If you’re considering culinary school, you likely have aspirations of owning or running a restaurant, possibly as an executive chef.
The question is, will a formal culinary education make it easier for you to realize your dream?
If you’re willing to accept any job in the restaurant industry, you probably don’t need to spend the time and effort to go to culinary school. But if you want a successful, long-term career as an executive chef or chef-owner, a formal culinary education can give you a leg up on the competition.
Culinary School versus On-the-Job Training
If you ask some of the world’s best chefs, they will tell you that getting a restaurant gig and trying to learn on the job is risky at best.
Go to a culinary institute, however, and you will learn many important skills quickly, and you’ll learn them the right way. You will learn from experienced, professional chefs, but without the pressure of an operating commercial kitchen.
On this subject, internationally renowned chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud said, “I think culinary schools are indispensable to a young chef who really wants to make a career in that field.”
Culinary School Ensures You Have the Right Skillset
If you start your journey to becoming a chef with an entry-level restaurant job, you’ll learn much more slowly — if at all — because a professional kitchen is a fast-paced environment, not a teaching environment. It’s not easy to learn critical skills while someone is yelling at you to move faster and not make any mistakes.
Also, anything you learn in the restaurant environment will be through the lens of just one chef.
In culinary school, you will have the time to learn the basics. You will learn knife skills, fundamental cooking techniques, the science of cooking and baking and how to work with fresh ingredients.
And if you choose a culinary institute that has a working commercial kitchen, you will also learn the finer points of how to work in a restaurant.
Choosing the Right Culinary School for You
Not all culinary institutes are alike. Vocational schools will prepare you to work in the school cafeteria kitchen, but probably not in the career you envision.
Consider the high-end but personalized experience offered by an independent culinary institute. Choose an institution that is committed to teaching technique, skill and science, but with a focus on results. Finally, look for a program that is reasonably short and affordable, so you can get out there and get started with your career.
In Salt Lake City, Park City Culinary Institute offers the type of program you need to prepare for owning your own restaurant or food truck, or working in the hospitality industry as an executive chef. We invite you to schedule an appointment for a complimentary culinary career consultation with our expert team. Contact us today to schedule your tour of our facility and to learn more about how culinary school can launch your chef career.