Top Culinary Schools

Culinary schools teach the fine art of cooking. Cooking is no longer considered to be just simple cooking. It involves a lot of expertise and innovation. With the food industry growing at spectacular rates, there is a lot of demand for good cooks. This is the reason most people are taking up the culinary arts as a serious career option. There are now hundreds of culinary schools that teach not just basic cooking but also specialties like pastry preparation, wine classes, knife skills, desserts, baking, holiday foods, healthy foods, regional cooking, style cooking, sauces, chocolates, safety and sanitation, cost management, food handling and identification, food and nutrition, special cuisines, and more.

Culinary schools offer a lot of courses: executive chef, sous-chef, saucier, garde manager, pastry chef, sommelier and more. The courses are based on the level of expertise: level 1 for basic introduction, level 2 for more experienced cooks and level 3 for professional cooking.

The best culinary schools not only offer certifications that are respected worldwide, but also the finest facilities and instructors, food service operations, job placement assistance, good credentials, teaching by experts, hands-on teaching, and so on. They teach fundamental and traditional cooking, and encourage innovation and novelty. They generally have small teacher-student ratios. One way to judge the quality of a culinary school is to take at look at its alumni and where they are placed. These people can also provide their own critique of the various schools. Another way to judge is to see the accreditations that school has.

There are many rankings and ratings provided to culinary schools by Princeton Review or US News or World Report. Some of the best culinary schools across the world are: The Culinary Institute of America, Texas Culinary Academy, Sullivan University, New England Culinary Institute, Liaison College, The Art Institutes, Johnson and Wales University, Le Cordon Bleu, the French Culinary Institute, Western Culinary InstituteArticle Submission, and several others. 

Information about top culinary schools and their programs can be obtained by visiting the school or requesting a brochure. The internet will help you locate a top culinary school in your area; there are several websites that provide information. The schools also have their own websites that advertise their latest courses and offers.

Why Attend Culinary School?

Attending a culinary school is necessary if you are pursing a career in culinary arts.  Even if you are a “great cook”, it takes professional training in culinary arts to become an expert.  If you want to get a job in a good restaurant, you will need professional qualifications that come from attending a regular culinary school. Many people think that culinary school is very expensive.  Any education is costly and culinary programs are no exception.

Many people think that culinary arts are a talent and cannot be taught.  Culinary arts are both an Art and a Science.  In culinary training you will learn about ingredients and how they are used in the foods that you cook.  The time you spend learning about ingredients and additives in your culinary program will help you to be a well-informed chef. 

Chef, caterer, pastry arts and restaurant cook are the most familiar four options in culinary school.  There are, however, hundreds of jobs in the food industry. Students may want to direct their Culinary Career in the direction of management as executive chef, or in sales as a director of catering.  There are also culinary programs in food and beverage management.   Many people who hold Culinary Degrees strive to develop food products for the wholesale or retail market.  Students can take their culinary training and become consultants for restaurateurs, chef school teachers, or even food writers.

For any of these culinary careers, you will need to find an accredited culinary school program to get your certificate or degree.  This kind of professional culinary training will provide you the knowledge and understanding for quality ingredients and creating pleasant and balanced dishes for the diner.  Your culinary education will be an ongoing one throughout your career.  The base of knowledge you learn in Culinary School gives you the knowledge to test your own creativity in the kitchen.

If you love to cookFree Articles, you should pursue your dream of culinary school.   It is never too early for you to think about the opportunities that will come along after culinary training. 

Culinary Schools - Campus Life

Author: Erik Johnson

The experience of going to culinary school varies from one school to the next. Some culinary arts programs are part of traditional community colleges or four-year universities, so the experience will be similar to any other college experience at that school. Other people choose to get their culinary arts degree from an institution that is dedicated to training chefs. In this case, the experience will immerse the student in the world of food and drink, surrounding them with their peers and with experienced faculty who are all as crazy about cooking as they are. While every culinary education experience is different, there are a few things that every chef-in-training should expect.

