Best Culinary Schools
With a variety of schools to choose from, how does a person go about choosing the best culinary arts college? For the best culinary school, consider the options available and what each offers its students before committing to a specific college. There are six-month Associate degree programs that are often offered as well as certificate and diploma programs. The six-month Associate program can often be completed in two years, while the six-month diploma program takes only two years if a student has enough time to complete the program with a great deal of self-motivation and determination.
When looking at culinary institutes, look for a school that will provide the basic education that all degree programs should provide: recipes, coursework, fundamental business skills, and food safety. However, some schools specialize more in one or two areas of culinary study. A good example of this is an institute that specializes in Pastry Chef Education. Pastry chefs usually start out working in kitchens for pastry cooks. After gaining experience under a chef, a pastry chef can then pursue higher level positions at local restaurants. By gaining knowledge and passing the exams that these schools have set forth, pastry chefs may be able to move into other career opportunities such as franchising, management, and executive positions.
Culinary Institute of America (ICCA) specializes in the Culinary Arts and specializes in the baking and pastry arts. Students who wish to become pastry chefs may choose to attend one of the many accredited culinary schools around the world. Many of these schools offer the traditional campus-based learning experience, but many offer online courses and small classroom settings. If an individual has a hectic work schedule and is unable to spend four years at a university, an online setting can prove more helpful in terms of time management and flexibility. The small classroom size of an ICA school allows students to be more involved in their courses and gives them the chance to learn from the hands-on, real-life application of techniques learned in class.
A New England Institute for Food Business Management focuses on preparing students to work in the food service industry. Unlike other culinary schools that focus on the fundamentals of the culinary arts, those attending this New England Institute for Food Business Management focuses on those who already have practical experience working in the food industry. Classes offered by this institute include topics on food trends and consumer behavior, managerial economics, and business law, as well as information on food safety and restaurant management. Some of the courses offered at the New England Institute for Food Business Management include: Accounting Basics, Buying in the Restaurant Market, Consumer Behavior and Choices, Concepts in International Food Business, and History of Fine Dining.
The American Culinary Federation offers classes designed for individuals interested in starting their own catering, restaurant, or pastry business. The courses offered by this institute include everything from working as an associate to developing your own signature menu. Some of the courses offered at the American Culinary Federation include: Beginning Cooking, Culinary Fundamentals, Basic Pastry and Food Preparation, and Wine Appreciation. Some of the specialties that may be offered through the American Culinary Federation include: French Cooking, Italian Cooking, Chinese Cooking, Caribbean Cooking, International Cuisine, Japanese Cooking, Mediterranean Cooking, Pizza, and Spanish Cooking.
Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School is a part of the University of Maryland, College Park. Located on the campus of the school is the Institute of Culinary Education & Research. This is a collaboration of the university, the school, and a professional culinary research organization. Classes at the Institute of Culinary Education & Research offer anything from pastry arts programs to courses in photography, horticulture, hospitality, and other aspects of the culinary arts. Many associate degree programs are available through the I CE program, and many students choose to take a small break from the program to pursue whatever interest they may have outside of the culinary arts.