The Advantages and Prospective of Studying in the Culinary Arts Institute of America

With the popularity of food-centric television channels such as The Food Network and the rise of culinary competition shows like Top Chef, interest in cooking seems to be at an all-time high. For those who love to cook or even those just starting out in the kitchen, culinary school is a guaranteed way to hone your craft. Furthermore, most culinary schools today train their students in many areas beyond pure cooking. As more and more chefs don the restaurateur hat as well, culinary schools aim to teach both kitchen versatility and the necessary tools for industry success.

For most of history, cooking techniques and recipes were passed from generation to generation. That all changed in 1895 when Martha Distel opened Le Cordon Bleu, the world’s first major culinary institute. American culinary training reached new heights with the opening of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 1946 in New Haven, CT. In 1972, the CIA moved to Hyde Park, NY, where it remains today. Over the past 50 years, several prestigious American and International culinary school have opened their doors and trained world-class chefs, bakers and even food critics.

The Culinary Institute of America is widely considered the best culinary school in the country and even the world. Other culinary-only institutes, such as The Institute of Culinary Education, offer esteemed rigorous programs. If an aspiring chef wants to obtain a bachelor’s degree at a school that teaches other subjects as well, he has the option of attending places like Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI, or the Baltimore International College in Baltimore, MD. A few culinary programs offer associate’s degrees plus a certificate from the American Culinary Federation upon graduation. Schools in this latter category include Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and Manchester Community College of Connecticut.

The top culinary schools often require applicants to have a moderate deal of hands-on experience. For instance, CIA requires at least six months of restaurant, soup kitchen, apprenticeship and/or cafeteria experience. CIA also requires applicants to take assessment tests. Schools that offer associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees often have several non-culinary programs and thus don’t stress restaurant experience as much as a place like CIA. That said, the more experience you have, and the more attractive candidate you will be.

Most culinary schools offer a wide range of intricate classes. While culinary methods and techniques are always stressed, the education usually goes far beyond cooking. From culinary marketing to culinary nutrition to food service entrepreneurship, the elite culinary institutes are far more than just “cooking schools.” The demand for quality restaurants is a constant. Therefore, culinary institutes provide students will all the necessary tools for success on the modern restaurant scene.

Like most colleges and universities, culinary schools offer students a wide range of career options. Alumni networks ensure that current students can meet and develop relationships with working professionals. Most culinary schools also hold annual job fairs and even on-campus recruiting.

Much like aspiring directors who avoid film schools, some aspiring chefs fear that culinary school will indoctrinate them into certain rigid methods. While there are surely chefs who succeed without ever attending culinary school, the modern culinary school gives its students a certain degree of flexibility rather than require adherence to one particular technique.

The information below will be very interesting and useful for those who are hesitating in their choice. Here some questions are presented and clarified.

Why would anyone go to a culinary arts college?

Most people go to a culinary college so that they can become involved in the restaurant business. They have a passion for food and want to be able to cook these intricate meals and specialty dishes. Perhaps they have always wanted to own their own restaurant and love to cook but do not know how to manage the business side of the restaurant. Some people just want to improve their skills in the kitchen to impress their friends and families.

What do culinary schools teach?

Culinary programs begin with the basics of the kitchen. One of the first lessons you will learn is about kitchen safety such as handling knives and what to do in an emergency such as a fire. You will learn basic food preparation guidelines such as what temperature is acceptable on meats. You will learn basic accounting, computer skills, inventory management and even some psychology. Culinary arts schools want you to have a diverse background because the workplace is so diverse. The most important lesson you learn is how to work together as a team. One person cannot run a restaurant or kitchen alone so teamwork is absolutely essential.

How long does the school last?

Chef school can last anywhere from two years on upwards of four years and that is not including any apprenticeship that may need to happen after graduation. It really depends on what your end goal is. If you want a diverse background with regular education courses to better help you prepare for graduation you may want to take a look into a four year program. If you are just seeking the basics such as sanitation, knife skills and rudimentary cooking you can look at shorter certificate programs. How long you go is entirely up to you.

Is culinary training all about learning how to cook?

You may be surprised to learn that culinary colleges do teach more than kitchen skills such as knife handling and how to make a souffl?. Cooking classes will also teach students how to deal with the public, how to handle finances and how to manage inventory. There is also instruction on how to communicate effectively as well as manage employees. Any chef school will want to give you a broad background on the food industry. The more information you have the better prepared you will be when you graduate.

How can I find a good culinary arts program?

That is a tough question. You have to first ask yourself if you mind going away from home in order to attend a top culinary school. If you want to stay closer to home but there are no great schools located nearby you may want to try a community college for their two year program. If moving to another city, state or country is not an issue for you then you can find any number of websites that feature top culinary arts programs. You can also turn the television channel to The Food Network and see what programs are being advertised. Another great way to find a culinary program is to ask your favorite chef or look up his or her biography and resume.

What are some of the top culinary schools in the country?

Training that is great for one person may not be the same for another person. A lot of factors go into deciding what college you wish to attend. There are some great culinary school programs found in the United States. These institutes are: Le Cordon Bleu, The Culinary Institute of America, New England Culinary Institute and The Art Institute. Each of these schools has given birth to some phenomenal chefs of our time. But more importantly you want to choose a college based on the curriculum that matters most to you. Say, for example, you are more interested in learning to be a baker. You will want to look into culinary arts training that focus more on baking than being a line chef. Do certain cooking schools specialize in different areas of the culinary world?

There are colleges that do specialize in certain cuisines but you would typically find these specialized colleges overseas. The cooking schools in the United States tend to teach a broad spectrum since palates are so diverse here. If you wish to study French cuisine exclusively, it would better to go to France where you can learn a lot from the masters in this field.

Do I have to go into a cooking school in order to be a chef?

This is a difficult question to answer accurately. It is commonly accepted that to be titled a -chef- you must have formal training with a culinary degree but thanks to such celebrities as Rachel Ray we are seeing a boom in the number of people who are considered chefs that have no formal training. It perhaps goes back to what you expect from the title.

What are some of the jobs that I can expect to work if I pursue a culinary arts career?

There are a wide variety of jobs that can open up for you once you have graduated from any one of the culinary schools. You can be a line chef, an assistant baker, a restaurant manager and even be a pantry cook. Do not expect to get out of school and immediately become a master chef. It takes years of hard work in order to obtain the level of experience that you need in order to say you are a master chef. You may study for ten years under another chef before you go out on your own. Eventually you will gain the knowledge and skills you need in order to be considered a master chef. The only thing you should do is to be patient and have more practice.

This article will help you to choose the exact culinary school in which you would like to study. Here you can find the general information about the culinary art institute in America, about the degrees which are provided there and also you can find answers on the most widespread questions of future students. The only thing you should do is to make a right choice. This choice will concern different things such as choice of profession, choice of institute, choice of the degree program and so on. So, first of all you have to be sure in your choice of future profession. The profession in the field of culinary is very hard and it needs a lot of passion and practice. The job in the field of culinary has to bring pleasure both for you and for your future clients, so in this case you should be a professional. So, if you think that you are ready for this job, then go ahead and move forward to your dream!

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