Busting the Top Four Myths You’ve Heard About Culinary School
If what you’ve seen in movies is all you know about attending culinary school, you may be sorely misinformed. Let’s talk about a few of the biggest misconceptions we hear about culinary school and set the record straight – you might be missing out on your dream career!
Myth #1: Culinary school is only for learning to cook.
Believe it or not, there is far more to a culinary institute curriculum than just cooking technique. Even in our accelerated program, students learn material across a variety of subjects – pivotal people and periods in culinary history, kitchen math, food safety and sanitation procedures, to name a few. Culinary school curriculum covers everything from boiling an egg to the origins of the farm-to-table movement in food culture. The textbook is hefty, and you will graduate with a well-rounded knowledge of the culinary world, not just the process of making omelettes or braising short ribs.
Myth #2: Culinary school instructors are scary and mean.
If you’ve been avoiding the option of attending culinary school because you’re intimidated by the instructors or environment, have no fear. We have yet to meet a chef instructor who acts like Gordon Ramsay does on TV. While the kitchen is a fast paced, efficient, and sometimes high-pressure environment, we are here to support you – not to break you. Your culinary institute instructor should feel like a mentor and a resource, not a villain! If you’re still nervous, you can always tour the school you are considering and get a feel for the vibe before making the commitment. We bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Myth #3: You can’t afford to go to culinary school.
While there are some very prestigious, expensive culinary schools out there, they are not the only option that leads to a successful education and career. It’s more attainable than you might think! Many colleges and trade schools offer culinary programs and financing options, as do culinary institutes like ours here at SLICE. Don’t be afraid to call and ask what your options are for payment plans or recommendations for securing financing for your education. Can’t afford to quit your job to attend two years of school full time? No worries, our accelerated program will get you ACF certified and qualified for work in a commercial kitchen in a fraction of the time.
Myth #4: It’s only worth going to culinary school if you want to work in restaurant kitchens.
We would agree that if you dream of someday being a Michelin starred executive chef in a renowned restaurant, culinary school would be a good place to start. But it’s not the only path to follow! Being a trained cook with an understanding of kitchen operations is a great foundation for many different careers.
Combined with a love of parties and event planning, it could be the path to your own catering business. If big groups aren’t your thing, how about becoming a personal or private chef? If the operations and math portions of culinary school piqued your interest, you could consider going into management for restaurants or other food service operations. Got a knack for plating? You could pursue a career in food styling and photography. A graduate with a love of experiencing and comparing meals could make a fantastic food and beverage writer or critic. You don’t have to work in a restaurant after culinary school – the possibilities are endless for trained cooks with a passion for food!
Did we cover all the myths you believed about culinary school? We hope that putting these fears to rest means you’ll consider looking into an institute program like ours – we would love to help you follow a culinary dream.