Five Lessons You’ll Learn in Chef Schools
Get the scoop on what chef schools really teach you.
Are Chef Schools Worth It?
Chef schools can help you prepare for a career as a culinary professional—but if you’re just starting out, you may be wondering how does an aspiring chef make the transition from amateur cook to culinary expert?
The first decision to make is figuring out which types of programs suit your goals and education needs, and finding the chef schools that offer those programs. Would-be chefs who are just starting out in the industry may want to select a program that offers a broad curriculum, while those with experience might already have a specialty in mind.
Five Lessons You’ll Learn from Chef Schools
With the emphasis on real-world experience and hands-on practice that a chef career demands, some might wonder why it’s necessary to go to culinary school at all. Why not just start off in a restaurant kitchen and work your way up? If you take a closer look, though, there are some valuable advantages that chef schools provide—things that may take years to learn on the job, or that you can only find in an educational setting.
- Perfect Your Cooking Techniques: Hands-on instruction from culinary professionals ensures you’ll learn how to do things correctly, rather than picking up bad habits while learning on the fly. Not only that, you’ll have access to a wider range of techniques and cuisines than you’ll find in any single restaurant.
- Learn in a Less Stressful Environment: Culinary school provides the freedom to ask questions, make mistakes and explore your creativity without risking your job. Plus, many chef schools offer classes on a flexible schedule, making it easier for working students to fit classes around their other commitments.
- Network with Culinary Professionals: Your instructors and fellow students may turn out to be valuable professional contacts as you graduate and go in search of that first job.
- Learn Business Management Skills: If you’re bustling away in a busy kitchen, when are you going to have the time to learn to run a business? Culinary schools enable you to take courses specific to business and restaurant management.
- Get a Leg Up on the Job Market: The career services department at your school can help you find externships, apprenticeships and job placement opportunities so you don’t have to strike out entirely on your own once you’ve graduated.
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