What can these popular cooking shows teach you about a culinary career?

August 5th, 2011 by Brendon

1.) Top Chef – F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “there are no second acts in American lives.” But for season eight’s contestants on Top Chef, they are getting a second chance at the title. It featured past contestants who just fell short of winning the whole enchilada their first time around.

In each episode, contestants face two challenges: the Quickfire Challenge, which requires them to cook a dish under very particular ingredient guidelines and a time restriction; and the Elimination Challenge, which pushed them to use their poise and creativity under a variety of strange conditions and bizarre rules. What can this show teach prospective culinary students?

First of all, to thrive in the culinary industry, you need to be a leader, you need to be inventive, and you have to think quickly. Having broad knowledge of ingredients and cultural styles will help you cater to different audiences. By limiting yourself to certain ingredients, you will improve your improvisational skills and learn to think on your feet without stressing out.

2.) Kitchen Nightmares – Speaking of stress, have you ever seen Gordon Ramsey in a good mood? Imagine if this guy walked into your kitchen. Where would you even start? Gordon comes off as a strong-headed guy who specializes in screaming at struggling restaurant owners. But his drill-sergeant style of hosting the show is exactly what’s needed to turn around a poorly performing restaurant.

Each week, Gordon enters a situation bordering on catastrophe. Often, the owners are in over their heads – selling poorly devised recipes, offering less-than-stellar service, and teetering on the brink of failure.

What can Gordon teach you about the industry? Well, first of all, it’s very tough to be a successful restaurant owner. Before you make the leap to owning your own restaurant, make sure you have the kind of mindset that can handle running a business. Oftentimes, people think that having the culinary skills will make them successful as a restaurant owner.

Cooking and running a business require two different skill sets. If you have both, then great. Go for it. But be honest with yourself. If you would rather hide in the kitchen perfecting recipes, then leave the paperwork to someone else. Otherwise, your dream come true will quickly turn into a nightmare!

3.) Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen – Remember that crazy kid in your chemistry class who always blew up beakers or accidentally set things on fire? Okay, maybe he wasn’t in your class. But surely, those who went to school with Marcel Vigneron know what I’m talking about.

His show is featured on the SyFy Channel, which sounds a little strange, but where else would you go to learn how to make Mac ‘n Chains (cheddar cheese noodles with cheese foam) or a deconstructed chili? My personal favorite is Air Bread Pizza served on a levitating hovercraft.

What can a show like this teach you? Well, let’s be honest – his methods of food preparation are far from practical. Not many kitchens boast a food dehydrator and safety goggles. But a good gimmick can garner a lot of attention. The key is making sure you provide customers with something they will crave when they are hungry. You want people to take their friends to your restaurant for two reasons: the food and the experience. Be sure you offer the best of both worlds!

If you are thinking about entering a culinary program, talk to the faculty and share your goals with them. Listen carefully to what their programs offer, and ask what the typical outcome is for most of their students. If you are interested in starting your own restaurant, then make sure there are classes that focus on the business side of things as well.

Ready to start looking for the right culinary program? There are a diverse menu of options for culinary schools out there. Shorter programs will be a great choice for those who are interested in getting fast training and a job as soon as possible. For those starting the college search and who can spend more time in training, some culinary schools offer two- and four-year programs that would be excellent preparation for a culinary career.

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Do culinary programs offer financial aid or student loans?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

financial aid for culinary school - shutterstock_76941811Yes! In addition to Federal financial aid, students may also be eligible for financial aid from the state they reside in. Each state is different, but most offer some form of assistance for students. Federal financial aid is easy to obtain, regardless of age, sex, financial status or race. The major assistance programs are the Federal Pell Grant, which never needs to be repaid, and the Stafford Direct loan which is interest free for the duration of your education and features a low interest rate upon repayment.

Besides the two most common forms of Federal aid, Parent plus loans are also available to parents of students under 24 years of age who are considered dependents. For older students, or if parents don’t qualify for other loans, there is also a direct loan that can be awarded regardless of income. There is an option for financial aid to fit any student, and it is easier to acquire than many believe.

Culinary schools are accepted by the Federal aid programs, and like any other college or university, they offer assistance in applying and filing. The first step is filling out a FAFSA, or free application for federal student aid. Once the application is filed, the school you enrolled in will take care of the rest.

There are also thousands of private loan and scholarships available. Sallie Mae foundation is a great place to start. Sallie Mae directs students and parents to trusted loans and legitimate scholarships.

