What's the best culinary institute out there? For that matter, what are the top 10 culinary schools around? How do I really know I'm going to a top cooking school? If you're a student looking for the best education for a successful culinary career, you may be asking these and many other questions as you research your choices.
Here are some key criteria that can help you assess the quality of different culinary schools and decide which college program is right for you:
1. Choose a culinary institute that will give you the greatest possible chance for success.
• High graduation and employment rates.
• Opportunities for long- term career success with attractive salaries.
• A large, successful alumni network.
• A strong industry reputation that provides access to national and international career opportunities not just regional ones.
2. Choose a culinary institute that emphasizes hands-on, in-kitchen learning and real hotel and restaurant experiences.
• A high number of teaching kitchens and in-kitchen instruction hours.
• A variety of first-class restaurants on campus
• Externships at leading restaurants, hotels, and resorts for real-world experience and industry connections.
3. Choose a culinary institute with a faculty of experienced, diverse, and accomplished chefs.
• Faculty members who are Master Chefs or Master Bakers
• Instructors who are Certified Educators, assuring that chef-instructors are effective teachers.
• Diverse faculty representing a variety of cultures and culinary experiences.
• Student/faculty ratios that provide individual mentoring.
• A "published"faculty and institute; accomplished educators are often authors of culinary texts as well
• "Celebrity" chef faculty members who actually teach, not just endorse the school.
• A "published" institute ; accomplished educators are often authors of leading culinary texts as well.
4. Choose an accredited culinary institute that provide fundamental skills, techniques, and cuisine studies to prepare you for a variety of food service jobs.
• Accreditation by the leading regional accrediting commision for higher education validating the quality of the education provided.
• A clear description of tuition and other education expenses as an indicator of institutional quality and integrity.
• The educational experience that gives you industry access that maximizes your career opportunity.