Culinary education is growing in popularity. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the tourism and hospitality sector in a big way. Food is a basic necessity and culinary arts have helped hotels and restaurants innovate and create amazing culinary experiences for customers, foodies, entrepreneurs, and more particularly in the new normal.
Acquiring the best culinary education can help you get to your desired professional level a lot easier. While there are many successful chefs that have attained success and fame without attending the best culinary schools, well-respected culinary schools can help you learn the skills, knowledge, artistry, and techniques that you need to rank high in the field. You must do your homework before deciding to take admission to one of these institutions.
Before you make this all-important decision, we encourage you to visit websites of different colleges and request viewbooks and catalogs to learn about their programs and resources. Then make an informed choice using the six criteria below instigated by our in-house industry expert Master Chef Daniel C. Gomes.
Accredited, Not-for-Profit College
Is the college/institute not-for-profit, so that all of its resources go toward its education mission? Also, is the college fully accredited by a respected commission of higher education, validating the quality of its education and setting high standards of excellence to follow?
Hands-on and General Education Learning
Top culinary colleges have an ideal mix of experiential and classroom learning. Look for student-staffed restaurants on campus; internships at leading companies; food-focused academic courses; and relevant curricula guided by collaborations with industry and education partners.
Flexibility in Completing Your Degree
Does a college give you the flexibility to customize your education to your career goals? Can you transfer credits, and/or join an accelerated program? Are there master’s degree options? Does the education prepare you for the food world—and for life?
Expert Faculty from the Industry
The best culinary colleges have a diverse and accomplished faculty, from master chefs and bakers to published authors to seasoned professors in business and liberal arts. Also, key: student-to-faculty ratios that foster individual mentoring.
Culinary College in a Campus Environment
The most inspiring colleges offer a full campus experience with a diverse community, a variety of clubs and activities, attractive housing options, and fun student life. A great bonus: access to a major city for even more cultural and culinary adventures.
Return on Your Investment and Alumni Success
Does a college set you up for career success? Look for a high return on your investment with earnings that pay back over the course of your career, and a large, successful alumni network as indicators of education excellence.