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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Can I go to an online culinary school?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

Any student keen on engaging in a lifelong career as a chef may see some raised eyebrows whenculinary-schools-online - ts-200373455-001 talking about going to an online culinary school. While there may not be online schools which offer full culinary degrees quite yet, there are some rather amazing options for the culinary field in the form of internet schooling.

Current chefs attempting to brush up on their skills can find a huge source of information when it comes to online classes. These classes can use any mixture of textbooks, computer programs, and streaming videos to teach beginner-level cooking information. These can be great classes to test the water to see if a student is indeed interested in attempting the culinary arts as a profession. Unfortunately the majority of these classes are targeted at home chefs and not professional chefs.

Do not despair though; there are quite a few culinary careers that have excellent online class options. The majority of these involve kitchen management and safety procedures. Learning how to whip up delicious and exotic dishes may seem like the pivotal feature for any chef, but there are some skill sets that will make a chef invaluable to their company and on the fast track to a promotion. Being comfortable working with finances, personnel, stocking, and safety procedures can equal higher pay for the ambitious chef.

It may not be too far into the future that chefs will be able to receive all of their training via online schooling. That day may not have come quite yet, but chefs can give themselves a competitive advantage in their future career by utilizing online classes.

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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How long does culinary school take?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

Culinary and cooking school can take anywhere from a few short weeks to four years depending on the chosen length of culinary school - ts-87565892program. Programs that offer short term training are certificate based and should prepare students for an entry level position.

Professional culinary training can take 2 to 4 years. This training includes an apprenticeship that gives students the opportunity to get real world experience in fine dining restaurants, hotels, and resorts. Famous chefs who have completed culinary training and apprenticeships include Gordon Ramsay of Hell’s Kitchen, Jamie Oliver of Naked Chef, and Bobby Flay.

Whether you work as a cook or a chef, your culinary education will influence your ability to find high paying work and the type of restaurant or hotel you will work at. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the highest earning for chefs are found in nice hotels and fine dining restaurants. Many of these large hotels and restaurants provide union protection which helps to keep the pay structure stable and fair.

If you are considering culinary school, it may be a good idea to research the program you are interested in and make sure it is accredited by The American Culinary Federation. This will help to ensure that you get the top quality instruction that you deserve. Shorter programs will be a great choice for those who are interested in getting fast training and a job as soon as possible. For those who can spend more time in training, a 2 to 4 year program will be excellent preparation for a culinary career.

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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What should I look for when visiting a culinary school?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

culinary schools - shutterstock_565790So the potential student has finally decided on a handful of culinary schools to visit before making a final decision. This is the most exciting step as information is no longer from websites or brochures. It is important to know what to look for when visiting any school.

Location may seem like an obvious starting place, but this does not just mean the location of the school, but the location of housing and jobs near the campus. If the student will need to find a job while going through culinary school or even off-campus housing, it is important to make sure that each of those things are available in close proximity to the campus.

Facilities are another important piece of the puzzle. At some point the students will file out of the classrooms and into the kitchens. Do the kitchens possess the most modern equipment in the field? It is very important that the school has facilities that will help any chef along with their learning. Class and kitchen sizes are another factor that will determine the quality of the teaching. The staff and students can be a great way to get an idea of how successful a school is as well. Finding a school with helpful and friendly teachers who are eager to impart their knowledge is the best way for a potential student to get a feel of how their next few years may go.

At some point, schools must be visited, and it is important to closely scrutinize all these aspects before making any final decisions.

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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How do I choose which culinary school to attend?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

There are quite a few factors to mull over when deciding which culinary school to attend. It is good chef-ts-86516045a huge choice for any student, and finding the right match for budget, style of learning, and personality will save quite a bit of time and energy in the long run.

Price is usually the most important factor for a culinary school student. No matter how prestigious a school may be, sometimes they are just out of the price-range. Potential chefs should take a long look at what prices will be included in tuition as well as living and housing expenses. Nearly every culinary school will have a scholarship or grant department whose sole purpose is to save students thousands of dollars on everything from book fees to traveling expenses.

Facility and staff will be the next biggest factor to research as thoroughly as possible. Asking questions such as: Are the facilities thoroughly equipped? Do the teachers have real-world experience? Is the school accredited in various culinary fields? These types of questions will lead a student down the right path of which school to make a final choice on. Many schools specialize, or are well known for a specific style such as pastry, Chinese cuisine, or large-scale catering. Does the school match with the potential student’s career goals?

In the end, students must remember that the school is not only an exciting adventure in and of itself, but it is also a means to an end. The final goal is to enter into a culinary career.

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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How do I find culinary schools?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

finding culinary schools - ts-83163393Attending a culinary school means taking advantage of a wide variety of terrific educational programs, each of which can prepare you for success while pursuing a different career path. Now that you have decided to attend culinary school, you must identify the school that you want to attend.

