Food is one of the basic needs of human beings. One way or another, an individual needs to know how to prepare the food he eats. No matter how simple the preparation it involves, or how difficult it would be, learning the rudiments of skill in the kitchen would be an advantage. For cooking enthusiasts, whether it only be for self-gratification or as a good foundation for a competitive job market, enrolling in the right cooking school is the first step.
Different purposes need different approaches, and different kinds of students need different kinds of environments. There's no such thing as "fits-all" in one cooking school. How would you then find the right cooking school?
- First, make a little investigation into the cooking schools where you might enroll. Pay a visit to each cooking school to see classes in action. If it is possible to talk with the students and the faculty, do so.
- Compare the curricula and course descriptions of the different schools you've visited.
- Make sure that the cuisine focus matches your interests. If you want to be a pastry chef, then enroll in a baking school not a culinary school. Schools that have undergone accreditation have met the standards that have been set by culinary and educational experts. If you want to acquire quality training, go for those cooking schools that are accredited.
- Student-to-faculty ratio is also an important factor to look into. A larger number of students in a class would mean that the faculty has less time to focus on a student. One determinant of school effectiveness is if its graduates find work after graduation.
- Find out if the graduates easily found work after graduation. Another consideration to look into is the scool's flexibility of scheduling, most especially if you are a busy person, unless you will be a full-time cooking student.
- Externship opportunities are also a plus factor. Training in the real field of work would hone your skills all the more than acquiring them in the kitchen of the cooking school alone.
If you are planning to study abroad, Singapore, Canada, North America, France, Italy and London are among the countries that are well known for schools that address the gastronomic needs of society. Some of the chefs who make it big in this business, however, were not born to be chefs, but have a passion for cooking. They loved the trade and were not afraid of leaving their comfort zones. Take for example Paula Deen, who started as a bank teller though she was a proficient Southern cook. When the opportunity came, she made use of her skills and started a catering service with her sons. Now, she's considered a successful American cook, restaurateur, and Emmy award-winning television personality for her cooking shows.