Why Attend Culinary School in Austin

Interested in attending culinary school in Austin? Find out what Escoffier’s campus in Austin, Texas, has to offer, and see if it might be right for you.

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August 24, 2023 8 min read

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in the restaurant industry, earning a culinary degree or diploma can help you set yourself apart. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin offers a variety of programs in the culinary arts and in baking and pastry arts, meaning there are a number of ways you may be able to access this potentially valuable training.

Escoffier’s Austin Campus is a great option to consider for those seeking an on-campus experience. Why attend culinary school in Austin? Read on to discover what this highly-rated campus and exciting city have to offer.

What Escoffier’s Austin Campus Has to Offer

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts consistently ranks among the top culinary schools in the nation, having in 2020 been named #1 by Chef’s Pencil and #2 by Best Choice Schools. But what is it about Escoffier, and about the Austin campus, that merits such high esteem? Let’s take a closer look.

Commencement speakers describe the traits of Escoffier graduates at the 2022 Escoffier Austin Campus Graduation Ceremony.

Solid Culinary Foundations: Skills That Can Last a Lifetime

If you’re like Austin Culinary Arts Graduate Shai Fernandez, one of the main reasons you’re interested in culinary school is the opportunity to learn solid fundamental techniques. “I worked in [a chain restaurant],” Shai says, “and there was a guy that had been there 30 or 40 years. But he still chopped parsley completely wrong. That’s what I was worried about—developing poor habits.”*

Escoffier’s Austin campus offers the opportunity to acquire these fundamentals. Here, you can learn from supportive Chef Instructors who understand the culinary world and bring years of experience into the classroom and kitchens.

Escoffier’s student-centered approach provides mentoring and one-on-one coaching from industry professionals that can help you succeed. Our well-rounded program combines modern methods and techniques with a solid business foundation to help prepare graduates for a variety of opportunities in the field.

Escoffier Chef Instructor showing two students a large piece of raw meat

Escoffier Chef Instructors provide hands-on instruction in proper techniques.

With six professionally equipped learning kitchens, eight general education classrooms, and a library and resource center, along with more than a dozen esteemed Chef Instructors, Escoffier’s Austin campus offers the opportunity to learn directly from skilled industry veterans in a top-notch learning environment.

Farm to Table® Experience: Get an Inside Look at Agriculture

Sustainability has become an increasingly important focus in the industry. Escoffier’s six-week farm-to-table course provides students with an opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of where food comes from, the advantages of buying local, various farming and production methods, and how to continue to make the best sustainable and ethical ingredient choices throughout their culinary careers. It’s a unique exploration created by Escoffier educators, and is exclusive to Escoffier students.

The Austin campus also features a student-run Agriculture Learning Center, where students can learn about crop rotation, sustainability, and seasonal foods—and can also use the fresh produce in the dishes they create.

“I think learning those values and an appreciation for seasonal ingredients really set me up for success,”* Shai says of these experiences.

Chef instructor and student standing outside in a garden

Austin campus students have the opportunity to learn about fresh, seasonal foods.

Unique Career Opportunities: Take the Next Exciting Step

Students at the Austin campus have the chance to pursue unique career opportunities with high-profile companies; for example, the Austin campus has worked with Disney to help students interview for externships at the Disney Culinary Program, as well as potentially obtain full-time positions after graduation.

As with other Escoffier programs, Austin students can pursue exciting externships with partner restaurants around the country. The solid fundamentals and knowledge of seasonal foods that Shai acquired at Escoffier helped him land an externship at Yolan in Nashville, Tennessee*—which was named “#1 Restaurant in America” by Food & Wine during his time there!

The combination of high-quality instruction and hands-on externship experience offered at Escoffier’s Austin campus can set students up for success by demonstrating their commitment and dedication to potential employers—and by giving graduates the skills and confidence to take the next step in their careers.

Shai Fernandez“I think Escoffier was definitely a good decision for me. I wanted to chase a passion but also get the best habits I could. Escoffier really kindled that passion. I knew I was getting good habits and techniques instilled there.”*
Shai Fernandez, Escoffier Austin Culinary Arts Graduate & Lead Line Cook, The Four Seasons Nashville

Throughout their studies, students are encouraged to volunteer wherever possible in the Austin area–which can help them network with other local culinarians. They can then track their volunteer hours through the campus’ Ambassador Program, which offers awards and prizes for meeting certain volunteer hour goals. At 60 volunteer hours, Executive Chef Robyn McArthur takes the students out for a fine dining dinner!

What the City of Austin Has to Offer

One of the fastest-growing cities in America, Austin boasts an active economy, a great quality of life, a mild climate, and a unique culture. It’s no wonder it’s frequently ranked one of the best places to live—#13, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2023.

As an Escoffier student, you’ll be spending a lot of time here during your program. Let’s take a look at what makes this dynamic city so special.

A Diverse and Booming Food Scene

Austin has a reputation as a great food city. While it might be best known for its Tex-Mex, barbecue, and food trucks, the city is also home to many restaurants run by James Beard award winners and finalists, including Kevin Fink’s Hestia and Emmer & Rye, Tyson Cole’s Uchi, and Johno Morisano and Mashama Bailey’s Diner Bar.

The city also hosts a number of major food festivals, including the Austin Food & Wine Festival and the Hot Luck Festival–two events that Escoffier Austin students have volunteered for. Too much to keep track of? Try crossing these can’t-miss food experiences off your bucket list.

Downtown Austin at night

You won’t run out of great restaurants to try in Austin.

Outdoor Excitement at Your Doorstep

There are plenty of opportunities in and around Austin to get out and enjoy nature. Lady Bird Lake, Lake Austin, and Lake Travis are just a few of the many waterways in the area that are great for boating, fishing, and swimming. Lady Bird Lake also features a ten-mile loop trail for hiking and biking.

There are also several state parks within driving distance of the city, including McKinney Falls State Park, which offers camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming—just a short twenty-minute drive from the Escoffier campus!

Austin’s Inimitable Arts and Culture

From Daniel Johnston’s iconic mural and Richard Linklater’s films to the city’s world-renowned arts festivals, Austin has a culture that’s all its own.

South by Southwest, held every spring, is a unique festival that combines music, film, and emerging technology, while Austin City Limits Music Festival attracts over 400,000 attendees every fall.

Austin also has many museums and art installations, including the Blanton Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, the Elisabet Ney Museum, and the Mexic-Arte Museum.

The city also has more than 250 music venues, scattered across bustling entertainment districts like Sixth Street, Rainey Street, and SoCo.

Coy Pierce, Escoffier Austin Campus Culinary Arts Graduate“I fell in love with Austin. I’ve made amazing friends. I’ve had some amazing Chef Instructors. I’ve gone places that, had I not gone to Escoffier, I don’t believe I would have ever seen. My decision to choose Escoffier has got to be the best choice I’ve ever made for my career.”*
Coy Pierce, Escoffier Austin Culinary Arts Graduate

Advance Your Career at Culinary School in Austin

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts’ Austin campus could be a great environment for you to take the next step in your culinary career. But if relocating to Austin isn’t for you, Escoffier offers online programs that may be better suited to your lifestyle.

Contact us, and let us help you determine which Escoffier program could be the right one to help you achieve your culinary goals.

Interested in learning more about culinary programs? Check out these articles next!

This article was originally published on January 15, 2020, and has since been updated.

*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.

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