• Cooking Up the Right Culinary School

    Renowned chef Wolfgang Puck once said that the best part of his job was 'the opportunity to work in the kitchen every day.' Consider turning your fondness for foodstuff into a potential culinary career. When you consider the many culinary programs available, make sure you keep the following school-searching tips in mind.

    • Location, Location, Location

    Earning your culinary degree at a school located in or near a city that offers opportunities to network could give you a leg up when it comes to seeking employment. (6) Texas's restaurants are an increasingly important part of the state's economy. In fact, restaurants are a key driver of employment in Texas and their sales generate tremendous tax revenues for the state. (7)

    • Check Out the Classroom

    A good classroom experience starts in an environment where there are opportunities for individualized attention. Look for a culinary school that offers small class sizes and instructors who provide personal attention to their students. Research the background of the culinary college's staff. As a group, do they represent a variety of professional experience and areas of expertise?

    • Tools of the Culinary Trade

    One important benefit of completing a culinary degree is learning your way around a commercial kitchen. Culinary schools that offer up-to-date facilities can help you learn to use modern cooking technology

    • Convenience Is Key

    Students come to the culinary world from all walks of life, and many need to hold down another job while they prepare for a culinary career. If you need to schedule your studies around other obligations, look for a school that offers courses at night or on weekends.

    • From Culinary College to Chef

    The field of culinary arts is a competitive one, even for graduates of a culinary school. Many culinary colleges offer help with resume preparation and interview coaching to assist students with job hunting. Also, find out where recent program graduates are employed and if they enjoyed their culinary school experience.

    • Find the Culinary School for You

    Though you may be eager to begin your culinary training, take your time to research schools. You may want to check out Web sites, request additional information, communicate directly with program staff, and even visit a few schools if your resources allow. Also, make sure that the culinary school you're considering has been accredited. Many culinary arts colleges have been accredited by agencies such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) or the Accrediting Commission of the American Culinary Federation.

    About the Author:
    Chloƫ Dowley is a freelance writer based in rural Maine. She frequently writes culinary features and career pieces featured on Yahoo! and MSN.

    (1) Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

    (2) American Culinary Federation

    (3) Dallas News, Useful and Wacky Facts of Life in D-FW

    (4) Weekender Japan, Interview with Wolfgang Puck

    (5) http://www.evancarmichael.com/Famous-Entrepreneurs/623/Lesson-4-Find-Your-Raison-dEtre.html

    (6) Employment not guaranteed for students or graduates.

    (7) http://www.restaurant.org/pdfs/research/state/texas.pdf