December 23, 2019

Attending culinary school is an investment that’s very worthwhile – and not just to hone your culinary skills and pursue a career in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The training you get at culinary school can help prepare you to work in any professional kitchen around the world…

But, the skills you acquire can be taken with you, no matter where your career path leads. And while we hope you find a fulfilling career in the culinary arts, chances are you might have at least five different careers in your lifetime.

So, why not build your skills for a lifetime of career success while pursuing your passion for the culinary arts?

What do you learn in culinary school?

Chef chopping herbs on a cutting board.Chefs learn a variety of profession-specific and general business skills in culinary school.

1. A classic culinary foundation and understanding

All current trends in cuisine are built on the foundation of early professional cooking practices, and you’ll learn those at our school. Our namesake, Auguste Escoffier, still inspires our faculty – his text “Le Guide Culinaire” is a cornerstone of our teaching philosophy.

You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the time-tested skills modern chefs use to prepare both classic and current cuisine and expand your understanding of wine and food pairing, division of duties and execution. But you’ll also learn to put your trust in traditions and appreciate the lessons they have to teach us.

2. Time management and group leadership

These two go hand-in-hand.

There are few environments in the hospitality industry more stressful than a kitchen. The deadlines are short, the work is demanding physically and mentally, and you work long hours. It’s rewarding but challenging.

How do you meet those challenges?

By learning effective time management skills, as well as methods for leading your colleagues in the kitchen so they work as an efficient unit. At culinary school, you’ll learn to create collaborative environments that will empower you as an effective, efficient leader, no matter where your training takes you.

3. Math and accounting

It goes without saying that culinary skills are vital in a professional kitchen, no matter your role – but did you know that mastery of math and accounting are also important?

Of course, you need to manage the pressure of a long-weekend Sunday brunch in the kitchen, but managing resources and budgets are vital for the success of any restaurant. Technical skill is just one part of the equation if you want to run, or be part of, a thriving business…

The skills we teach you about inventory control, cash-flow management, short and long-term budgeting – these are all skills any employer will value, whether it’s in hospitality or a completely different industry.

The foundation remains the same, no matter the building you’re in as a key employee or manager.

4. Nutritional science

You probably explored these concepts during Home Economics in high school, or have sought out a greater understanding if you’re trying to feed a family healthy meals or pursuing a fitness regime that puts demands on your body.

Our classes give you a deep understanding of nutrients, food sources, and the human body’s ability to process them. Knowledge you can apply in your daily life while making you a better chef. You’ll start to see the ingredients in a recipe as more than building blocks for a good-tasting dish. Rather, you will begin to see them as part of a well-balanced approach to diet and nutrition.

You’ll learn to understand food allergies and how they impact overall health and can impact your choices in the kitchen.

5. Communication

These cannot be underrated. Like a properly sharpened knife, direct, effective communication is one of the chef’s most valuable tools in the kitchen. You need the ability to communicate clearly and efficiently with your fellow cooks on the line – especially on a busy Friday night or when catering a dinner for 500 guests at a wedding reception.

You’ll be adjusting workflows, changing ingredients on the fly because of unforeseen allergies or supply shortages, communicating with front-of-house staff…all the while, adhering to the strict standards set out in the culinary world for how a team communicates to maintain professional standards.

Your communication skills will pay off in the heat of the moment in the kitchen. They will also help when it comes time to lead discussions at staff meetings, post-event evaluations, or strategic planning with other stakeholders in your job.

You want a kitchen that is adaptable, communicative, collaborative and successful. Effective communication skills will pay off for you in all aspects of your life – both professional and personal.

Where To Start

When choosing a culinary school, be sure that you’re getting a grounding in all the culinary skills necessary to succeed in the industry…and skills you can take with you if you decide to change course.

A good cooking school will teach you techniques in the kitchen – a great school will teach you applicable skills that elevate your knowledge of the business world, no matter where life takes you.

If you’d like to learn more about our programs, contact us. If you have an area of interest that you don’t see in our curriculum we’d love to hear from you, 1-855-983-5997.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help your culinary journey:

Acing your first interview out of culinary school
How sustainability will affect your restaurant
The history of culinary education in the US

This article was originally published on May 10, 2018, but has since been updated.