3 Reasons to Attend a Culinary School
Have you always wanted to work in the food and hospitality industry? You have dreamed of working in a bustling kitchen in a fine dining restaurant, or perhaps having your own catering business. You may have even set it as a professional goal. With the New Year right around the corner, now is a great time to make that goal a reality. Pursuing a career in the culinary industry can be within reach for you and attending a culinary school could be the final piece to the puzzle in putting your plan into motion. You may be wondering though, “do I really need to attend a culinary school?” Perhaps a friend or family member told you to just get a job at a local restaurant and ‘work your way up.’ That’s certainly an option, as there is more than one path to success in the culinary industry, but today we’re breaking down three reasons to attend a culinary school. Read on below to learn more!
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Learn the Fundamentals of the Food Service Industry at Culinary School
One of the benefits of attending culinary school is that you can learn the fundamentals of the food service industry. One might ask though, “can’t I learn about these working in a restaurant?” The answer is it depends. There may situations where a person can learn the necessary fundamentals while working, but one of the benefits of culinary school is the fact that it is structured and formalized. This means that the topics are covered in lessons throughout courses to make sure students are exposed to the necessary fundamentals (and avoid picking up shortcuts or bad habits in the process). Fundamentals may include skills like mis en place, knife skills, food safety, sanitation, proper plating, various cooking techniques, and so much more. Being exposed to fundamental knowledge and skills can set a strong foundation not only for your culinary education but also for your future career in the industry.
Formalized Training Programs at a Culinary School Can Help You Hone Your Skills
Remember above where we talked about “shortcuts” and “bad habits?” One of the advantages of attending a culinary school is that you can hone your skills in a controlled environment. This means you can learn how to do things the right way from the beginning, perhaps instead of learning a specific person’s method that may or may not follow industry standards. Many choose to attend culinary school (even if they have experience working in a kitchen already) because they crave this type of structure and experience. They want to be exposed to the formal training. They want to know what proper knife cuts look like. They want to learn about different cooking techniques. They aspire to cook different regional and international cuisines. They want to be exposed to various aspects of the culinary industry such as baking, pastry, butchering, and healthy cooking, that they may or may not have access to in their current situation. Attending a culinary school allows students to be exposed to a variety of topics and really hone their skills to ensure they are ‘sharp’ when they are ready to seek entry-level employment upon graduation.
A Culinary School Can help you pursue a new career you are passionate about
Speaking of entry-level employment upon graduation, attending a culinary school is not just about obtaining a culinary education. Attending a culinary school may help you transition seamlessly from the classroom into your new career. For example, some programs offer an externship. This allows students an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned throughout their program in an actual occupational setting, such as a restaurant or bakery. Imagine that?! You could have the opportunity to take what you’ve learned and put it into practice at an actual food service establishment before you graduate. In some cases, if you do a great job during your externship, that could become a potential employment opportunity in the future, but even if it doesn’t, you will have had a chance to network and develop contacts within the industry. A culinary school may also be able to help students pursue their new career through career services assistance they offer. Many who complete their culinary education may go on to pursue entry-level opportunities such as a baker, a line cook, or perhaps even a sous chef. Some enter the culinary industry with the goals and aspirations of becoming an executive chef one day. It’s important to note that the culinary industry places great value on training and experience within the field so someone recently graduating from a culinary arts or baking and pastry arts program is unlikely to obtain the title of executive chef right away. With continued experience and development within the industry though, this could certainly be a goal you continue to pursue in your culinary career.
If you are ready to attend culinary school and begin pursuing your new career in the food service industry, Dorsey College can help you get on your way. Dorsey College offers a Culinary Arts training program and a Baking and Pastry Arts training program for those who wish to take their talents in the kitchen to the next professional level. Each program is designed to be completed in just one year and they both include an externship, which is designed to allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned throughout their program in a real world occupational setting. The chef instructors at Dorsey College are ready to help you pursue your passion for creating delicious dishes and memorable meals!