Culinary School

Launch Your Career As a Professional Cook! View Options Around You. Pursue Your Passion.
Are you thinking about becoming a professional chef? If so, then you should strongly consider attending a culinary school. A culinary school is a place of education designed to help developing cooks to become certified chefs. Some culinary institute courses even provide paid internships to help with the cost of the program and to provide students with hands-on experience. 

If you are thinking about becoming a chef, start looking into the top culinary schools today. Culinary school specializations vary, so you can easily find a school focused on the type of cuisine you have a passion for creating. Also, if you're on a tight budget, there are more affordable culinary programs that you can look into as well. 

Find out more about culinary classes and programs in the sections below to find out if this vocation is right for you.

What are the benefits of culinary school?

Going to culinary school is important for future chefs for a number of reasons. Those wanting to make a name in the business will need to be willing to put forth the effort and hard work that accompanies becoming a professional cook.

Attending school will give you the foundation you need.

By working alongside seasoned chefs, you will begin to develop and refine your skills, and you will glean knowledge that you can take with you to stand out against the competition. This is especially true if you choose to participate in an internship, as you will become a familiar face within the establishment and possibly be offered a job upon completion.

Types of Classes Offered in Culinary School

While culinary institute classes and types may vary by school and by program, there are some courses that you will likely be required to take. These classes include Developments in Nutrition, Baking Techniques, and Food Safety and Sanitation.

Regardless of the specific name of the course, the following concepts are likely to be explored:
  • Confections
  • Sautéing
  • Knife skills
  • Stock preparation
  • Braising
  • Consomme (broth without imperfections)

Financial Support for Culinary School

If you are worried about culinary school fees, note that there may be financial support available. Many culinary schools offer work-study programs, paid internships and scholarships so that you can enter the field of your dreams without having to break the bank. Be sure to do your research so that you are able to take advantage of the schools that offer these types of opportunities.

Also, keep in mind that some culinary schools offer actual degrees, and some do not. So make sure you review the school's information before signing up for a program.  

What are some of the best culinary schools in America?

When it comes to selecting the right culinary school, the choice is yours. Considering the information above, you will need to determine what kind of educational experience you are looking for to make the best decision for you. Below is a list of a few schools and their benefits to help get you started:

Institute of Culinary Education
This school ranked as one of the top culinary schools in the nation and has a lot to offer. Its curriculum focuses on popular cuisine and fine dining traditions from around the globe. The program spans eight months with 440 classroom hours and 210 hours in hands-on, real-life kitchen experience. 

The Culinary Institute of America
Not to be confused with the Institute of Culinary Education, this fine academy has pumped out some of the world's greats in the chef industry, including Anthony Bourdain and Grant Achatz. The school has a wide range of degree opportunities available. The institute also offers sports teams and clubs similar to traditional college settings.

If you are looking for hands-on experience, this school requires its students to refine their skills in the actual workforce by offering paid internships at various eateries. These internships usually lasted about 18 weeks and require chefs to produce at least 51% of the foods they create completely from scratch. 

How to Find a Culinary School Near You

Culinary schools can be found throughout the country. But if you are looking for one right near you, you can use a tool like this one to find a culinary school in your area.

Most tools allow you to find local schools by typing in your ZIP code and your area of interest, like baking or all-around cooking schools. This can help to narrow down your search to only the courses that will be of interest.