Food reads: Is cooking school worth it?

12 Sep

I have been fantasizing about going to culinary school for a while now and I don’t mean any cooking school in the United States, but the renowned Le Cordon Blue in Paris. Just like Julia Child. Who wouldn’t want that kind of relationship with food? I want romance, I want adventure. I certainly have met people who have gone to culinary school and cringe when I tell them that I’d love to follow in their tracks. “It’s not easy,” they say. It’s a lot of work, the teaching chefs are usually jerks and it’s becoming harder to find a well-paying job even after potential employers see the shiny diploma. That’s a major buzz kill.

Ah, beautiful Paris…. {Image}

Apparently, they are absolutely right. According to this TIME article, culinary schools now charge up to $30,000 a year and most students struggle to find work other than line cooking. More than 800 current and former students are involved in a class action suit against Le Cordon Blue in Pasadena, California, for… basically selling false hope.

So, I ask you, are cooking schools worth it? The article even takes it a step further.

Are creative careers like cooking, fashion design and even journalism best learned by going to school or by getting your foot in the door and training on the job?

That’s a very  interesting question since I did go to journalism school. Could have I learned my skills on the job? Probably, but it’s the finessing of those skills that I learned in J-school; it’s the opportunity to learn about new media and dipping my feet into print, TV and radio journalism. I do admit that with food, however, the argument is a bit different. The newly minted cult of celebrity chefs has made going to school almost obsolete: If you have a computer, a camcorder and at least some cooking skills (well, not really… Food Network has a show called Worst Cooks in America), you are good to go. Maybe we should go back to working hard and doing things the right way. Just a thought.

2 Responses to “Food reads: Is cooking school worth it?”

  1. Skelli September 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    It’s a very tricky question yours. And I think it can also be applied to any creative job.
    Nowadays it’s difficult to be really creative if they ask you to be experienced. You lose all the romance of it.
    You have to get the basis at school and then invent something unique. This skill unfortunately can’t be learned at any school. It’s called imagination.
    Have a look at this place. http://www.galerie-cebra.de/index.html
    When I saw it I was so jealous of the amount of fantasy embodied into these objects. Why I can’t imagine any of this????
    By the way, they were extra-ordinary and extra-epensive!🙂

  2. cooking schools November 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Lots of people are pursuing admission in cooking academies to become cooking experts. Choosing cooking schools for making career in culinary industry is good options as degree and courses pursued by the people from these centers can help them to make career in cooking industry.

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