When people think of culinary schools, they often think of cooking classes. While this is, of course, a huge part of the culinary school experience, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Going to culinary school offers so much more than just learning how to cook delicious foods.
Here are five benefits of culinary schools that you might not have expected.
#1 – Networking
The people you meet in culinary school can help you in your career for decades to come.
When you decide to leave a job in search of better work, you might get contacted by a former classmate on Facebook about an opening.
When you’re sous chef and need to find a top notch pastry chef, the perfect candidate might come your way from a former classmate.
You’ll find help in the most unexpected places.
#2 – Individual Mentoring
Teachers who take a liking to students will often offer individual mentoring. This is different from a classroom environment, where there’s usually a set curriculum the teacher is following.
If you’re truly curious about how to cook something or do a certain task, a caring teacher may go out of his way to show you how it’s done. This can really help firm up your fundamental cooking skills.
#3 – Skipping Unnecessary Classes
If you went to a non-culinary school, you might expect to have to take a lot of unnecessary classes before you can get your degree.
For example, even if your major was culinary arts, if you were in a more generic college you might be required to take chemistry, history, English, various math classes and so on before you can graduate.
While culinary schools might still require some general ed classes, the requirements are usually much more lenient. That means more time spent on classes that’ll actually impact your future.
#4 – Job Placements
Finding a job as a chef without a referral and without any contacts can be very tough. By contrast, going to culinary school will put you smack dab in the middle of a huge network of culinary professionals.
The parents of students might own restaurants. Teachers almost definitely either work or have worked in famous kitchens. Placement programs in schools can also help you get jobs.
Culinary schools don’t just improve your cooking, but help improve your employability by getting you in front of people who know people who can give you a job.
#5 – The Shared Kitchen Environment
Working in a shared kitchen for the first time is a life changing experience. You’ll learn how to work with other chefs to make your creations perfect. You’ll share notes and give one another feedback on whether dishes need more salt or more sugar. You’ll learn how to operate in a team environment.
These are five benefits you’ll get from culinary schools that most people won’t tell you about. For the aspiring chef, going to a great culinary school is an incredibly important investment.