Culinary Schools in Chicago

Culinary Schools in Chicago

by admin on June 14, 2012

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, more and more people in Chicago are thinking of making a career switch. A good percentage of them are enrolling in culinary school, probably after countless nights of making pensive, grilled cheese sandwiches at three o’ clock in the morning.If you want, take a look at Fox Channel’s “Masterchef” contestant, Suzy Singh. Singh was previously a working engineer, went back to school to cook, and ended up meeting the reality show’s producers in her school’s lobby. Chicagians with impending identity crises like Singh want to know – what are the top culinary schools in the city?

Singh’s school, Le Cordon Bleu, is a great start. Le Cordon Bleu actually started in France. They now have thirty locations worldwide – pretty impressive considering it started off as just a recipe book. True to its heritage, the school teaches French cooking techniques to its young hopefuls. The Chicago branch is responsible for turning out thousands of chefs and bakers, many of which now run the amazing restaurants that make up the blossoming city.

Another respected institution is Kendall College. There are some unique qualities to Kendall though, like their child nutrition program which is a topic more overlooked in other schools. Kendall also stresses real job preparation and placement. They reach out to the community and social responsibility by supporting food pantries and accessible information about health and food sustainability. The faculty and alumni have accrued an impressive list of awards and has had their fair-share of reality television contestants – not that anyone’s counting.

The Illinois Institute of Art is a popular choice as well. Like their fashion, media, and graphic design degree counterparts, their culinary program gives career-oriented skills to their students. The school operates their own restaurant called Backstage Bistro. The kitchen is run by the students, and the menu rotates regularly. A reservation at Backstage Bistro would be a smart way to check out what the school has to offer. The Illinois Institute of Art also reaches out to aspiring high schoolers, hosting “Best Teen Chef” annual competitions with tuition scholarships. Professional chefs judge the teens on real cooking standards, like knife skills, taste, texture, portion size, safe technique, and presentation.

Whichever of these schools end up in your future, it’s what you make of it that matters. During culinary school, some find their calling, but more than half of culinary school grads give up on the industry within the first five years. With all that vast, accumulated, culinary knowledge though, I wonder how amazing their grilled cheese sandwiches would taste post-graduation.

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