One thing that makes culinary school different from other schools is the kitchen facilities. While traditional students attend classes in lecture halls and perform school work in labs, culinary students complete their courses in kitchen facilities that are similar to a professional kitchen. Even if the culinary school program is part of a larger institution that offers a wide variety of degree programs, the culinary students will have a different experience because they have to dress the part and they will probably be cooking almost every day. While the typical college student is wearing jeans and t-shirts, a culinary student will need to wear white chef's clothing to prepare for the real world of cooking.

The tools that students use in preparation for their culinary arts degree are much different from the tools that an English student, art student, engineering student or any other type of college student needs to use during their academic career. The school will provide some equipment during classes, but chefs also need to have things like professional knives, food processors, blenders and other cooking tools to use on their own.

Culinary students can earn many different levels of degrees just like other students, ranging from certificate programs and associate's degrees all the way to bachelor's degrees and even doctorates. A culinary arts degree is just like any other – it must be from an accredited institution to be valid. With this kind of education, there's no telling what a chef can do.

Choose the Right Culinary School and Fulfill Your Culinary Dreams

Author: Joe Deacon

If you have dreamed of becoming a chef and are finally ready to take the step towards achieving this goal, you probably have thought about culinary schools. How do you know which school is right for you? Do you close your eyes and pick one, hoping your finger contains a touch of luck? Surely there is a better way to choose a culinary school.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Culinary School

1.     Reputation.

When selecting a culinary school to attend, the first thing you need to check is its reputation in the culinary world. It need not be the No. 1 cooking school but it should be known for its standing and ability to produce quality cooks and chefs.

2.     Awards or Citations.

Check if the culinary school has any awards or citations granted by culinary award-giving bodies. This way, you’re assured that the school has standards high enough that others in the industry are not only noticing it, but rewarding it.

3.     Membership in Culinary Organizations.

Check if the culinary school is an active member of any culinary organization. This way, you’re assured that the school is on top of whatever is the latest trend on the cooking industry.

Although food trends are pretty much like fashion (i.e., there’s always something going out of style and something making a comeback), there are still new things that are introduced now and then. An example is the current trend to cook meat using ‘water treatments’, where the meat is flavored and sealed in a vacuum pack and the whole pack placed in water at a specific temperature. It is trends like these that the culinary schools should be on top of.

4.     Curriculum.

What type of cook do you wish to be? For instance, do you want to excel in a specific country’s cooking that may not necessarily the country where you come from? Do you want to be more of a pastry connoisseur? Whatever you want to ‘major’ in, ensure that the culinary school has a good curriculum for it.

5.     Mode of Teaching.

Different people learn in different ways. Further, depending on where you are in your life right now, time or schedule of classes may be an issue with you. As such, check the mode of teaching applied by the school and schedules of classes.

6.     Proximity.

A school may have a good rep but is it really a viable option for you? If distance is an issue, then you may have to rule out culinary schools out of your city OR you can ask if there are local accredited schools.

7.     Check out reviews.

Nowadays, there are some sites that offer a sort of grading or review system for schools. See, if the culinary school you want to attend is listed on the site and see what others have to say. Don’t depend solely on the reviews of other people, but it can be a great starting point in your search for your culinary school.

How Sweet it is: Becoming a Pastry Chef or Pâtissier

I found this really good article online about becoming a pastry chef (source cited at the bottom):

Who doesn’t love dessert? If you enjoy making them as well as eating them, have you considered a career making breads, pies, chocolates, candy, cookies, ice cream and cake? If so, you’ll be happy to know that there is a growing demand for food industry professionals, and pastry chefs in particular. There are many excellent culinary schools dedicated to teaching you the skills you need to become a part of this exciting and rewarding field.

Traditionally, the pastry chef is a member of the classic brigade de cuisine in a professional kitchen and is the station chef of the pastry department. As with other station chefs, the pastry chef may have other chefs or assistants within their department. Bakers may also be members of the pastry department in bakeries and larger establishments such as hotels.

Day-to-day operations include menu planning, costing, and ordering supplies. They also usually require the pastry chef to research recipe concepts and develop and test new recipes. Usually the pastry chef does all the necessary preparation of the various desserts in advance, before dinner seating begins (the actual plating of the desserts is often done by another station chef, usually the Garde manger, at the time of order). The pastry chef is often in charge of the dessert menu, which besides traditional desserts may include dessert wines, specialty dessert beverages, and gourmet cheese platters.

