If you’re a busy parent or full-time employee considering culinary school, you’re probably wondering how you could possibly fit it into your packed schedule.
The answer could be an online program that gives students both a great education and maximum flexibility. While online culinary school is a proven system, people often wonder what the daily schedule will look like.
A week at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts runs from Wednesday to Tuesday, and not each day will be the same. But to get an idea, we’re going to join “Emily” on a typical day as she works through her program.
Emily is a busy mom with three kids in school and a part-time job, looking to make a career change. Let’s see what a day as an online culinary student could look like for her.
Like most busy parents, Emily and her husband’s morning is a bustle of making breakfast, finding homework, and tying shoelaces. But once the kids are out of the house and her husband has left for work, Emily can begin her own day.
First, she sends an email to Career Services at Escoffier. They are helping her polish her resume, so she can start applying for externships to get hands-on training in “the real world.” Emily is looking for an externship at a local catering company, since her future plan is to start her own catering business.
Next, Emily heads to the grocery store to shop for the next week. She picks up supplies for her family’s meals, and everything she’ll need for her next cooking assignment.
While she’s waiting in the checkout line, she pulls out her phone to check the Escoffier discussion board where she chats with her online classmates. There was some debate yesterday about the best egg substitutes, and she wants to see what the results were.
After shopping, Emily does some cleaning and starts laundry, so she’ll be free for classwork in the afternoon.
“I chose the online program specifically because I’m a busy mom. I don’t have time to go to an on-campus facility and be there for two years…I would definitely recommend [Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts] online program to other people if they’re looking for certification.”
Kristen Douglas, Online Culinary Arts Graduate, Owner & Catering Manager of The Main Event
Emily makes a quick lunch and logs on to her computer. She already did her assigned reading for the week, so she takes the opportunity to re-watch the demo video from her Chef Instructor while having lunch. Emily knows that the cooking assignment for this week will use a technique from the video, and she wants to see it again before she tries it herself.
While at her computer, she receives a response from Career Services. Her representative has made a few suggestions on her resume and asked Emily to start collecting her favorite photos from her cooking assignments. These photos will be put in a portfolio that she can use in the externship application process.
After lunch, Emily attends her weekly live session with her classmates. The Chef Instructor does a demonstration, and then opens the session for questions. Emily takes lots of notes that may come in handy as she completes her assignment.
Although the week’s cooking assignment isn’t due for a few days, Emily decides to complete it that day. She has to work at her part-time job for the next two days, so she knows she needs to get the assignment completed in advance.
She starts by chopping everything that will stay crisp for a few hours, like carrots, celery, and garlic. Anything that will brown (like potatoes) she waits to prep until she’s ready to cook.
Emily likes to incorporate her cooking assignments into her family’s dinners so she can make her work do double duty. She also appreciates the real-time feedback from her husband and children. Cooking classic French recipes and cuisines from around the world has introduced her kids to exciting new dishes and flavors.
As she works her way through her production sheet and snaps photos of her progress, she realizes that she has a question about one of the techniques that she’ll need when she starts cooking. So she texts her Chef Instructor for clarification.
With basic prep complete, Emily picks up the kids and brings everyone home. Normally, her youngest would have a music lesson, but those are on hold due to COVID-19. While on the road, her Chef Instructor texts her back with a link to a video answering her question from earlier.
Once the kids are settled in with homework and a snack, it’s time to start cooking!
While Emily cooks her way through her assignment, she documents the process by taking pictures on her phone and writing notes. When she has finished cooking, she’ll have to write a summary. These notes will help her to complete the written narrative later in the evening.
When the dish is ready, the family gathers to eat and chat. Emily takes a few notes over dinner. She assesses texture, appearance, and flavors of the dish with the help of the Escoffier flavor wheel.
After dinner, Emily completes her summary of the assignment, and uploads her documentation and photos for grading while her husband cleans up the kitchen.
Within a couple days, she’ll receive video feedback from her Chef Instructor with what went right, and what she can improve on for next time.
“We have developed an online platform that leverages video, live instruction, as well personalized individual video feedback. Not only do students have a lot of interaction with their fellow classmates, but they also have individual attention from instructors which helps ensure learning, success, and engagement.”
Tracy Lorenz, President and CEO of Triumph Higher Education Group & Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts
The Schedule of an Online Student
This daytime schedule works well for a busy parent or someone with a night job. But you can see how online culinary school can fit into the pockets of time throughout your normal daily schedule.
Even students with full-time day jobs or parents with kids attending school remotely can complete online culinary school in evenings and on weekends. And since you’ll have your syllabus in advance, you can plan when you’ll accomplish tasks like reading, watching videos, and completing assignments.
The only “real time” sessions of the program are the weekly live discussions. And although it’s highly recommended that students attend those sessions in person for the live Q&A, students can watch the recording later if necessary.
With a commitment of around 15-22 hours per week depending on program and credential, students from all walks of life can make online culinary school work with their busy schedules!
To learn more about online Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, and Food & Beverage Operations programs at Escoffier, explore our online resources. And feel free to contact us to discuss admissions, financial aid, and more!
If you found that article helpful, read these next: