If you’re thinking about starting a culinary career, or advancing your current career, begin your research here. Your chosen program could help you begin or advance your career.
First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” education campaign is evidence of the need for a society with trained culinary experts. Designed to cut back on the childhood obesity epidemic, “Let’s Move!” includes the “Chefs Move to Schools” program, in which trained chefs are sent to chosen schools to improve nutrition in cafeterias and homes. The education initiative is not unique to the United States. In the U.K., famed chef Jamie Oliver and others are pushing hard to ban junk food from schools. As Oliver said on his Web site: “What we eat affects everything: our mood, behavior, health, growth, even our ability to concentrate.”
If culinary health excites you as much as it does Michelle Obama or Jamie Oliver, you might consider making a career out of it. You can start by earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in culinary nutriton. Culinary nutrition assistant certificate programs are also available.
If you’re more interested in the “why” of culinary arts, you might consider focusing your studies on culinary technology. Culinary technology education programs, offered at the certificate, associate’s, and bachelor’s levels, can teach you all about the whys of cooking: Why does low-temperature cooking change taste/texture? Why are some ingredients, such as meat glue, binding? Why do fluid gels transform flavors?
Nutrition and technology are just a couple of education choices offered at culinary schools. Others include:
Straight culinary arts, culinary arts management, culinary arts cuisine specialty programs such as Italian and French, baking and pastry
These too can be earned through a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree. In most culinary programs, certificates can be earned in as little as one year; associate’s degrees in approximately two years; and bachelor’s degrees in approximately four years. Of course, actual length could vary from program to program. Earning a master’s degree in culinary arts is also an option and can lead to jobs in academia and higher management or can help you to start your own business.
Costs for culinary education vary as much as schools do, but in general, certificates and associate’s degrees can cost between $5,000 and $15,000; bachelor’s degrees may cost twice as much, since programs typically last at least twice as long. Master’s degrees can cost as much as or more than bachelors’ degrees. Tuition often includes registration fees, books, tools, and a uniform. Most often, housing is not included.
Courses should teach you things that can help you in your career. For one, you should be given plenty of supervised time in the kitchen. During this time, you should also be instructed about kitchen appliances and tools. Ideally, these hands-on courses should be small enough to provide you one-on-one time with the instructor and plenty of access to appliances.
Classroom-based courses are important, too; for these courses, online options can be good. Your classroom-based courses might include:
Hospitality management, sanitation and safety, nutrition and menu planning, purchasing and cost control, table and beverage service
The right education is important for your career. Culinary Education always depends on learning & going to school. You should consider that except for financial considerations, the public or private nature of a university should not be a factor in selecting a graduate program. High quality programs exist in both types of institutions.
Of more importance is the institution’s commitment to the graduate program. This commitment is found in its willingness to maintain a first-class faculty and to provide excellent facilities for advanced study, including libraries, laboratories, computers, and other equipment.
Another important factor to consider in many disciplines is the presence of strong departments in other fields relevant to your interests so that you can have access to scholars and courses in disciplines related to your own. Selecting the right school that offers the required degree for your education is a large investment of time, money, and effort. A consequent & careful evaluation of campus-based or online schools is important.
Go to the Culinary School Directory and select the appropriate category, country or state. You will then find a list of Culinary Schools matching your interests.
Upon request every Culinary School listed in the directory will provide you with information and details. In the directory just click on the link for each school or on the button “Request Information” to request more information about its educational programs, finacial aid, admission requirement, etc.
Contact all Culinary Schools that meet your interests: the more information you receive from schools, the better a decision you will make about your education!
Jamie Oliver • school dinners • JamieOliver.com
Career Training: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS • ICE Culinary