You can begin your search for culinary schools right here, on our site. The first step is to search for culinary schools based on where you live or work. After all, as marvelous as one culinary school may sound, if it is located several hundred miles away from you, then you will not be able to avail yourself of the culinary school’s educational opportunities.

Think carefully about how far you are willing to move, drive, or take a train or other public transportation to get to classes at your culinary school. Classes are held on a regular basis, and you may be in school for several months or even years, so this is a serious consideration.

What are you hoping to gain from attending culinary school? Do you dream of pursuing a career as a pastry chef? Or, are you focused on becoming an expert in Asian cuisine? While you can obtain a fine education in culinary arts from many different culinary schools, each school has its own specialty. Look for schools that offer many courses in the area that you are most interested in. Read through the course catalogs on the culinary schools’ websites, and be sure to ask the admissions office all of your questions!

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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What will I learn in culinary classes/school?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

Culinary schools teach students how to make delicious meals, and learn to become creative in their cooking. what will i learn in culinary classes - TS-78493865Students are also taught basic things like sanitation and cleaning, but more importantly they are taught how to make their cooking stand out among the competition.

Much of what is taught in a culinary school is hands-on. An hour or so of classroom instruction is normally given at culinary schools. But then, the students move on to the “lab”, or kitchen, where they will gain hours of cooking practice. Here, they will become experts in chopping vegetables, making and kneading bread, cutting meat and much more. Experienced teachers teach students the ins and outs of the cooking world, and help them improve where needed.

Time is spent showing students how to make delicious bakery goods. Creativity is always encouraged.

Depending on the culinary school chosen, students can learn how to make foods from all over the world, like a school that focuses on French cuisine.

Instead of just getting a job and receiving on the job training, culinary school takes students a step beyond. When working in a restaurant, an apprentice basically will only learn the cooking style of one cook, and that cook may be always in a hurry and unable to give the necessary detailed training required. A qualified culinary school will teach students various cooking methods, and the reasoning behind these proven, effective methods. Culinary school is a great place to start for anyone thinking of pursuing a career in professional cooking.

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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How much does a culinary school cost?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

culinary school cost - shutterstock_20411596For many students, the most important factor of any potential culinary school is cost. Before taking a look at any prices, it is essential to keep one thing in mind, culinary school is an investment. Tuition, living expenses, or any other costs will help usher the student into a lifelong, rewarding career.

The generic costs for any culinary school will be application fees, books, supplies, travel fees when applicable, and living expenses for schools which require on-campus living. It is important for any student to find out exactly what they will be required to pay for in and out of the classrooms and kitchens instead of merely looking at the tuition costs.

The most affordable starting place for culinary school will be a local or city college program which will generally remain under $5,000 dollars. These can be a phenomenal choice for anyone living on a budget. Private colleges which do provide a full-service culinary school can range anywhere from $5,000 to $45,000. While these numbers may seem daunting, there are a boggling amount of scholarships available for these types of schools. A dedicated culinary school will cost from around $7,000 to $36,000 a year depending on location and prestige and many times these schools offer dozens, if not hundreds, of smaller grants and scholarships.

While it may seem like an overwhelming task to develop the necessary skills to enjoy a career as a chef, potential students need to remember just one thing, these schools are an investment to develop highly-marketable skills for a fun and unique occupation.

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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What should I look for in a culinary school?

January 17th, 2011 by admin

If culinary school is in your future, it is time to do your research and find the best one for you! There are solook for in culinary school-shutterstock_26552515me things to keep in mind when looking for a culinary school, but overall it will be a personal decision. Even though you may have a favorite picked out already, it makes sense to look at several and compare them before making your final decision.

One of the most important aspects in your culinary school should be that it is accredited and licensed. Another is whether they offer a culinary degree or a culinary diploma, and then decide which one you will need for the career you are aiming for. Another mark of a good school is whether they help you find a job after graduation and if they have an externship program.

Reputation counts for a lot, so the school should have a good reputation among students and instructors, and also with chefs, restaurants, and journalists. Ask students who are currently enrolled or have attended and see what they think about their experience. Were they happy with it?

Although there are schools all over the country, choosing one in a recognized culinary capitol like New York or Chicago will usually offer you more opportunities for employment around the world or at high-end restaurants.

There are many different aspects that make a culinary school the best, but the most important thing is to find the one that is the best fit for you. Happy cooking!

Doing a college search for culinary schools or culinary colleges? Our US College Search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. Use it to check out popular colleges by state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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