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Culinary Central

EDUCATION IS THE CRUCIAL INGREDIENT IN CULINARY ARTS

October 23, 2013 Aaron Colby Seattle 0 Comments

EDUCATION IS THE CRUCIAL INGREDIENT IN CULINARY ARTS

It’s hard to pass up a good culinary rags-to-riches story: a determined dishwasher works tirelessly up the kitchen ranks to eventually own a three star restaurant. Unfortunately, the chances of this happening to those passionate about food are slim without a formal education from a cooking school. Unless you’re fortunate to have a great mentor, it’s likely that many chefs want you to have more training, like you get with a culinary degree.

BROAD EXPOSURE
A culinary education offers a broad exposure to a countless number of subjects. Crucial knowledge is acquired while learning and using different cooking techniques, ingredients, knife skills, kitchen tools, equipment, and food and safety procedures. Training in commercial kitchens by a variety of chef instructors with specific expertise, and immersion in regional and global cuisines contribute to better food artistry and preparation.

This broad exposure gives students a diverse view of the culinary industry to better determine their strengths and interests, rather than the limited scope offered by on-the-job training. In one classroom, students are exposed to many of the world’s cuisines, but it’s difficult to acquire this same exposure in just one restaurant. Instructors have the time and patience to explain how and why cooking applications are done. This may not be practical while working in a kitchen where the chef has limited time for training. The opportunity to find answers to all your culinary questions can happen in the classroom, but is less than ideal while working in the field.

PURSUIT OF A SPECIALTY
There are specialized areas in the culinary industry that are very difficult to break into without a formal education. To become a sommelier, a wine expert, one must have an extensive knowledge of wine and food that can be acquired through a specific professional training. Many pastry chefs are required to have formal education and experience to master their craft.  Even personal and private chefs get value from a culinary education in addition to years of experience to set them apart from their competitors.

NEVER TOO LATE
If you have always had a passion for culinary arts, it’s never too late to go back to school. Diversity in age is becoming more evident on the culinary campus. It is now more common for adults over the age of 30 to switch their careers to their true passion – food.  Alternative schedules at cooking schools are making it more accessible for students by providing the flexibility many search for in order to continue their busy lifestyle and increase their culinary knowledge and advance their education.   

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Seattle offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Seattle for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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