Culinary School as against Apprenticeship!
There’s a growing paradigm shift when it comes to education. Some have this notion that schools are no longer necessary.
The industrialized world has easy access to the Internet, where there’s abundant information available.
Aside from that, there are also those who find other informal learning programs such as apprenticeship just as educational.
Perhaps, even more at times, than going to school. For them, working directly under an expert is as informative and professionally enriching as being in a classroom and reading from textbooks.
Formal Education Still Matters If You Want to Become a Chef
No doubt, the world may be leaning more toward informal education. Many still hold on to the traditional value of schooling.
It has thoroughly organized way of cultivating knowledge, particularly in working to become a professional.
One can’t overlook the fact that going to school still gives more advantages when it comes to future pursuits. This is because, the world still operates through many traditional systems.
That is why if you are thinking of becoming a chef, most industry veterans will still recommend getting formal chef training.
In Dubai, this is often an easy decision to make for anybody who wants to pursue the dream. It’s the home of one of the best culinary academies in the world.
But, what are the advantages of formal culinary training especially in comparison to informal training programs? Let us examine six are discussed below
1. Culinary school is the best place to master all the fundamentals of cooking.
To be a great chef, it’s imperative to learn and finely hone the fundamentals. You might ask, why school instead of an actual restaurant kitchen?
You will be able to focus more committedly in culinary school. Demonstrating these fundamental skills in a paying job equals a professional level already. Also, an asset to the productivity objective of operations.
In a typical apprenticeship or on-the-job training program, it’s often challenging to dedicate adequate time to master vital skills right away.
You have to attend to the other demands for your time that keep the business running. Otherwise, you can lose your source of learning altogether.
2. You acquire more advanced knowledge in culinary school.
One unbeatable advantage of attending culinary school is the strategic build-up of information for students.
The school has different specialized classes. They go hand in hand for grooming you into a highly-skilled professional.
For instance, there’s a course in food science. Through it, you learn more ways to experiment with food and present new recipes. This is presented to work in conjunction with nutrition. Which is a cornerstone in modern culinary arts.
All in all, you are taught more of the crucial lessons. This helps to uphold the highest standards. Also, as a professional who prepares food for the consumption of other people.
You can acquire some of this knowledge in an apprenticeship program. However, the instruction is not likely to get deep enough for you to establish the complete relevance of the lesson.
3. You have access to industry experts.
Obviously, when you’re in culinary school, you don’t just have one expert teaching you. You get a large group of experts dedicated to imparting their knowledge, experience.
Also, you get access to their personally discovered techniques. So, you can become a high-caliber chef.
This diverse repository of information will provide you with more lessons. About cooking, working as a chef, or being the boss, that you can use to your best advantage.
More importantly, these are professionals who are trained to teach. They can be more effective with instruction and promoting your development.
4. You have access to the best tools and equipment for the trade.
There will be access to an impressive selection of tools and equipment for cooking in an apprenticeship program. This simply will not compare to what culinary schools have.
As previously mentioned, there are different disciplines taught in the academy. Therefore, schools invest in more and the latest tools for cooking.
But, culinary school does not just provide them to make cooking. Talk of cuisines as authentic and easy as possible; these tools and equipment are also subjects to learn.
In-depth instruction about them is key to creativity in the kitchen. Which is, however, vital for chefs.
This has been demonstrated in the show Top Chef. You may have watched the challenge where every contestant was provided with specific tools to use in whipping up an impressive breakfast.
This was an important challenge for the contestants. To outwork the limitations in cooking due to specifically assigned equipment and utensils, adequate knowledge of the make-up and capabilities of their tools is imperative.
5. Going to culinary school will provide you with unquestionable validation of your training.
Whether you have only taken cooking classes for beginners in a culinary school or a diploma course, you get a proof of your training.
A certificate or diploma increases your eligibility for job positions in the food industry.
There are other aspiring chefs who didn’t get formal chef education. It may not seem fair that graduates of culinary schools are often priority applicants for restaurants and food manufacturing companies. After all, great cooking is all about skill.
However, that’s how the industry works; there are stringent requirements for jobs. Among them, is a relevant educational background.
6. Culinary schools put their students in a more competitive position in the job search.
It’s not just the certificates and diplomas that put culinary school students in a better position when looking for a job. It’s also the school’s connections.
Quite often, culinary schools function as supply agencies too. This is because food businesses turn to them for talented chefs to employ.
Given all of these advantages, indeed, culinary school is the best place to develop yourself into a chef.
Yes, it costs quite some money to go to school. But, there’s no doubt that it can launch you better than other learning programs into your chosen career path.
Shanaaz Raja is the Course Director at International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai.