If you want to pursue the route of a professional chef, one thought might have come to mind. Is culinary school worth it? Well, that is up to you to answer. We can only provide you with the information so you can make an informed decision. Culinary school will teach you how to cook and how to create art by using food.
What Does Culinary School Entail
In culinary school, you learn more than just how to make mouth-watering dishes. Your classes cover a wide variety of subjects. Some classes might even include the history of different cooking techniques. In addition, you will be taught the chemistry and science of cooking as well as how to set up a restaurant. And don’t forget the table setups. Everyone knows that the table set up at a restaurant is what catches the eye.
Culinary school also offers classes in business management, marketing, accounting, and the important elements of operating a successful restaurant. Think of the career as a puzzle, and the courses are the pieces you’ll need to complete.
Important skills you will be taught is the use of knives and tools inherent to the profession. It’s important to know what knife is used for what food. Your instructors will be sure to teach you the differences between foods and wines and how to create great wine pairings. They will be taught to also teach you how to mix ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes properly. Culinary school is a hands-on way of cooking and operating a restaurant. Training starts on your first day, and you’ll continue to learn new things even after your graduation. No true chef is ever done learning.
Here is a breakdown of what most culinary schools entail:
- Specific cooking techniques: This includes roasting, baking, grilling, steaming, poaching, boiling, and simmering.
- Knowledge of specific cuisines: The traditions behind it and how to cook it properly
- How to balance taste: You’ll learn how to balance the five taste elements and how they can either complement or destroy each other.
- Food aesthetics and plating: This is done to appreciate the beauty of food.
- Menu planning: How to plan an inclusive menu
- Business management: How to run a restaurant as a business. The do’s and don’ts
- Kitchen management: How to make sure your kitchen run’s efficient.
- Marketing: How to promote a restaurant and food.
- Budgeting: How to budget for ingredients
- Food science: the study of food’s physical, biological, and chemical makeup.
How Can I Get Into Culinary School?
This is easier than you might think. Since culinary school is nothing like your normal college or university. There is no test you need to pass to get in.
The requirements for culinary school are:
- A High School Diploma or Equivalent Education.
- A Completed Associate or Higher Degree Program
- State Approved HomeSchool Certificate of Completion.
As culinary schools often work on a first-come, first-serve basis, you have a good chance of getting in. Knowledge of mathematics is not required, but it could make the course easier.
There are also different kinds of culinary training options you can choose from.
These options are:
- Certificates: These are often for people who have already completed years of on-the-job training in a restaurant setting. To obtain one, you’d have to test your knowledge formally to see if you have gained the necessary skills.
- Vocational/Trade school: These kinds of institutes are often linked with high school. This is so that students can learn culinary skills at an earlier stage. This is helpful before they undertake a degree or get a job. These schools are also open to non-high school students, and they provide a good foundation of training.
- Community college: These colleges offer similar classes as a culinary school. Unfortunately, they don’t offer these classes at the bachelor’s degree level. You can take a mixture of culinary and general course classes. Community college is often cheaper than culinary school.
- Culinary schools: Culinary schools offer certificates, diplomas, and degrees. The courses are between one to four years long. They are often the best option if you want to become a professional chef.
Can I Have a Successful Career With Culinary School?
The short answer is yes! Culinary school could open doors to many career possibilities. However, it’s important to remember that you will need to work your way to the top. Someone rarely receives a head chef position right out of culinary school. However, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible.
After culinary school, one of the least thought of career options is a personal chef.
Being a personal chef will allow you to be creative with your food options.
Other career options are:
- Executive Chef
- Food Service manager
- Food scientist
- Food Service manager
- Restaurant Manager
- Quality assurance specialist
You’ll find that most of these career options are like an umbrella term. There are multiple roles you could play under each of those careers. It’s important to take your biggest interests into consideration when choosing a career path.
How Many Years Will I Need to be in Culinary School?
Becoming a chef could take years. Your course length will likely depend on which course you take. If you choose full-time enrollment, you could be looking at four years of culinary school. Some culinary schools do offer the option for part-time studying and shorter courses.
Culinary schools also provide on-the-job training. This means you’ll be placed in a restaurant setting, and you’ll learn as you work. This is a good way to get you used to the fast pace of a kitchen. You’ll also experience firsthand if the stress of being a chef is something you can handle.
Is it Truly Worth it?
Only you can decide if culinary school is the right choice for you. Suppose you love fine dining and the art behind the food. It could definitely be your calling.