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Attending Culinary School

Time to break out your chef’s hat and fresh, crisp white apron: you're about to embark on your first day at culinary school!

You may begin your day early in the morning or in the afternoon, depending on which culinary school you choose and which schedule. Many schools offer a morning block of classes and an afternoon block of classes, allowing you to choose. Evenings are usually spent in the kitchen.

Most culinary schools are adamant about providing their students with as much hands-on experience as possible, so don't expect your apron to stay white. If you were attending the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Professional Chef's Program, for example, you could expect to spend sixteen hours a week in the laboratory of the kitchen. There, you will learn the ins and out of professional cooking while they round out their cooking knowledge in the classroom, learning about topics such as nutrition and sanitation.

Cooking may be an enjoyable pastime for you, but attending culinary school is a serious matter. This is no barbecue in the backyard, with you manning the grill while your friends toss a ball around. Culinary degree programs are just as rigorous as pursuing a degree in chemistry at an accredited university. (Incidentally, a little chemistry knowledge will not go to waste in cooking school, either, as knowing the chemical reactions of ingredients together and at different temperatures will definitely not hinder your abilities.) The teachers are professionals with years of experience (and a plethora of perfect meals) under their belts.

Don't know much about cooking? Don't be intimidated. Culinary classes begin at the beginning and cover all of the basics of cooking before teaching you some of the more complicated techniques. Even if your palate is completely non-discerning when you begin, by the time you graduate, your degust will be dead-on.

If you think a job as a professional chef is in your future, don’t wait to enroll in any of the number of professional culinary arts schools and programs available to you across the country. It's time to get cooking!

Think you've got what it takes?

Schools to consider: