What Will I Learn in a Culinary Arts School?
Mar 31, 2015 | 10:00 am
The Fast Track to Experience
Forty percent of those who begin kitchen work are within twenty years of age. Many begin with nothing more than a high school diploma and slowly work through the ranks. What is culinary school to them? It is the place they must attend, if they have worked their way up to a chef’s position, often after at least six years of cooking experience, and wish to get a job in restaurant or hospitality management. If you can work through the ranks from dishwasher to chef, you may wonder why you should need to attend culinary school at all.
Culinary school prepares you for a wide number of jobs in the food industry. If you wish to go into food research, nutrition and diet, or work for an exclusive club, restaurant or cruise ship, you will need to go to culinary school and pursue a degree program. Culinary school teaches you how to follow recipes and create appetizing and artistically arranged dishes, work with a team and learn all the safe procedures for handling and cooking foods. By attending culinary school, you’ll have a better chance of securing a job in a high-end restaurant, or go through the promotions from cooking assistant to a chef’s position more rapidly.
What is Culinary School?
Culinary schools specialize in food preparation, food safety, Continental and International cuisine, pastry baking, and restaurant and hospitality management. They offer diploma programs for chefs-in-training and college degree programs that include an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree in food science, the culinary arts or hospitality management and administration.
Your degree program will expose you to a broad cultural climate, teaching you the skills necessary to work with a team, negotiating with retailers and diplomatically settling quarrels and issues between employees and clients. Studies will include psychology courses, mathematics, history, computer applications and artistic design as well as the culinary arts.
What is Culinary School to the Graduate?
Graduates from culinary schools will tell you that the first thing they’ve learned is that the knives used in a professional kitchen are extremely sharp. It’s not unusual to receive a nick or cut as soon as you open your new knife set and begin experimenting with it.
You learn the value of teamwork and how a professional kitchen flows. Most culinary kitchens are very fast-paced and handle large volume orders. Your culinary arts courses will teach you how to work under pressure and still deliver appetizing foods and attractive platters.
Sanitation is most important to the culinary arts student. You will learn about the potential bacteria that can threaten the safety of the kitchen and the types of bacteria that can plague food production as well as how to avoid them.
Graduates learn that the cook’s uniform may not be the most flattering clothes you can wear, but it’s certainly the most practical. By the end of the day, you will be splattered with grease, water and food stains from head to toe. You will need special shoes that are water and oil resistant and do not slip on a wet floor.
Graduates from culinary school learn how to create and analyze a menu, determining the costs to produce and establish the portions needed to create a profit. They learn how to budget, negotiate with suppliers. They also learn employment laws and safety codes.
Networking Your Skills
What are culinary schools, if not an opportunity to network with the food industry to help you find the position you desire after graduation? Professional chefs need contacts, if they would like to work for a high-end restaurant or hospitality service. A reputable instructor will be well known among other chefs who will query the instructor as to the level of your expertise in delivering fine foods and working with others. By using social networking to advertise your availability, you have the potential to launch an exciting career in the field of culinary arts.