5 Key Ingredients to a Successful Culinary Arts School

You love to cook and you want to own your own restaurant or you want to work in a five-star, celebrity-owned Ristorante? First you must find a Culinary Arts School. Yet, with so many to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you?

Here are five key ingredients to a successful culinary arts school to help you decide.

Accredited - The first ingredient in a culinary arts school is whether it is accredited or not. You may want to become a certified culinary professional with an Associate of Applied Science two-year degree or a Bachelor of Arts four-year degree. An A.S. offers culinary fundamentals in a shorter program. If you choose to go with a B. A. you will learn culinary skills and techniques, international cuisine, business skills and real-world experience running a restaurant. 

Specialization - The next key ingredient is your cuisine specialty. Does the school offer the culinary specialty in your area of interest? Many schools offer in-depth training in specialty fields such as baking and pastry where you will learn baking techniques and creative presentation design.

Students learn how to work with chocolate, make confections as well as learning how to design and bake wedding cakes. Each school will offer a specialty of their own; you simply decide which one is the right specialty for you.

Real-Worldness - Hands on training in an intern or extern program would be the third important ingredient in a culinary arts school. In order to learn all aspects of culinary arts, the student should obtain hands-on, real-world experience. A good school will offer externships at local, national or international establishments. Some schools even have their own student-run restaurant, teaching the student all aspects of running a restaurant. 

Post-school - Fourth on the list of important ingredients of a culinary arts school is do they offer a placement program where they help their students find their first position in the culinary field? Many will offer help finding that first opportunity as well as teach resume writing and interviewing. 

Legacy - And the fifth important ingredient in a culinary art school is the graduates. A good school should have a list of graduates in a variety of culinary careers from artisan bread maker to wine sommelier and everything in between. You want to find a school with graduates working in all types of well-established restaurants or in food service. 

For the culinary arts school that fits you best, look for a hands-on, cutting edge culinary program that meets the needs in the specialty cuisine you are interested in with a placement program and a list of alumni working in a wide array of restaurants and food service establishments.