On a day-to-day basis, a pastry chef must constantly plan and prepare. Nearly every pastry made requires at least some advance preparation. After the preparation, it's time to begin the artwork. People must find a dish attractive before they order it (this is especially true for desserts, which are an unnecessary addition to a meal). This is when the chef gets to play with aesthetics such as taste, shape, size, color, calories, uniformity, presentation, etc.

You need a particular batch of skills to excel as a pastry chef. They include the following:

• Culinary Ability and Creativity. Obviously, pastry chefs need to be able to bake. They also need to have artistic ability and creativity to produce pastries and desserts that look as good as they taste.

• Attention to Detail. Small changes in a recipe can make a big difference. So pastry chefs need to pay attention to what they're doing, even while performing routine tasks.

• Customer Service. Some pastry chefs may supply other businesses with baked goods, while others may serve their confections at their own neighborhood shops. Pastry chefs need people skills in order to establish thriving businesses.

• Stamina. More physically demanding than many people realize, a pastry chef job often requires long hours on your feet. Many pastry chef jobs require exceedingly early morning hours—starting around 3 or 4 am. There is often also some lifting involved.

Culinary School

There are several educational paths to choose from for a career in pastry arts:

• Baking and Pastry Certificate
• Associates Degree in Applied Science Culinary Arts
• Bachelor of Arts Degree in Culinary Arts

While all three programs offer classroom study along with hands-on baking experience, curricula for programs of one year or less, normally the Baking and Pastry Certificate, consist primarily of pastry courses that prepare you for an entry level position. The two-year Associate Degree and four-year Bachelor of Arts Degree programs include both pastry courses and general education classes and electives that provide a more well rounded education. In any case, you will gain the creativity, flexibility, and innovative thinking that lead to a successful career in the field.

Most programs begin with lessons in biology, physiology, and history. What do these things have to do with baking a cake? Everything. You will not only learn how to keep a kitchen free of germs, but also lessons in what types of environments can promote bacterial growth. Pastry chefs use a lot of eggs, cream, and butter, so it is important to understand the proper handling of these and other fresh and perishable foods. You will learn at what temperatures to properly cook foods to destroy bacteria. You will also learn the physiology of taste and how sweet, salty and bitter flavors and textures affect taste buds. Finally, a history of pastry and understanding the origins of basic ingredients can help round out the fundamentals of baking.

Your hands-on kitchen lessons will begin with the techniques of measuring raw ingredients and how to properly handle a knife and other necessary tools. You will learn the correct methods of baking everything from breads, the perfect piecrusts, tarts, chocolate candies to sugar candy, ice cream, sorbet, soufflé, and many other desserts.

Salary and Job Prospects

An entry level pastry cook or helper will often make at least $8.00/hour, a skilled assistant pastry chef will start at $25,000, and a corporate executive pastry chef can make upwards of $60,000/year. These figures will vary based on region and education, but these are industry standards. The best salaries go to those with the most education, experience, and specialization.

As the entertainment industry continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of the economy, positions for all kinds of chefs will continue to be widely available.


Why Culinary Arts School?

If you are thinking about a career in culinary arts then studying in a culinary arts school is a must. You may be a great cook but you will never become expert learning culinary arts yourself. Farther taking up a job as a chef in a good restaurant demands a professional qualification, which comes only after attending a regular culinary school.

There are many myth surrounding culinary arts. For example people say culinary is an art and art cannot be taught. This is not true. First culinary is not just an art, its science too. You must know about the ingredients you are using while cooking. You should also have through knowledge of the contents of the ingredients or additives you use to cook food. It helps you to be an informed chef.

Another myth is that culinary education is very costly. You see, any education is costly. Culinary arts is not an exception. But if you compare, a Bachelor of Engineering Degree is much more costly then a diploma/degree in culinary arts.

One of the worst myths is that chefs live a great life - full of glamor and no work. This is not at all true. Most of a chef's time is spent in kitchen with hot oils and burning temperatures.

If you love to cook - culinary arts school should be your destination. It is never too early for you to think about the opportunities that will come along after culinary training. America need good chef - you can be one of them.

