Recently I was walking through a market in my Platt College uniform. A woman stopped and asking me an interesting question. “What are the differences between Chefs that went to a culinary arts college and those that worked their way up in the kitchen?”
Chefs that attended and graduated from a school have a few advantages over a chef that work their way to the top of a kitchen.
Culinary Art graduates are well-rounded
Culinary programs have evolved since I went to school. Instead of concentrating on Classical European techniques, students are exposed to international cuisines. Making them much more employable as food trends emerge.
To the contrary a chef that work their way up typically only learns from the kitchens or other chefs that mentored them. This limits their marketability as a chef to other kitchens, creating a glass ceiling effect.
Culinary grads learn more than cooking
Sure culinary students go to school to learn cooking. However, going to school teaches them discipline. The expectations of chefs typically is regimented. From uniform standards, having recipes written, and upholding integrity of the position as “Chef”; many culinary graduates appreciate the strict discipline after a few months.
Culinary degrees becoming essential for many positions
Many companies are requiring a degree in culinary arts even for entry level positions. Reason being employers recognize a person’s dedication to the industry. An individual that endures culinary school has invested into the food service occupation.
Networking beyond the city limits
Most chefs that worked their way to the top in a kitchen never network beyond the city limits. They become stagnant and complacent within their own restaurant.
Culinary students typically become friends with many instructors and fellow students. Having a pulse on the trends and places that maybe hiring. This is a huge advantage. As with social media, it is crucial to network and staying current.
Career Services is your friend
When you choose to go to Culinary school you give yourself the advantage of having a dedicated Career Services team to assist you in, not only finding employment opportunities that are right for you, but in creating a professional resume, making contacts and networking in your career field, job interview coaching, and communication development.
As you can see there are many advantages to earning a Culinary Degree. If you are interested in the Culinary Arts Program at Platt College or any of our other culinary programs, such as Pastry Arts, or Hospitality & Restaurant Management you can contact us here.
Written by: Gerald Egger, Culinary Arts Chef Instructor – Platt College Tulsa