seeing the Right Culinary School for You

Class Action - seeing the Right Culinary School for You

Good morning. Today, I found out about Class Action - seeing the Right Culinary School for You. Which may be very helpful for me so you. seeing the Right Culinary School for You

Have you ever opinion about the possibility of going to culinary school to become a pro chef or start a new career in hospitality management? Maybe you want to go to school just to be a better cook at home? The good news is there are a lot of great schools and colleges in every state to help you accomplish your goals.

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Based upon the number of cooking schools opening each year, there must be a lot of folks curious in getting into the culinary world. I recently read an article in our local newspaper about the increase in local culinary schools, and the numbers surprised me. It appears that supermarkets, gourmand stores, local restaurants, colleges, ex-chefs, and just about anyone else who has the room and expertise is putting on an apron and opening a school.

Many of these schools are there for absolute beginners who just want to learn how to boil water and get around in the kitchen without hurting themselves. These classes tend to be more fun where you watch a pro chef put in order a meal and then you get to share it with the rest of the class. It's a good way to meet some thoughprovoking people, learn a few culinary tricks, and taste some tasty food.

And then there are schools for home cooks who have some touch but want to build upon their skills and learn some new techniques. These schools tend to have classrooms with private stations where the students learn by doing. Often these classes will specialize in one single technique or cooking style.

But what about the individuals who wants to make cooking their career and go back to school for a degree in culinary education? They may want to learn about hospitality management to devotee the skills needed to run a resort, restaurant, or theme park. Or they may want to become pro chefs and cook in some of the best restaurants in the country.

Lucky for them, there are now more than 500 vocational, college, and university programs scattered around the country with more schools opening each year that offer superior educational degrees in this field. The bigger request is: how do you pick the best culinary school for you?

Here are a few steps to help you narrow down the field and simplify your decision:

Step 1 - frame out what you want to do after you graduate.

Do you want to start a catering company, make pastries and fancy desserts, or how about conduct a restaurant? Once you have an idea of what it is that you would like to specialize in, you can limit your search to only those schools that offer the considerable classes.

If you have no idea what you would like to do in the culinary field, be sure to go to a school that offers a number of choices in every field of the industry- sort of like taking a liberal arts' approach.

Step 2 - decree what's most foremost to you in a school. Some topics you may want to think about before selecting a school are:


Entry requirements

Length of schedule and class schedule

Costs and financial aid

Class size and student-to-faculty ratio

Classroom facilities

Class schedules

The school's faculty and reputation

Degrees and accreditations

Externship opportunities

Location and housing

Schools contacts, job placement, and/or internships

Step 3 - originate a list of schools to touch for more information.

You can start with your local yellow pages but if you don't find a school close enough, or one that strikes your fancy, try doing a search on the Internet. Just type in "cooking schools in [your state]", or "culinary schools [your state]", and you will find hundreds of leads to schools worldwide. Type in culinary schools with a city and it will narrow down the field even more.

There is also a listing of top schools listed by state at The Reluctant gourmand web site. Go to and click on the state of your choice and pick a city of interest.

Once you find a few schools that look promising, read a little about them to see what they have to offer. Most sites will provide a short form that you can fill out for more information. Once you fill out the form and send it back to the school, man will call you within a day or two to riposte your questions, provide you with supplementary information, and offer to send you some brochures and an application.

Be sure to have a list of questions you want answered when you speak with a school's representative. You might also ask for a list of current students and graduates to touch for their estimate of the school.

This is also a good time to ask about scholarships and what the school has to offer. If financing is going to be an issue, it's better to find out alternatives now rather than wait until you have been accepted. Remember, the school representatives are there to help and most, I've found, don't push too hard--although it is their job to sell you on the school.

Step 4 - Narrow down the field.

Once you look over what the schools have to offer and have spoken with the representatives, start eliminating those that just don't fit in with your needs. Maybe a school is too far, too costly, or just doesn't offer the courses you are curious in taking.

Step 5 - Visit the schools that fit best.

In my opinion, this is one of the most foremost steps you can do to make sure that you are going to be happy at any cooking school. You want to see the actual classrooms you will be attending, see some of the teachers and students in action, and get a feel for the surroundings to make sure you will fit in.

I once made the mistake of taking a new job on Wall road with a competitor without ever seeing the offices I'd be working in. Sure the money was better and I opinion I would make faster advancement, but when I arrived for my first day of work, I couldn't believe the conditions they wanted me to work in. The office space was old, dirty, and outdated compared to where I was working. I was horrified and only lasted about four months!

So, make sure that the school in which you are thinking of investing your time and money is as good, if not better, than the brochure they send to you.

Step 6 - Apply to your top picks.

After you make your visits, narrow down the field to your top choices and put in order the applications you were sent. Be sure to be neat and complete, and provide the schools with all things they ask you for. If you have any questions about the application, pick up the phone right away and get answers. You don't want to be sending in incomplete forms.

Step 7 - pick your school.

Once notified by the schools of your acceptance, you can decree which school works best for you. Because you did your homework and followed the steps above, this final choice should be easy.

Be sure to acquaint the school of your choice that you will be attending, and find out what steps are required to get you enrolled and what you will need to start school.

Although this article was written for those of you curious in going to culinary school, you can succeed these same procedures when selecting any lasting study degree. If you think about it, it's just like getting all things prepped and ready to go (mise en place) before beginning to put in order a meal.

Copyright © 2005 G. Stephen Jones, The Reluctant Gourmet

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