When you love cooking, working in or owning a famous, award-winning restaurant would always be at the back of your mind. Whether you are currently an undergrad, working in a different profession, or in between jobs, if you have a passion and talent for creating culinary masterpieces, you will find a way to achieve your dream.
Enrolling in a
renowned culinary arts center can be the push you need to pursue your dream. Once you complete your course, you will have an edge over other aspiring chefs, thereby allowing you to get the job you want, which you can use as your stepping stone to reach your bigger goals.
What to Expect When You Enroll in a Culinary Arts School
Before enrolling in a culinary arts school, you have to know that your time here will be quite an experience. Courses in this field are different from other programs; as such, you have to be fully prepared for your stint at your chosen training center.
Knowing what to expect from taking up a culinary arts course before classes start will allow you to prepare well for the experience. This will then help you get the most from the program and even enjoy the time you will spend as a student.
Below are the five things you have to know and be prepared for once you start studying at a culinary arts school:
You will hone your skills and broaden your knowledge in professional Cookery and Baking & Patisserie
If you want to be a professional chef, you need to be equipped with the right skills and be knowledgeable about the various aspects of cooking and running a kitchen and a restaurant as a whole. You can learn and master all of these at a culinary school.
Some of the career-building skills you will learn and practice as you study culinary arts include:
- Cooking methods and techniques
- Healthy cooking
- International cuisines and cooking
- Food Safety and Kitchen Hygiene
- Recipe and menu development
- Kitchen organization
- Baking fundamentals
- Restaurant management
If you choose the right school, you would also get an introduction to the different types of technology that make foodservice and the management of front and back-of-house more efficient.
Armed with these skills and knowledge, you will be more prepared and well-rounded once you start working your way up in the food and restaurant industry.
You will have plenty of opportunities to practice everything you learn.
Learning the ins and outs of cooking and the other elements that go into running a restaurant is a good start; applying them would be even better.
A good culinary arts school will give you the right opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills you learn. During your lab classes, you will be working in a fully-equipped kitchen. Whether you are learning cutting or plating techniques or the basics of baking, you can practice and master these within the facilities.
Additionally, on-the-job-training or apprenticeship is part of most culinary arts classes. Because of this, you will get more opportunities to apply and hone everything you learn in an actual restaurant or commercial kitchen.
You will be immersed in an intense, fast-paced environment
If you find cooking in your home kitchen relaxing, be prepared for a different experience when you start your lab classes.
These lab classes simulate the environment of commercial or restaurant kitchens. Once you begin taking them, you will be trained in the same setting that professional chefs go through day in and day out.
Because of this, you will have a clear picture of what it's like once you start working in a restaurant. Your training can prepare you for the demands that come with being a chef. You will then be less affected by the stress and pressure and thus, enabling you to be productive whenever you are in the kitchen.
Your culinary school training will also help you adapt quickly and perform your best in a commercial kitchen setting.
You get to work with people that share your passion
Meeting fellow foodies and other individuals that love spending endless hours in the kitchen is always a delightful experience. Getting to experiment, cook, and explore more about the fascinating world of culinary arts with them is something that you will love as well.
Working with your fellow students would be a regular activity in your lab classes. Because of this, you will learn the importance of teamwork. More importantly, you will learn how to become a better team member so that you can contribute to a successful service.
Aside from working with other students and making new friends that share your passion for cooking, you will also get the chance to meet one or more celebrity chefs.
Many culinary arts schools join international food events. When you participate in these, you can get a chance to hobnob with some of the biggest names in the food and beverage industry.
Your on-the-job-training may also put you under the tutelage of a chef you admire or someone that you will have high regard for and never forget after your placement.
You will have fun
If you love watching reality cooking shows since you find them entertaining, you can experience the same level of fun once your lessons start.
Aside from getting to say “Yes Chef!” numerous times throughout the day, which can be fun, especially when you say it with your fellow students, there are plenty of activities that you will enjoy doing.
Learning how to use new kitchen equipment you haven’t used before is always a wonderful experience. You will also have fun discovering
new cuisines you have never tried before, flavor combinations, and cooking techniques.
Although you will be in a commercial kitchen and, thus, go through the same challenges that starting chefs did (think of Gordon Ramsay yelling at the contestants at every episode of Hell’s Kitchen), there are plenty of upsides and fun times you will experience as well.
Enrolling in a culinary school is a smart decision if you want to go far in the foodservice industry. With the appropriate skills, knowledge, and experience, you will get the confidence and edge you need, no matter what stage you are in your career as a chef.