques have evolved over time.
    • How to plan meals and make a menu.
    • How a restaurant kitchen works and how to manage it.
    • Some programs even focus on nutrition.

But really, the greatest thing is that the best culinary schools can help you turn your passion for cooking into a career.

It's not always an easy career path though, especially at first. Many chefs (some quite famous now) started out their careers washing dishes. The salaries can start out pretty modest, but get better as you move up the kitchen ladder.

And even when you do move up the ladder, it's important to remember that as a chef, you can expect to work meal times and week-ends – when everyone else is eating, basically!

All that means it's important to be very passionate about cooking if you're thinking about getting a culinary arts degree. It's so much easier to put in the hard work when you love what you do. Because then it's not work at all – it's fun!

Find The Right School For You

The first step towards finding the best culinary schools for you is to think about what you need. Different schools offer different things, so it's important that you know what matters most to you. A great school for one person is not necessarily as good for someone else!

Here are a few things to think about when you're looking into different culinary arts schools.

Hands-On Training

Does the culinary arts school offer lots of hands on training? Learning to cook means you actually have to cook. But that's not all.

  • Some of the best culinary schools have apprenticeship or internship programs. These allow you to take all the theory you learned and apply it in a real world, practical setting. It'll give you a feel for how the industry works, and it'll definitely give you an edge when you're looking for a job. People prefer to hire someone with experience, after all!
  • Some schools also run student-staffed restaurants. If you've ever been to one, it's usually fantastic gourmet food at decent prices. But it's also wonderful for the students to get to work in a real restaurant and understand how it works.

A good, solid, theoretical education is important. But being out there in the field is a tremendous learning experience, and it's something you should consider when looking at culinary arts schools.

Student-Teacher Ratio

Some people do really well in large classes. But fewer students means that the teacher's attention isn't as divided. And even if you do well in a large class, it's always nice to have extra help and attention. You learn much faster with an expert helping you with your mistakes.

Specialization Options

Does the school allow you to specialize in your area of interest? Some people have something specific in mind when they dream about being a chef. Here are just a few examples of possible specializations.

  • Desserts. Is your passion actually baking and making desserts? You might want to look for a school that lets you specialize as a pastry chef.
  • Specific cuisines, like Thai or Italian. Many culinary arts schools have wonderful French cuisine programs, but not all offer global cuisine programs.
  • Health and nutrition. There are a number of absolutely delicious things you can make that are horrible for you. If you want to learn make delicious food that's actually good for you, some schools will be better than others.

Resume Writing and Interviewing

Writing a resume for the first time can be intimidating. Often you get that lingering feel that you're not doing it right. And interviews are even worse!

The very first job interview I went on, I was so nervous I wanted to run away and go back home. Luckily I wanted the job more, so I stayed... but I was terrified.

Some schools offer extra classes to help you with your resume writing and interviewing skills. And that can be a huge help. They'll give you advice on what to include in your resume to ensure you get an interview. And they'll help you practice for interviews so that you go in feeling confident. It makes a real difference!

Scholarships

A culinary arts degree can open lots of doors for you, and help you get a good job, but first you have to pay for the degree! If you need a bit of extra help paying tuition, don't despair! Many of the best culinary schools have some kind of scholarships or financial aid, so check out what they have to offer.

The Graduates

How well do the graduates do? If you want to pursue cooking as a career, you want to make sure that your culinary arts degree will actually help you. Check out the schools' graduates. Are they successful? If most of them are, odds are it's a great school!

Some celebrity chef graduates can be neat, but remember to look at the graduates as a whole. Not everyone can go on to have their own television show, but if most of the graduates get to cook and live out their dreams, then that's a good sign.

Some Of The Best Culinary Schools

Here are just a few culinary schools out there. Check them out, and find out which one is right for you.

  • New England Culinary Institute
  • Culinary Institute of America
  • French Culinary Institute
  • American Culinary Federation
  • Cordon Bleu Culinary School
  • International Culinary School at the Art Institutes

All of these schools are great culinary arts schools. Any one of them is a good place to start looking for the right school for you!

Remember, figure out what you want, and then find the best culinary school for you. It's the first step towards earning a culinary arts degree, and turning your passion for cooking into a wonderful career.