Chef, caterer, pastry chef and restaurant cook are merely the most familiar four options, but there are hundreds of jobs in the food industry. You may want to consider preparing for positions in management as executive chef, or in sales as catering director or in administration in food and beverage management. Maybe you'll want to explore developing specialty products - a line of sauces or dressings, for example - for retail or wholesale markets. Maybe you'll want to become a restaurant consultant to entrepreneurs who want to start restaurants. There are also teaching opportunities in professional cooking schools. Still another option is food writing and editing for magazines and books devoted to food and cooking. The options are endless.

For any of these career directions, you'll find the best preparation in an accredited culinary arts school program - you'll come out with a certificate or a degree. This training will provide you with a lifelong basis for understanding quality raw ingredients, creating balance and pleasure in combined flavors and presenting a beautiful plate to the diner. Yes, you keep learning on the job, but culinary school gives you a base of knowledge to test and compare to new trends, new ingredients and your own creativity.

Top Culinary Arts Schools

culinary arts schools

So where in the world are the top culinary arts schools? The ones that produce the most talented chefs in the world? A lot of these top culinary schools are right here in the USA, scattered throughout the country. But don't worry, a lot of them have multiple campuses near you!

Find out how you can put your love for and passion for cooking to work for you. Learn everything you need to know about becoming an executive chef, sous chef, line chef, station chef, garde manger, or pastry chef at one of these excellent schools.

Here are a few:

French Culinary Institute in New York - NYC
International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes - Multiple Campuses throughout the country
Le Cordon Bleu Academy - Multiple Campuses throughout the country
U.S. Kitchen Academy - Multiple campuses on the west coast
Johnson and Wales University - Multiple Campuses
New England Culinary Institute - North East

Culinary Arts Schools - A Guide to Culinary Arts Degree

Guide to Culinary Arts Degrees

By Jalise Ballon Contributing Writer

When trying to choose a culinary school or program, it's helpful to have a general idea of the area or specialty you're most interested in. This will help you narrow down the type of education you need. There are three basic types of programs to choose from: Associate's degree programs, Bachelor's degree programs, and diploma or certificate programs.

Associate's Degree programs

Associate's degree programs, which typically take two years to complete, are some of the most popular education options for the culinary arts profession. If you are not sure which area of the industry you'd like to work in, an associate's degree in Culinary Arts might be a good starting point. The Culinary Arts associate's degree program typically entails the basics, such as knife skills, nutrition, kitchen procedures, and presentation. Some programs may also offer more advance or specialized courses such as baking and pastry, international cuisine or dining room operations.

Associate's degree programs in Culinary Arts are offered through The Art Institutes, several culinary schools, such as the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and Scottsdale Culinary Institute.

As we mentioned before, the associate's degree in Culinary Arts is a good starting point, partly because of the many career options available with this type of degree. Some of the opportunities for employment include: working at restaurants, hotels, private clubs, catering companies or institutions. The most common positions are in food production, shift supervision, and kitchen management. The associate's degree in Culinary Arts can also be a stepping stone for transferring to a four-year bachelor's degree program in a more focused area of study.

Other associate's degree programs include:

Restaurant and hospitality management, which exposes students to the business aspects of culinary arts, along with intensive, practical, hands-on training, and prepares students for entry level careers in restaurant, hospitality and catering management. This degree is offered by select Art Institutes, as well as select Le Cordon Bleu certified culinary schools, and some community colleges such as Sullivan University and Gibbs College.

Baking and pastry, offers similar core courses to the Culinary Arts program, but also provides specialized training in baking and pastry techniques. This degree is offered by select Art Institutes, and a variety of community and trade colleges, such as Kendall College and Ivy Tech State College.

Professional catering, focuses on all aspects of the catering business, from food preparation to setting up a catering business. This associate's degree is offered by only a few schools, such as Sullivan University.

Bachelor's degree programs

Bachelor's degree programs in culinary arts tend to focus more on management level training; however there are also a variety of schools that offer bachelor's degrees in Culinary Arts, such as Kendall College, Drexel University, require the B.S. in Culinary Arts be accompanied by a minor in business management. The purpose of the bachelor's degree in Culinary Arts is to prepare students for leadership positions within the hospitality and fine foods industry.

