1. How to Choose a Gourmet Cooking School

    One of the most important things to consider when selecting a gourmet cooking school is its reputation.  How many top chefs have graduated from that school?  Has it been in business for a long time?  Does it award 1, 2 or 4-year degrees?  

    Most importantly, perhaps, is can anyone of modest means afford to go to a top gourmet cooking school?  If money is no object, then by all means choose the best school, no matter where it is located.  Otherwise, find an affordable school located near home.  Leave time to apply for grants and scholarships which may make the whole quest doable.  

    Finally, make sure that the chosen gourmet cooking school is in line with career goals.  Many offer courses other than in culinary arts.  Some offer degrees in baking.  Or executive chef study is also very popular.  Consider whether a corporate setting is desired or if a fine restaurant is preferred.  Then there are chefs who work in private homes or yachts, and travel the world to various upscale clients.   

    If it is decided to enroll in a gourmet cooking school, here is some information about perhaps the most famous of them all:  The Cordon Bleu.      

    The Cordon Bleu          

    Perhaps the gold standard of gourmet cooking schools, this school has almost 20 campuses in big U.S. cities so far with more opening as time goes on.  It also offers on-line classes.  In addition, it has dozens of schools throughout Canada and the rest of the world, especially France, of course, where it originated and where Julia Child was trained for her illustrious career.  

    The Cordon Bleu is also one of the most expensive gourmet cooking schools in the world along with the Culinary Institute of America.  For example, the cost of the 15-month Cordon Bleu program at Dallas-Fort Worth was $36,300 a few years ago.  At that time, a 21-month associate’s degree program at the esteemed Culinary Institute of America in New York was $51,000, which included books, uniforms, supplies, and meals.   These two schools are among the most prestigious cooking schools in the nation.  

    The Cordon Bleu offers a Culinary Arts Program teaching hands-on practical applications in professionally equipped kitchens.  They also have a Patisserie and Baking Program for baking arts, and a Hospitality & Restaurant Management Program.  In addition, there is a   non-professional cooking program for food enthusiasts taught by the same chef instructors who teach aspiring culinary professionals. 

    Career Goals and Salary Expectations

    Besides location, cost and reputation, you must consider career goals when choosing a gourmet cooking school.  Is the goal to be an Executive Chef, a restaurant manager, a baker or a private chef? 

    While Executive Chefs earn substantial salaries, recent graduates of even the finest gourmet cooking schools do not start at the top.  Though it is not necessary to work at a fast food diner, there is a period of apprenticeship and internship that usually must be undergone, before moving up the ladder in the kitchen.  Experience counts in being hired in the first place and the more experience, the higher the salary.

    Source:  Cordonbleu.edu

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