Analysis of San Francisco Michelin Recipients and Culinary EducationAdviser | Saturday, February 12th, 2011 | 2 Comments »
The San Francisco’s Michelin Star breakdown reveals that those that are considered to be at the highest level of refined cooking does not require a formal classroom-based culinary education although a culinary degree can be useful.
Neither Thomas Keller no Christopher Kostow attended culinary school although Kostow, as well as 1 star winner Mark Sullivan, earned a degree in Philosophy. Both of these chefs earned 3 Michelin Stars.
Amongst the 2 star winners, only David Kinch attended culinary school and he had graduated from Johnson & Wales in 1981. Douglas Keane is a college graduate but of Cornell’s acclaimed School of Hospitality Management.
The California Culinary Academy can boast that they have 5 recipients that received 1 Michelin Star. CCA is now known as Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco.
Another local school showed as Tante Marie Cooking School had two Michelin recipients with Executive Pastry Chefs Mie Uchida and Melissa Chou.
However, most of those awarded Michelin Stars attended culinary school outside of the Bay area.
Once again, the Culinary Institute of America carried the majority of recipients that attended culinary school with a total of 8 while Johnson & Wales had three graduates on the list. This makes sense as Johnson & Wales is across the country and although they have prestige, it does not match the CIA when it comes to reputation.
The French Culinary Institute of Manhattan had two on the list and there were three chefs that had attended culinary school but did so outside of the United States.
Education in general is not to be dismissed and it is important to see other areas of study some of these recipients focused in. There were those that studied business and economics like Richard Reddington, Dominique Creen, and Mourhad Lahlou. Other chefs found studying Art beneficial such as Nancy Oakes who graduated from San Francisco.
As one can see, attending culinary school can help you reach excellence but it is not the only way.
What do you say? Agree or disagree with this analysis?