As we mentioned earlier, most of the bachelor's degree programs in culinary arts center on management. The most common degree offerings include:

Food and beverage management, which entails a combination of theory and hands-on, project-based curriculums. The food and beverage management major also includes business courses such as finance, management, purchasing and accounting, and prepares students for entry-level management positions. Some schools offering the food and beverage management bachelor's degree include Southern New Hampshire University and New England Culinary Institute.

Baking and pastry arts management, a program designed to focus on baking and pastry production skills as well as leadership and management skills. A bachelor's degree in baking and pastry management should prepare students for a career as an assistant pastry chef or executive pastry chef trainee. A few of the schools offering this degree include Culinary Institute of America, and Johnson and Wales University (Rhode Island campus).

Hospitality management prepares students for advanced positions in the hospitality industry. This degree is usually considered to be a business degree, and therefore the curriculum entails courses such as management, accounting, marketing and microeconomics. The bachelor's degree in hospitality management is a popular degree and offered across the country at schools such as Sullivan University, University of Massachusetts, and Appalachian State University.

Culinary management, similar to the food and beverage management degree, the bachelor's degree in culinary management is designed to prepare students for entry-level management positions in the food service industry. Courses of study include: human resource management, event, beverage and menu management, customer service management, marketing, leadership, and business. Examples of schools offering this degree include select Art Institutes, Baltimore International College, and Florida Culinary Institute.

Hotel, restaurant and institutional management, this degree program might be described as a combination of culinary management and hospitality management programs. It provides both hands-on and theoretical courses, along with a concentration of business classes. The bachelor's degree in hotel, restaurant and institutional management prepares students for entry-level management positions within the hospitality and culinary arts industries. Some of the colleges offering this degree include Mercyhurst College, and the University of Tennessee.

Diploma and Certificate Programs

There is a huge variety of culinary arts diploma and certificate programs offered from culinary schools, technical/trade schools, community colleges, and even some traditional four-year colleges and universities. Some of the most common diploma programs include: professional cooking, baking and pastry arts, culinary arts and restaurant management.

Diploma and certificate programs typically take 8 to 10 weeks to complete. These programs can be good for students wanting to get a very basic education for entry-level work, or for students who already have a higher-level degree, but wish to incorporate some specialized training such as pastry arts.

Examples of schools offering these types of programs include select Art Institutes, select Le Cordon Bleu certified culinary schools, JNA Institute of Culinary Arts, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Culinary Art Schools and Scholarships

Once you find a culinary art school you want to attend, paying for it can be a problem. I found this great article, listed below, on that tells you ways to get scholarship money to these cooking schools!

Culinary Scholarship Guide

Winning and finding culinary scholarships may not be as hard as you might imagine. You just have to know where to look, and how to apply.

Part 1: Where to Look for Cooking and Culinary Scholarships

Here’s a sample of groups and organizations that often offer culinary scholarships: — the online directory with hundreds of thousands of scholarships, many geared just for cooking students.
Community and Civic Groups
Professional Organizations
Businesses, Corporations and Employers
Charitable Foundations
Cooking Schools — This may seem obvious, but students often overlook scholarships offered by the very schools to which they're applying. Learn more about scholarships at these schools:

The French Culinary Institute
The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes
The Culinary Institute of America
Le Cordon Bleu Schools

Identify as many of these possibilities as you can. Look locally, too.

Once you’ve found all the available awards, get organized. Start a table, chart or spreadsheet with columns like "Sponsor," "Scholarship Name," "Contact Name," "Amount," "Requirements," and (very importantly) "Deadline."

Of course, you only want to put your valuable time into applying for the scholarships which best suit your ambitions… or the ones you can make out to fit your ambitions. For now, though, put down everything you come across that’s even close, and once you’ve finished your list, take a good, hard look at which options are most worth your efforts.

Part 2: Winning Cooking and Culinary Scholarships

Give Yourself Time

When you give yourself plenty of time, you can "position" yourself much better to qualify.

In other words, if there are requirements that you may not have met or excelled in, now you have a year to do it and really impress the judges! Take a hard look at what past winners did to win, and learn from what they did right. Maybe even track them down to see what they did and how they did it.

If you start late, then it’s less likely that you’ll have done exactly what the judges are looking for, and you may have to stretch things to make it appear that you did. That isn’t the best position to be in.

