Myths of Culinary SchoolAdviser | Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 | 3 Comments »
Second degree burns, stitches, being assisted by paramedics in the hallways, sleeping in chairs, and pulling 10 hour restaurant shifts after class: These are things I have seen students go through while attending culinary schools.
It is not glamorous unless you find all of those things exciting. It’s hard work. It takes its toll on you mentally and physically. And if it isn’t, you probably aren’t in the right program and will be unprepared for the industry.
Here are 5 culinary school myths that I have heard over time that I would like to address for you…
Myth 1: Culinary School Is Expensive
Culinary school CAN be expensive depending on the program you are looking into. The ones that turned up on google in a search of “culinary school” yielded in order of 1-4:
- (A website designed to create leads – I am not going to link to it because it would negate the whole point to this site). Since I live in Chicago and Google probably knows this, those were my results. If you lived in Atlanta, Des Moines, or Los Angeles, your search may yield those schools as well. (The options from this favored AI and LCB in requesting information as they were at the top of the list).
- Le Cordon Bleu Chicago
- Art Institute Chicago
- Kendall College
All of these schools could be classified as “expensive” compared to a community college program although all three schools offer certificate programs for around $20,000 which is a reasonable price point in my opinion.
One school that did not turn up on the first page was Washburne Culinary Institute. This school is based in Chicago but did not appear until Page 2. Their Associates Degree is anywhere from $17,000 to $33,000 less expensive than some of the other schools mentioned above while not including books, fees, or interest on loans.
Myth 2: It’s Fun
This is debatable. Is cooking in a kitchen fun? Yes, it could be but cooking in a culinary school kitchen for a grade is not what it is like in a kitchen in a restaurant, hotel, catering company, etc. It’s fast-paced and if the restaurant is busy, it is unrelenting. Multi-tasking, time management, and work ethic are all required. When you have a few hours to create a few dishes and sauces, the pressure isn’t realistic to what you will find in the workplace. Fun in school does not necessarily equal being prepared for the industry.
Myth 3: You Need a Culinary Degree
As I wrote in Why Certificates Can Be A Perfect Option, a culinary degree MIGHT be useful but if you want to eventually earn a Bachelor’s and work more on the corporate side or in education. To become a cook, chef, or even business owner, you do not need a degree in culinary arts to be successful.
Myth 4: The School Name On The Diploma Matters
Although being a part of a college’s alumni may develop opportunities for employment and a network, it does not guarantee that you are good at your craft. Certain colleges have a better name and reputation. Most industry professionals are aware of this. However, if you can’t cook, multi-task, and lack a serious work ethic, that degree that you spent $50,000-$100,000 is useless to that employer even if it was from the “best” school.
Myth 5: I Need To Go To Culinary School To Open A Restaurant
One option is that you can actually go to college for business and learn business principles. You can then apply it to the food industry by working in kitchens while completing said business degree. It would be amazing if a school actually created but also PROMOTED this program. I believe it can change the face of culinary education, but what do I know.
Did this help you? Do you agree or disagree? Are you really a person and not a spambot trying to peddle sales? Prove it.