Best Culinary Schools: Top 5 Cooking Academies Most Recommended By Experts

Professional chefs will agree, culinary schools are a great way for aspiring cooks to get their foot in the door, receive formal training with technical tools to perform in this competitive industry, and sometimes have a job lined up after graduation. Formal training provides the mental discipline required to perform well under a lot of stress. Are you interested in becoming a professional chef? Attending one of the best culinary schools will catapult your chances at success in the food industry.

If you are teetering on going to culinary school, consider this, being able to cook is considered the best dating quality. The old adage that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach might be true after all. If you’re looking for love, a new survey finds the easiest way to get a date is to know what you’re doing in the kitchen. The OnePoll survey of 2,000 Americans finds the top trait people look for in a potential partner is whether they’re a good cook (63%). This tasty quality edged out other options like “someone I can trust” and “someone who makes me laugh.”

As attractive as the cooking quality can be, we are in an era where robots can cook you meals. A group of researchers from the University of Cambridge has trained a robotic “chef” to watch cooking videos and replicate the dishes. Cooking has always posed a challenge for robots, although they have been depicted in science fiction for years. While some companies have developed prototype robot chefs, none are currently available on the market, and they still fall behind human cooks in terms of skill. This breakthrough could make it easier and more affordable to deploy robot chefs in the future. The researchers aimed to teach a robot chef to learn like humans do, through observation and incremental learning. They created a set of eight simple salad recipes and filmed themselves preparing them. Using a publicly available neural network, they trained the robot chef to recognize the different objects and actions involved in cooking. As impressive as this may be, robots are far from taking over the world’s kitchens. Or at least, we hope not.

If your passion is creating delicious culinary concoctions, then it’s high time to consider earning a culinary arts degree. StudyFinds searched the internet for ten expert rankings and compiled this list of the best culinary schools in the world. These are our top picks, but if you have a selection that we haven’t listed, be sure to let us know in the comments below.

A chef plating food (Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash)

The List: Best Culinary Schools, According to Experts

1. Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is named after the world-famous Auguste Escoffier.  “Escoffier revolutionized modern French cuisine and the Cordon Bleu. The school teaches the skills and techniques of Auguste Escoffier himself,” explains soegjobs.com.

Different courses and campuses include the Culinary Arts Associate of Applied Science Degree, pastry arts, and a Master’s degree in culinary arts. “Located in the United States, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is one of the best culinary arts schools in the world that provides diploma and degree programs in both areas at campuses in Boulder, Colorado, and Austin, Texas. Career services are available to students both while in school and after graduation,” offers iSchoolConnect.

Students at the Auguste Escoffier School benefit from small class sizes and personalized instruction throughout the program. “The school offers lifelong professional support to graduates through job placement assistance, use of facilities, resume development, and networking opportunities. One of the highlights of the culinary arts program is a three to 10-week (depending on the program) Farm to Table Experience which allows students to learn where a variety of foods come from, farming methods, and sustainability practices they can use throughout their career. Students may have the opportunity to experience produce, livestock, or dairy farms as well as the artisan market during their Farm to Table Experience,” says Best Choice Schools.

2. Kendall College of Culinary Arts

Kendall College is part of National Louis University in Chicago. It has produced 12 students who have received the James Beard Foundation Award, several of them more than once. “The school offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in Culinary Arts, as well as a certificate. In 2013, the school was reaffirmed by The Higher Learning Commission, and it’s considered the number one program in Chicago for studying culinary arts. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can take an accelerated AAS that takes just five quarters to complete,” offers Best Choice Schools.

An aspiring chef’s dream, Kendall College has 12 professional-grade kitchens, a sustainable garden, a bread oven that’s outdoors, and kitchens designed for the production of chocolate and other sweet treats. “In addition to Kendall College’s core culinary curriculum, students also study language, humanities, and many other areas, providing them with a well-rounded degree,” boasts the Institute of Culinary Education.

Kendall believes in practical application with highly-skilled instructors. “All chef instructors have at least ten years of culinary experience. There are multiple program options, ranging from a Culinary Arts Certificate to a B.A. in Culinary Arts, so you can choose the depth and amount of time you want to spend in the program,” says prepscholar.com.

3. Johnson and Wales Providence

Something creative about Johnson & Wales is that they feature an exchange program for culinary students to choose and swap places with other culinary students in Ireland or Portugal. “Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island features an associate degree program that focuses on culinary arts. Like most associate degree programs, the associate culinary degree can be obtained in two years. The first year of the program focuses on teaching students the basics, while the second year allows students to advance their techniques and skill set as they learn to cook both classic and international dishes,” explains the Institute of Culinary Education.

For the busy student, Johnson and Wales even offers online enrollment options. “Degree-seekers can choose the format that matches their learning style and schedule. Enrollees work closely with academic advisors to choose classes that meet graduation requirements and match the student’s professional goals. Learners prepare for the job market with resources like resume reviews, career workshops, and job fairs. Undergraduates report a 65% graduation rate,” says The Best Schools.

Not only is there a 65 percent graduation rate, but according to the university’s most recent data, 73 percent of students complete their internship with a job offer. “Students can even pair their degree with a minor in food studies, sommelier management, or culinary sustainability,” states College Rank.

4. Culinary Institute of America

Financial aid advisors are very accommodating to students helping them with scholarship and grant opportunities. “The strong presence in online and in-person learning benefits enrollees seeking a supportive learning community. The programs provide customization options such as electives and concentrations so degree-seekers can meet their personal and professional goals. The Culinary Institute of America supports learners with institutional resources like career workshops, mock interviews, and job fairs. The school reports a graduation rate of 70% for its undergraduate programs. According to the most recent data, 81% of learners use financial aid,” informs The Best School.

Culinary Institute of America at Hyde tops this expert site’s list. Based on the on-campus activities, there is no wonder. “Overlooking the Hudson River, CIA New York is often included on lists of culinary schools and beautiful college campuses. Four open-to-the-public, student-staffed restaurants exist on the 170-acre campus, as do: General Foods Nutrition Center, the Colavita Center for Italian Food and Wine, and a student-run craft beer brewery known as The Egg,” explains College Rank.

The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park isn’t a new school, it was founded in 1946. “The Culinary Institute of America is one of the best culinary schools in the world. With campuses in New York, California, and Texas, it has many options for students across the country,” offers prepscholar.com.

5. Le Cordon Bleu

To finish the list is this esteemed international school. Well-known chefs who studied at Le Cordon Bleu include Julia Child, Nathalie Dupree, and more. “Le Cordon Bleu is considered one of the most illustrious institutions to get a culinary education. If you are highly interested in French gastronomy and cooking, Le Cordon Bleu could be the ideal place for you to learn,” explains soegjobs.com.

One of the most prestigious culinary schools in the world, Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, is where to go if you want to learn how to cook French cuisine. “Amateur chefs can take one- to four-day classes and workshops at most of the university’s 40 locations. Le Cordon Bleu is the largest culinary and hospitality school globally, stretching from Tokyo to Lima,” informs iSchoolConnect.

Not only is Julia Child a “first in her class” graduate, but the school even has a popular demo on boeuf bourguignon in her honor. One- to four-day courses and workshops are available for amateur chefs at most of its 40 campuses. Stretched over five continents from Tokyo to Lima, Le Cordon Bleu is the largest culinary and hospitality school in the world,” boasts prepscholar.com.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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