Wikipedia defines culinary school as "A cooking school or culinary school is an institution devoted to education in the art and science of food preparation. It also awards degrees which indicate that a student has undergone a particular curriculum and therefore displays a certain level of competency. Cooking schools often are associated with public restaurants where a student can acquire experience in working in a real environment and performing in many roles.”
Culinary schools offer various kinds of programs ranging from few weeks to five years specialized courses. Top of the line culinary schools offer specialized course. These types of schools are often termed as dedicated culinary schools or institutes. Such institutes offer the programs related to culinary arts and science only.
Next on the hierarchy are career schools whose primary aim is to prepare you for a variety of art disciplines. Some of these also include culinary arts. Next on the list are traditional universities or schools or colleges. Many such institutes offer culinary arts or science as a major or minor subject during graduation program. Finally, there is an umpteen number of places where participants are imparted with culinary arts. The last one are not affiliated / accredited to any university or authority.
Selection of a good culinary school is too critical an issue to be ignored easily. Some of the more important factors affecting the choice of culinary schools are reputation, location, programs offered, accreditation, costs and infrastructure.
ACF accreditation is a good idea to start the exercise on assessing the reputation of a culinary school. Better is to know the placement quality of the outgoing students.
Location makes a big difference to a culinary school. A school far away from your home may not be an ideal or optimum choice for you. Factors like the cost of surviving, transportation, food, etc must be considered before taking a final call on the location of the prospective culinary school of your choice.
Culinary arts programs are often of three types - first and foremost is the most intensive and specialized full-time degree program, second is an intensive program and the last on the list is a specialty program. An intensive program may be of short duration (one year or so), but prospects of getting good job are on a higher side due to the very intense curriculum followed during the program. Specialty programs offer in-depth knowledge on a very specialized branch - for example, red meat. If a program is offering none of these three, it’s better not to waste your time on the same.
Accreditation of a school ensures that the school has undergone the inspection from various authorities and has verified the claims. It also means that the institute possesses the entire necessary infrastructure needed to run such type of school.
Costs in case of culinary schools are probably the most misleading item head. Ensure that you have understood everything coming under the term cost - tuition fees, boarding, equipments, books, notebooks, etc.
Last but not the least, infrastructure offered by the institute makes all the difference. It includes the facilities like classroom, kitchen, equipments, library, etc.
Don't forget to check on these before making a final decision in the selection of your culinary school.
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Jessica Deets researches the internet and finds helpful information. You can find out more about culinary schools at www.culinaryschoolusa.com
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