by Emma White
Why culinary education? If you are thinking about a career in culinary arts then studying in a culinary school is a must. You may be a great cook but you will never become expert learning culinary arts yourself. Furthermore, taking up a job as a chef in a good restaurant demands a professional qualification, which comes only after attending a regular culinary school.
There are many myths surrounding culinary arts. For example, people say culinary is an art and art cannot be taught. This is not true. First culinary is not just an art, its science too. You must know about the ingredients you are using while cooking. You should also have thorough knowledge of the contents of the ingredients or additives you use to cook food. It helps you to be an informed chef.
Another myth is that culinary education is very costly. You see, any education is costly. Culinary is not an exception. But if you compare, a Bachelor of Engineering Degree is much more costly than a diploma/degree in the culinary arts.
One of the worst myths is that chefs live a great life - full of glamour and no work. This is not at all true. Most of a chef's time is spent in a kitchen with hot oils and burning temperatures.
If you love to cook - culinary school should be your destination. It is never too early for you to think about the opportunities that will come along after culinary training. America need good chefs - you can be one of them.
Chef, caterer, pastry chef and restaurant cook are merely the most familiar four options, but there are hundreds of jobs in the food industry. You may want to consider preparing for positions in management as executive chef, or in sales as catering director or in administration in food and beverage management.
Maybe you'll want to explore developing specialty products - a line of sauces or dressings, for example - for retail or wholesale markets. Maybe you'll want to become a restaurant consultant to entrepreneurs who want to start restaurants. There are also teaching opportunities in professional cooking schools. Still another option is food writing and editing for magazines and books devoted to food and cooking. The options are endless.
For any of these career directions, you'll find the best preparation in an accredited school program - you'll come out with a certificate or a degree. This training will provide you with a lifelong basis for understanding quality raw ingredients, creating balance and pleasure in combined flavours and presenting a beautiful plate to the diner.
Yes, you keep learning on the job, but culinary school gives you a base of knowledge to test and compare to new trends, new ingredients and your own creativity.
Emma White is a culinary stylist and consultant since the last 10 years.
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