Cited as one of the fastest-growing culinary arts industries, culinary schools provide hands-on training and work experience for culinary students and graduates. Many top culinary schools are known for their superiority in cuisine, technique, and talent. Students at these culinary schools must work with both other students and a professional chef to complete projects and evaluations. Therefore, a student must be prepared to work quickly and produce consistently to pass their first assignment.
Looked at culinary schools around the United States to develop a shortlist of what most consider to be the top 50 culinary schools or programs. Classes offered: Certificate Programs: AAS Culinary Education. Certificate programs allow current students and culinary professionals who wish to further their education and prepare themselves for greater responsibility to advance their culinary careers and obtain a diploma.
The AAS Culinary Arts Degree program was started in 2021 with the merger of six other colleges and two universities. The goal was to merge the technical and creative arts programs to create a more comprehensive program that would give students an understanding of both. Graduates of the Culinary Academy graduated with an associate’s degree, then went on to earn four degrees from the College. Students spent three years learning about kitchen and restaurant management, followed by extensive fieldwork, and were trained in basic and advanced kitchen and restaurant safety, sanitation, and food preparation and serving. Students completed both a class and a laboratory degree at the College, then turned over to a culinary research center in Washington, D.C.
At the time, the average class size at the culinary program was a small classroom size of 25 students. Although some of the larger culinary schools have graduated large numbers of students in large classrooms, most other schools have had class sizes ranging between twelve and sixteen students. There has also been the development of many nontraditional culinary schools, which have expanded the number of students who complete their degrees. Some of these nontraditional schools are located in small towns in the Midwest and Southeastern parts of the United States.
In addition to having a smaller classroom size, nontraditional colleges also allow their students more flexibility regarding scheduling. Since students can schedule their classes around family obligations, work, or school, nontraditional schools can often provide their students with flexible schedules. Culinary colleges that have a traditional classroom program may offer evening or weekend classes, depending on the degree program and the restaurant or industry they are in. Many students also choose to attend night classes since attending a cooking school at night can allow them to become accustomed to a quieter environment where they can learn more about the history of cuisine and develop their styles.
A few of the culinary programs offered by schools in nontraditional settings are known as “pay as you learn” programs because students earn an income. For example, at L Academie, paid apprenticeship is available for students who wish to become trained in a specific aspect of the foodservice industry. After four years of College and a two-year paid apprenticeship program, students can graduate to receive a certificate and start to work in a specific field as an assistant to an experienced chef.
The L Academie program was started in France in 1990 and offered training in both traditional and modern French cuisine. Unlike traditional culinary schools, however, certified chefs do not have to attend a culinary school before receiving certification. Instead, they complete an approved education program at an approved institution and pass the accredited exam. This allows students to continue working in the restaurant industry and earning money while pursuing a culinary career. A majority of graduates from L Academie go on to become professional chefs, while others choose to open their restaurants. A majority of these chefs receive their formal training through off-campus or online schools.
The majority of the culinary program offered by L Academie is focused on teaching students the basics of restaurant management. Graduates of this program may apply for restaurant management positions, although they are not required to have any prior experience. Students learn business, accounting, restaurant financing, food purchasing, menu planning, hiring procedures, and general business administration. Some of the commonly offered classes include hospitality, catering, personal or corporate finance, and restaurant marketing and management. The program provides graduates with the skills necessary to be successful in restaurant management.