Culinary arts degree
How to find the perfect culinary arts degree that can turn your passion for food into a high-profile, exciting culinary career as a professional chef
From intensive entrepreneurial training courses to Bachelor’s programs and professional lifelong learning, there is a culinary arts program perfect for you whatever your profile and goals.
Culinary arts programs
If you have a passion for food and want to take your skills to the next level, a culinary arts degree can help you fine tune your technique to a professional standard and open up a whole world of exciting, often incredibly high-profile careers in some of the best restaurants and hotels around the world.
A good culinary arts program will enable you to develop first-class culinary skills by learning from the experts and could catapult you into the higher echelons of the gastronomic world.
As a culinary arts student, you will learn classical techniques, the latest food trends and practical know-how such as kitchen management and ingredient sourcing.
Among the essential skills you will develop in a culinary arts degree are
Fundamental culinary techniques
How to chop, slice, peel, braise, sautée and more. Through repetition and demonstrations, you will learn how to master the essential techniques required in a modern kitchen
Develop a range of plating and presentation skills, from selecting the right plate and garnishing to those essential last touches before the dish leaves the kitchen.
Learn the science behind cooking, how food changes when cooked and how to apply different techniques and technologies to deliver new and exciting flavor sensations.
Find out all about what’s current in the culinary world, from sustainability to the latest trends and techniques being pioneered by Michelin-starred restaurants.
Life and business skills
You will also learn a range of essential ‘soft’ skills such as time management, discipline and communication alongside business fundamentals such as accounting, finance and budgeting to marketing, strategy and procurement.
Undergraduate Culinary arts programs
If you’re just out of high school and are set on a career in the hospitality industry as a professional chef, the best path you can take is a culinary arts degree program.
Generally taught over three years and including at least one internship for essential real-world experience, Bachelor’s degree programs in culinary arts will immerse you in the dynamic, fast-growing world of high-end cuisine.
You will learn all about the culinary arts in the classroom and in practical workshops while also developing your business, communication and kitchen management skills.
On graduation, you will have a thorough understanding of the culinary arts and be primed for your first role in the gastronomic world.
Culinary arts programs for career changers
If you have a passion for cooking as a hobby or are looking to switch careers and don’t have the time to take a culinary degree, there are many programs available that will help you develop your skills and land a job in culinary arts.
These either take the form of short courses in specialist subjects or, for more serious students, diplomas in culinary arts that can be up to nine months in length.
Diplomas cover a variety of cuisines, have a strong focus on managerial and entrepreneurial skills and feature a high proportion of practical learning.
They are designed to give you an essential toolbox of culinary skills and business acumen that can transform your hobby into a serious professional career.
Culinary arts degree schools
There are many institutions that provide culinary training, but to really immerse yourself in the gastronomic world and attain the highest professional standards, you should opt for a dedicated culinary arts school.
At a good culinary arts school, you will learn from the most qualified chefs and experts in their fields, be exposed to cutting-edge modern and classical techniques and practise your techniques in state-of-the-art kitchens.
What makes a good culinary arts school?
If you’ve decided on a culinary education, the next question is which culinary school is the right one? While most will be able to provide a reasonable level of culinary arts education, to get the most rewarding experience, you should consider a range of factors.
As with most hospitality and related programs, there’s no substitute for learning in a real-world environment.
The best culinary schools will offer at least one internship opportunity so you can gain experience in the culinary industry quickly to advance your skills and knowledge.
Some even place you in Michelin-starred hotels and restaurants.
Great facilities can make all the difference, so look for a school that offers high-end, state-of-the-art kitchens, training labs and classrooms.
The better culinary arts schools also include working restaurants open to the public, where students get the chance to really test their newly developed skills.
Culinary schools that employ master chefs, artisan bakers and high-end pastry artists offer the best culinary arts education, while it’s also worth checking the student-to-faculty ratio so you get the attention and guidance you need.
Practical and business skills
Culinary arts schools should offer a combination academic study and practical, hands-on learning.
The best will provide culinary workshops where you get to hone your skills and courses in business and management techniques that prepare you for leadership in the culinary world.
Check a school’s reputation, not only academically but also among leading lights in the industry.
The best culinary arts schools will be accredited by an independent education body that guarantees certain standards of teaching and will be world renowned for their pursuit of culinary excellence.
Find out how many of the school’s graduates find jobs once they’ve completed their studies and where they end up working.
The best schools will have alumni working in some of the world’s best restaurants and hotels.
Jobs in culinary arts
While most culinary arts graduates are aiming to become professional chefs, a culinary arts program can be the gateway to other exciting roles in the industry too. Here are some of the career paths chosen by students of the culinary arts.
Start your own restaurant, catering company or even chef training academy using the skills acquired on a culinary arts program.
The administrative and business skills you will learn on a culinary arts program will give you the perfect grounding for restaurant management.
High-end hotels are always on the lookout for professionals with a mix of culinary and management training to run their F&B offerings.
Events & catering manager
You could easily deploy your top-notch culinary skills and business knowledge in an events or catering context.
A culinary arts program can set you up to successfully manage a food franchise thanks to the broad range of skills you will acquire.
Product development manager
Your inventiveness and finely developed palate will be major assets in the food industry as a product development manager.
Manager in the food industry
With an in-depth knowledge of food and a firm grasp of management, marketing and sales, you could move into a managerial role in the food industry.
Work with other chefs to help them develop menus, create new dishes, upgrade their kitchens or work smarter.
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Frequently asked questions
What degree is best for Culinary Arts?
If you are serious about turning your passion for food into a career in the culinary arts, the best pathway is to study a culinary arts degree from a well-respected specialist culinary arts school.
How many years is Culinary Arts degree?
Typically, a culinary arts degree will take three years, though internships or work placements can mean they last slightly longer. Check each program before applying.
What can I do with a Bachelor's degree in culinary arts?
Most culinary arts graduates are aiming to be professional chefs, but there are many other roles you can perform with the transferable skills you will learn on a culinary arts program.
These include entrepreneur, restaurant manager, F&B manager, events and catering manager, product development manager and culinary consultant.