Culinary art is learning the nuances of preparing food by various methods (baking, boiling, cooking etc), using the right ingredients to achieve consumable food that is tasty, attractive and nutritious. It encompasses a spectrum of activities deemed necessary to make eating truly delicious. Culinary art is a perfect career choice for people who are passionate about the art of cooking. If you have the zeal and enthusiasm, like to be connected with food and people and enjoy working in a fast paced environment, culinary art could be the right career to prove your talents.
In today's context, food industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. that employs the maximum number of people, next to Government Service. An industry that is ever changing and challenging, career opportunities are available in restaurants, hotels, on board ships and at resorts. Find out what you can expect to learn at a top culinary arts school.
Embark on your journey to pursue an exciting career in culinary arts by obtaining a degree from a culinary arts school. The courses offered deal with cuisine from all over the world. Practical hands-on training is vital to the course. You can choose a program that lasts for a minimum number of weeks or those that extend to four years. A degree from a top culinary school will certainly help you to begin a culinary career as a cook, apprentice chef or kitchen manager. By virtue of obtaining a culinary art degree, you may enjoy an edge over other prospective culinary art job seekers. Factors to be considered before choosing a culinary school (culinary institute) are:
Culinary arts school program
The depth of the program/course is determined by the duration of the culinary program. A one-year course introduces you to some of the fundamentals in safety and hygiene and advances to mastering basic cooking skills, necessary for an entry-level position. The curriculum covers kitchen skills and classic cooking techniques. A detailed course, lasting a year or more offers specialization options and includes learning kitchen management or restaurant management.
Upto to one-year program : Culinary certificates
Upto to two years of study: Associate culinary degrees
Upto to four years of study: Bachelor's degree
Cost of culinary arts school program
Depending on your budget, you can choose to spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per program, per semester or per year. These expenses would be towards
- Application forms (mostly non-refundable)
- Tutorial charges per year or semester
- Reference books
- Purchasing supplies (a knife set and a chef uniform)
- For practical examinations
- Boarding and lodging expenses. (Mandatory at some schools)
- Other fees (like specialty course fee)
Popularity of culinary arts schools
You can assess the goodwill enjoyed by the school in terms of the quality and validity of the programs. Points for consideration and evaluation are:
- Ranking of culinary arts schools
- Certifications and Awards conferred
- Placement opportunities
- Availability of qualified faculty
- Specific features of courses
- Availability of sponsors/scholarships
- Hours of lecture and hours for preparing food
- Any guest lectures available (by prominent chefs)
- The kitchen size and availability of modern infrastructure
- Extra-curricular activities, if any
- Option of twin graduation
- Flexibility of program
Location of culinary arts school/institute
If you are prepared to go a long way and have fun during the course of obtaining degrees, check the following.
- The place, its culture and climate
- Cost of living (on-campus or off-campus)
- Overall advantages vs. disadvantages
Culinary Opportunities aplenty
The U.S. Department of Labor states that the job openings for chefs, cooks and food preparation workers are expected to be on the rise until 2010. Broadly classified into chefs, cooks and food preparation workers, opportunities are available aplenty in restaurants, hotels and other food service industries. Other culinary careers are Baker, Television culinary artist, Food caterer, Culinary instructor/lecturer, Culinary journalist or a Food stylist. Data provided by U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the average yearly earnings for chefs and head cooks in 2004 were $34,870. The salary increased with experience and career advancement.
Top 10 culinary arts schools in U.S.
1) Atlantic Culinary academy, US
2) California Culinary Academy
3) California School of Culinary Arts
4) Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago
5) Gibbs College, Livingston, NJ
6) Katharine Gibbs School, New York
7) Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Las Vegas
8) Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Minneapolis, St.Paul
9) Orlando Culinary Academy
10) Pennsylvania Culinary Institute
Top 10 culinary arts schools in Europe
1) Menfi, Sicily
2) Finca Buen Vino, Spain
3) Le Marmiton, Avignon, France
4) Vallicorte, Tuscany, Italy
5) Gualtiero Marchesi's Gourmet Cookery School, L'Albereta, Italy
6) L'Ecole de Cuisine, Bordeaux, France
7) Cooking with Stavros, Symi, Greece
8) Casa Ombuto, Tuscany, Italy
9) Promenades Gourmandes with Paule Caillet, Paris, France
10)Refúgio da Vila, Portel, Alentejo, Portugal
California School of Culinary Arts (CSCA)
California School of Culinary Arts was founded in 1994 and has earned special preference amongst top culinary arts schools. The motto of the school is to prepare its students for the international hospitality industry. True to this, the school provides individualized attention to all students. The school offers both degree and diploma programs. Popular worldwide, CSCA is located in the heart of Southern California. The strolling campus includes a dining restaurant, café and a retail store.
It also includes a library, 30 teaching labs and 9 classrooms to accommodate the ever-increasing enrollment of culinary arts students. This culinary school is accredited by The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and approved by the State of California. California School of Culinary arts is one of the few culinary schools in America to offer culinary courses in partnership with the world famous Le Cordon Bleu. Programs part of this partnership provides students with 1200 hours of hand-on lab classes and 240 hours of academic classes.