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What it Takes to be the Best Culinary School

Where the most innovative and creative minds meet to share ideas, engage, inspire and entertain

When I was younger, I attended Culinary School in Paris. It was the same school Julia ChildAbout Park City Culinary Institute
attended, le Cordon Bleu. It was unlike any Culinary School in America. We were taught by
 Master Chefs. We used top quality ingredients.
We made beautiful things. I didn’t understand why American schools weren’t doing the same thing. I visited some of the best culinary schools in America, and was incredibly disappointed. It turned out most of our schools were government funded. Nobody was offering the same magical experience I had in France, with Master Chefs, high-quality ingredients, and sophisticated techniques.Why wasn’t anybody interested in offering a high-quality Culinary School education? It didn’t make sense.

I love the experience of good food. I love learning how to make really pretty things that taste great. I love being around experienced, award-winning Chefs and picking their brains. I love watching talented Chefs cook, and tasting what they have to offer.

There were certain things we learned in Culinary School in Paris that don’t seem to be taught here in our culinary schools. How to
treat a chicken properly, for example. When I attended culinary school, we were taught to truss poultry, which means you bring the legs and wings in tight to the body so it cooks evenly. I was aghast when I saw one of my favorite food companies post a photo of a chicken, legs and arms spread wide. Ladies don’t sit that way and neither should our birds! Even men shouldn’t sit that way. Why weren’t other culinary schools taking notice?

What Makes a Great Culinary School?

There was one pastry we learned in Paris… we had to pipe lady fingers to go around the rim of a pastry. Piping lady fingers in Paris is daunting. Each line has to be exactly the same, even though your batter is melting from a fluffy white cloud into a heavy yellow cream. We had to tuck each line under, make sure there weren’t any bubbles, pipe an even smooth line that was the same height and thickness every time, and then tuck our line under at the end. All while making sure the last line looked just like the first line – thirty lines later. Because all of our lady fingers were going to touch eachother to form the border of our pastry!  

When I came back from Paris I visited one of the best culinary schools in the country. They were making the same pastry I learned in Paris, with lady fingers surrounding the pastry. I would have paid for culinary school all over again to practice what I learned with Master Chefs, so I sat in on the class. The instructor at one of the best culinary schools in America demonstrated how to make the same pastry I learned in Paris with a zig zag!  Zig, zig, zig, zig, zag, she piped. No mention of texture, or of bubbles, or of beginning and ending each line by tucking under. No mention of consistency, or of technique. Her next words were, “You get it, now you try it.”  I was mortified. This was one of the best culinary schools in America.

Park City Culinary Institute

It wasn’t until ten years later that I founded Park City Culinary Institute. But I look back at that moment and say to myself “We can do better! We are doing better!” 

We started in a gritty, commercial kitchen in Deer Valley. Then we built a spacious, teaching Culinary School spices and stapleskitchen in Salt Lake City. Bathed in natural light, with exposed red brick, a barrel roof, brand new commercial appliances, and All Clad stainless, I can’t imagine a better place to learn.

Everybody should experience our immersive hands-on program, that includes the basics of cooking, food science, baking and pastry. We also host Teambuilding Events, Cooking Demonstrations and Classes for private parties, birthdays and family reunions.

Park City Culinary Institute is “On to something fantastic!” according to Food Writer Wilbert Jones, and the innovative approach to culinary education is “Definitely overdue” according to restaurant owner Jesse Shetler.  Students are trained to succeed in small classes with personalized attention, where they master essential techniques, and gain experience with diverse ingredients.

Ages range from 18 to over 60. Entrepreneurs and career changers love the program because it is shorter and more affordable than other culinary schools. 

Please call us at 435.659.5075, so you can learn more about what we’re doing and how you can get involved.