The 2023 James Beard Awards celebrated a new class of chefs who are bringing joy, innovation and wonder to their kitchens. Their dishes may be a riff on a family recipe, an inventive use of a traditional ingredient or a unique fusion of island flavors. Immigrants dominated the ceremony, making up the majority of nominees and winning many of the top honors.
There are a variety of culinary degree programs available, from associate degrees to bachelor’s and master’s. A degree in culinary arts can provide students with the basic skills needed to succeed as a chef or restaurant owner. It can also lead to opportunities to work in management and marketing, which are important aspects of running a business.
Choosing the right school for a culinary degree requires some thought and research. There are many factors to consider, including the cost and what kind of career you want to have. Many culinary schools have student-run restaurants on campus to give students real-world experience. Some even offer scholarships for prospective culinary students.
An associate degree program can be completed in as few as 15 months and is a great option for someone who wants to get started in the kitchen. The courses focus on the basics of food preparation, cooking and baking. They include hands-on learning in the kitchen and a 100-hour externship at a restaurant or professional kitchen.
A bachelor’s degree in culinary arts takes about four years to complete. Most bachelor’s programs require students to choose a concentration, like pastry or a particular regional cuisine. Some culinary schools also offer bachelor’s degree programs with a general business management component that could be useful for those who want to side-step an entry-level kitchen job and move into a management position.
The most popular culinary schools are often those with a reputation for excellence, but there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right one for you. First, remember that the best culinary school is not necessarily the most expensive. And second, make sure you’re pursuing a culinary degree because you enjoy the food industry and are passionate about cooking.
Le Cordon Bleu in Paris is an illustrious culinary school that has produced many famous alumni, including Julia Child. This French cooking school is considered the guardian of traditional French techniques and offers several scholarships for new students. The college also has a functional farm where students learn about the process of growing and cooking vegetables as well as field trips to domestic and foreign locations. Other schools, such as SUNY Cobleskill, provide similar opportunities for students who are interested in farming and sustainability. They have a functional farm with a greenhouse and hydroponic vegetable lab as well as offer field trips to local farms and international destinations.