If possible (and it’s not always possible), do what you can to talk to some of the people granting the scholarships and find out specifically what they’re looking for. Often, organizations will have summaries of winning applications for you to review – definitely inquire about that!

There may be more to the application than you’ll find in the instructions.

Apply EARLY!

Most people turn their stuff in at the last minute, so you’ll stand out from the crowd when you apply early.

First impressions last! If your application is strong, and you get it in the hands of the judges early, then there’s a much better chance that they will remember you. You need to show that you’re different from the rest, more deserving than the rest. An important way to do that it to get it done before the rest – one to two weeks in advance should be plenty.

Start early, think ahead. Your chances will be much better.

Reality Checks

Reality Check #1: Be wary of folks on the web, in the mail or on the phone who tell say you must pay them in order to get a scholarship. The offers may sound enticing, but it also may be a marketing trick.

Reality Check #2: You won’t find too many culinary scholarships that will provide a free ride the entire way through the college experience. Yes, there are some. But the competition is fierce, with thousands of students applying, and you’d better not bet your house that you’ll get one — no matter how good you are.

The most abundant scholarships are in the $250 to $2,000 range. Before you scoff, remember that every little bit helps, and even the smallest scholarship will buy some pretty expensive books or supplies for a semester or two.

Good luck!

Courtesy of

Culinary Arts Schools - Is Being a Chef Right for You?

Is Being a Chef Right for You?
By Paula Carnogoy, Only Cookware

If you love preparing and cooking food and would like to make it a long-term career, there are a number of different employment opportunities, and one of the more interesting and fulfilling of these is the position of chef. The best chefs in the world are very passionate about the food they prepare, and it can be an extremely rewarding career for anyone with a fascination for food.

Like any other job, you will start at the bottom doing menial tasks, however, this is where the learning truly begins, so it is imperative that you take advantage of everything that is taught to you at this stage. As you become more skilful, speedy, and accurate with your preparation, it won't be long before you begin to move up the ranks and away from being just the apprentice and through to the ultimate executive chef level.

A chef not only needs to be a talented cook but also a good people manager and be able to operate in stressful situations. It is no longer acceptable for a chef to be bad tempered and yell at the staff. Often the chef is required to socialize with customers as well as maintain a healthy relationship with staff. There is training available such as public speaking and management classes for this aspect of the business.

As a chef you will need to be physically strong as standing on your feet all day can be physically draining. Plus you will need to be able to lift and carry heavy quantities of food.

Today's chef also needs to be computer literate, as the further your career progresses the less time you are likely to spend cooking and more time planning menus and estimating food and labor costs.

Young people starting out in their career have the choice of attending culinary school or taking a position in a restaurant to gain experience. Both have their advantages. You will learn all about the background to all aspects of working in the kitchen and food preparation including health and safety requirements. Your training will continue through the years as you progress and as your skill develops you will be given more responsibility. You will need to be reliable and committed as you will be working in a team situation which will require you to support other staff members.

These attributes will also be required once you reach the status of head chef. Managing a kitchen and being responsible for both the food preparation and staff requires someone with a cool temperament and the ability to sort out problems.

There are some downsides to becoming a chef that you also need to consider. There may be long hours involved so you will need to be prepared to sometimes miss being at home with friends and family at weekends or even holidays as these are generally the busiest times for a chef.

The job can also be stressful especially in busy restaurants so a cool head is important in these situations.

If you seldom think about anything much other than preparing and presenting food and if describing a dish makes your mouth water then pursuing the career of becoming a chef could be the right decision for you. The preparation of food is an art form, and there is nothing quite as satisfying as knowing that your beautifully prepared dish is being appreciated for its look as well as its flavor.

Final Tips

If you are interested in becoming a chef but are not entirely certain it is the career for you, spend a day in a busy restaurant. If you are still in school and have a work experience program, talk to your teachers about spending some of your hours at a café or restaurant.

Talk to people who are in the business already.

Check out feedback from online websites and blogs from people who are involved in the food industry.

Approach a culinary school on their open day and discuss your ambitions with the guidance counselor.

Article provided courtesy of Only Cookware, a consumer guide to cookware.