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Answering Your Culinary Schools Questions

Jul 15, 2008
There is something relaxing about cooking a favorite meal at home. The delicious aromas while the food is cooking and then there is the final product awaiting your taste buds. Have you ever given any thought to taking your love and passion for food and making it into a career?

Many people are finding rewarding careers in the food industry. Culinary schools are experiencing record enrollment thanks in part to television shows such as 'Hell's Kitchen' and 'Top Chef'.

Each week participants put their cooking skills to the test and it makes others yearn to be in the kitchen doing the same thing. Even if cooking is not your idea of fun there are other aspects of the food industry that are taught in culinary schools.

You may want to work on the business side. Where ever your passion for food lies, a culinary school can help you find the skills you need. In this article we will cover the basics of culinary schools and what you can expect from this fiery career choice.

What do culinary schools teach?

Culinary schools 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 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.

Are culinary schools all about learning how to cook?

You may be surprised to learn that culinary schools do teach more than kitchen skills such as knife handling and how to make a souffle. They 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. Culinary schools 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.

Do certain schools specialize in different areas of the culinary world?

There are schools that do specialize in certain cuisines but you would typically find these specialized schools overseas. The culinary schools in the United States tend to teach a broad spectrum since culinary palates are so diverse here. Should you wish to study French cuisine exclusively it would be best to attend a school in France where you can learn from the masters of the trade.

What are some of the jobs that I can expect to work in after I graduate from a culinary school?

There are a wide variety of jobs that can open up for you once you have graduated from a culinary school. 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 trick is patience and practice.
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