Lights, Cameras, Culinary Degrees!

Are you willing to sign on for the public critique--some would say public humiliation--that's the meat and potatoes of the latest reality television cooking competition shows? If so, put on your chef's jacket and school yourself in your signature dish.

Chef School: Time to Find a Signature Style

From Carissa's French chef school education turned American cuisine to Nathan's nutritional savvy, each "Next Food Network Star" contestant displayed culinary uniqueness. If you're in chef school, what better time to discover your personal style?

If you're considering a culinary degree and know who you are, your signature style can guide you to the perfect culinary arts education. Choose your chef school according to its faculty. The chefs who teach you can help you develop your style, especially if it's in synch with their own. Then you--and your food--will be ready for your close-ups!

From Culinary Degree to Culinary Competition

Granted, culinary competition shows seem equally divided between classically trained chefs who attended culinary school and self-trained cooks. Both well-schooled and amateur chefs frequently cite mom or grandma as the origin of their passion for cooking. But you won't be hurting your chances for a culinary reality show position with your degree, since as a group, those with culinary degrees tend to get farther in the competitions than the self-schooled. Go to chef school, and you'll be ready when "Hell's Kitchen" or "Top Chef" or the Food Network calls.

Guy Fieri's cooking show premiers on the Food Network in late June. Will you be watching to learn his signature Rhode Island Calamari? Or will you be studying how to replace him as the next "Next Food Network Star"?