Why Should You Go to Culinary School?

You might think there is a large gap between cooking at home and becoming a professional chef--but a common love of food and cooking is what unites all types of chefs. Taking the next step and attending culinary school is easy when you realize the other qualities necessary to be a chef are held by many amateur cooks as well.

Chefs Are Creative

Perhaps you can enter the produce aisle of the grocery store, eyeball an eggplant and think of an original and delicious recipe. Maybe you taste a new dish and proceed home to recreate it, or maybe you're constantly experimenting with ingredients whenever you cook. Culinary schools help foster this natural creativity, so that tomorrow's chefs are innovative with their menus.

Chefs Are Technical

While grandma may have been the type of cook who used "a pinch of this and that" and never consulted a recipe, most professional chefs are very technical at heart. Perhaps the scientist in you loves the precise measuring, the accurate proportions, the consistency, and the perfect cooking temperature. Furthermore, professional kitchens are loaded with equipment of all types and sizes. Instructors at culinary schools teach students to correctly utilize the equipment and to master the tecnical aspects of cooking.

Chefs Are Business-Savvy

The skills you use in the business world or in your own household are extremely important in the professional kitchen as well. A good chef is organized and able to multitask; he or she must function as a part of a team, and work efficiently and quickly. Just becoming a professional chef is a wise business move, since job openings are expected to increase 9-17% through 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The National Restaurant Association's figures for 2006 claim $511 billion in sales in 925,000 locations.

Culinary schools may help you develop the skills you may already have and combine those talents with a love of food.