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  • Baking and Pastry
  • Chef Training
  • Culinary Arts
  • Culinary Management
  • Hospitality & Restaurant Management

You may know your way around a kitchen, but formal culinary training can help turn your concoctions into a crowning achievement.

There are plenty of culinary schools to choose from -- the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission currently accredits more than 165 formal formal culinary training programs in the U.S., which lead to an associate degree, certificate, or diploma.

Theoretical culinary coursework covers menu planning, minimizing waste, nutrition, portion control, proper food storage procedures, public health regulations, purchasing and inventory methods, and sanitation. Culinary training may also include banquet service, computer accounting and inventory software, and food service management.


Of course, culinary schools provide endless opportunities to get up to your elbows in the culinary arts. You won't just read about meal preparation, you'll practice it. Cooking schools teach good knife techniques, safe food-handling procedures, and proper use and care of kitchen equipment. Your culinary training may also incorporate advanced cooking techniques; cooking for banquets, buffets, or parties; and cuisines and cooking styles from around the world.

With education from culinary schools, you can often bypass the lower-skilled kitchen jobs and move right into a cook or chef position. Formal culinary training can also make your resume more appetizing to upscale restaurant employers. Plus, culinary schools typically require an internship with a local restaurant or other food preparation facility, which provides the real-world experience you'll need to catapult your culinary career.


Another way to cook up a four-star culinary career is to get certified by the American Culinary Federation. There are 14 levels of culinary certification: Certified Culinarian, Certified Sous Chef, Certified Chef de Cuisine, Certified Executive Chef, Certified Master Chef, Personal Certified Chef, Personal Certified Executive Chef, Certified Pastry Culinarian, Certified Working Pastry Chef, Certified Executive Pastry Chef, Certified Master Pastry Chef, Certified Culinary Administrator, Certified Secondary Culinary Educator, and Certified Culinary Educator. Students who graduate from an accredited culinary training program are eligible for free certification as either a Certified Culinarian or a Certified Pastry Culinarian.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chefs, cooks, and food preparation workers held nearly 3.1 million jobs in 2006. And here's a tip on where the culinary careers are -- meals-to-go (e.g., prepared foods sections of grocery stores) and contract food service (e.g., catering). These healthy culinary careers are projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2016.

Ready to rise to the top of your career? Let culinary schools take you there.

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