Many people dream of becoming a professional chef and getting to work in the kitchens of some of the world’s best restaurants. While this might seem like a far-fetched goal to have for most people, there is a way that someone can prepare themselves for this career path. Many culinary schools offer a variety of different degree programs and courses that can give students the experience needed to become an excellent chef. Many of these culinary schools also have a student-run restaurant on campus where students can get hands-on experience working in a real-world restaurant.
When choosing a culinary program to attend, prospective students should take into consideration the school’s reputation. A higher-ranked program may cost more in tuition, but could provide greater long-term value with regard to employment opportunities. Students should also research the types of degrees and specializations that are available at a given culinary school. For example, the New England Culinary Institute is known for offering world-class chefs and a wide range of culinary degrees, including baking and pastry, food and beverage management, as well as restaurant and culinary arts. The school is also known for its extensive internship program that can help students gain the experience needed to start their own culinary business once they have graduated.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is a highly respected honor that is based on an intense voting procedure among more than 1000 culinary experts. The winner of this award is celebrated in an annual ceremony that tours the globe. The awards are a wonderful opportunity for the world’s finest dining destinations to receive recognition and an extra boost in their business for a year. However, the list can be controversial because it celebrates mostly high-end tasting menu spots that often have a hyper-focused sense of place. Osteria Francescana, for instance, is lauded for its tasting menu of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese from its Emilia-Romagna home region. Other finalists, such as Noma and Cosme, are famed for their avant-garde New Nordic cuisine that shuns imported ingredients in favor of foraged and indigenous foods.
This year, the World’s 50 Best restaurant list made a point to highlight the diversity of its nominees and winners. This included the first time that women or people of color won 11 out of 16 national categories. This was the result of the #MeToo movement, which shifted voters away from the industry’s overwhelmingly white male dominance. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list did not change the voting process, but it did take a more inclusive approach in selecting its winners.
Whether you are aiming to be a professional chef or hoping to own your own restaurant someday, the right culinary education is essential. Many top culinary schools are ranked and recognized by prestigious systems such as the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, Michelin, and the James Beard Foundation. Choosing the right culinary school can have an incredible impact on your career and help you achieve your goals.