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Exploring your options – Culinary School

While we have discussed a lot about the mainstream degrees and their job prospects and a few of the other specialised degree programmes such as hospitality, in this segment, we explore the world of culinary arts, and provide a brief overview, of what you can expect to learn, and what is expected of you to be eligible to enrol in a culinary school!

Your journey to becoming a chef begins in a fairly similar way as most other professions. You will have to attain a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts to make your own foray into the industry. Addressing a common misconception that a culinary arts degree involves just learning how to cook, it does not. Apart from cooking, you can also expect to learn food safety management, or marketing, and even entrepreneurship! These vital skills will make sure that you are well-equipped to work in any environment that you are offered a job in.

If you are inclined towards undertaking a degree in culinary arts, it is useful to self-analyse yourself and make sure that you have what it takes to be a chef. Apart from the obvious, i.e., being creative, you will also have to make sure that you can work calmly in high-pressure environments and can endure tough conditions for hours at a stretch. Moreover, attention to detail and being nimble and agile with your hands can also be useful qualities to have.

You will have to fulfil some eligibility criteria as well before applying to culinary school. This may include having a high school diploma or equivalent; having worked in a professional kitchen or equivalent for a minimum of 1.5 years; have attained a satisfactory score in a standard English-proficiency test such as the IELTS. Other requirements include the usual resume and letter of recommendations from your past teachers or mentors.

Some of the top universities for learning the culinary arts are

  1. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, USA 
  2. Culinary Arts Academy, Switzerland
  3. Culinary Institute of America, USA
  4. Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, France
  5. Institute of Culinary Education, New York, USA

Finally, a very pertinent question would be, what are the job opportunities once having graduated from culinary school. You can apply for a range of jobs. However, it should be noted that you will have to start from the very bottom and work your way up to becoming an executive chef, or any other position of such sorts. You always will have the option of opening up your own bakery, restaurant, patisserie etc.

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