For anyone who dreams of a career as a professional chef, simply experimenting with new recipes isn’t enough. You need to hone your culinary skills, and that usually requires formal education or professional training.
Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent culinary schools and programs all over the world to help you on your way to becoming a top-notch chef.
The best culinary schools typically offer a variety of different degrees, ranging from associate to bachelor’s to master’s. Each program offers a unique mix of culinary classes and hands-on practical experience in kitchens, so it’s important to research all of your options to find the one that best matches your goals and ambitions.
For example, the Institute of Culinary Education (or ICE), one of the world’s leading culinary schools, has locations all over the US and offers both associate and bachelor’s degrees. Each location is situated in a prime spot and provides students with opportunities to work at local restaurants. In addition, ICE’s curriculum is global and its team of instructors is highly knowledgeable. As a result, it is considered by many to be among the best culinary schools in the world.
Another option for those who want to pursue a career in the culinary arts is the University of New England, located in Maine. This school focuses on both theory and practical application, with a large portion of its course offerings dedicated to hands-on cooking and baking courses. The university also has a strong focus on sustainable and organic food practices, which is another area of expertise that makes it a standout among the world’s best culinary schools.
If you’re interested in exploring the culinary world further, there are a number of culinary awards that you can consider. These awards range from international to regional, and are based on votes by industry professionals as well as general public members. Some of these culinary awards are prestigious, while others have gained a reputation for being more about hype than actual merit.
One of the more prestigious culinary awards is the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This list is compiled by a panel of experts and features a rigorous voting process. The winner is then awarded a coveted Michelin star. This list is a great resource for those who are traveling and looking for a great place to dine, but it can be difficult to use as a definitive guide.
A newer culinary award is recasting how we celebrate chefs and other food professionals. The 50 Next list, curated by the same organization that puts together the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, features diverse individuals overhauling the food system on multiple levels, whether it’s through developing smart farming software for farmers in Latin America (Mariana da Silva Vasconcelos of Sao Paulo-based Agrosmart) or founding a collective to spark conversation about Indian food culture (Elizabeth Yorke and Anusha Murthy, co-creators of Edible Issues). This new format feels more compelling than many longstanding culinary awards.