The number of cooking schools is growing, and many high school students and interested professionals want to know which of these schools offer competitive culinary education. But these people should be concerned more of the fundamental factors that would affect their lives the moment they set foot in the world of culinary arts.
You may think of culinary schools with grandeur and you may have high praises for people who finish the course, putting them in some kind of pedestal, as if they have accomplished something grand. The real thing for most of these people is far from your imagination.
Cooking schools are expensive.
That is just one thing you have to keep in mind. It is so expensive that many aspirants are discouraged at the first sight of the cost. They may opt for student loans to come by funds necessary for schooling. Many finish the course worried about how they are going to pay the debt.
There are many chefs who obtained their expertise without having to go through expensive education. In fact, some had to learn it for free working in the kitchens of restaurants or hotels. Not all can be that lucky though. Some had to start from somewhere like their very own kitchens. The lure of culinary school is the presence of nice equipment, state-of-the-art facilities, and seasoned chefs to provide instruction.
Many chefs think that all types of cooking education are essentially the same. Methods of cooking do not change wherever you take the course. Hence, expensive culinary education will not necessarily prepare you for the real thing. At the end of the day, it is your skill and passion that will make you do the job and not the name of the school or the cost of the education.
A culinary career is not just about cooking.
This is something all students in culinary schools should know and understand. Some are too excited to learn how to bake pastry or cook beef stew—and they immediately think a culinary school can get them there. If you think of learning the art of cooking because you want to be the house cook, you probably should learn cooking another way, because it is impractical. But if you have money to burn, go ahead.
Some people imagine grand careers as chefs, but this is far from the reality. Only a few people land high paying jobs when they graduate. Many will have to deal with average paying jobs in restaurants or hotels if they ever find jobs. But if you have a passion for culinary arts, you should have no problem being in the tough industry. You may even enjoy it.
Culinary jobs involve working with other people. Collaboration is just one thing. If you are a chef working at restaurants, you have to take orders from the owner. Sometimes, your food will be criticized even if it looks nice and tastes good. This is what interested culinary students should understand. Do not enroll in a culinary school with the expectation that you will be a grand, rich chef in the future. Do so because it is what you want and you clearly know the possibilities.
By: Alex Bauer