Flipping burgers, slinging hash, and washing an endless supply of dirty dishes is what many people envision when they imagine the life of a chef. The life can be that, undoubtedly, but it can be so much more, too.
The education process at culinary college encompasses many aspects of food that aren't often associated with the work. The culinary field covers so much ground that people find it fascinating in ways they'd not imagined when they enrolled.
It's true an education in culinary college will lead to a very thorough understanding of all the foods available in the world. The culinary student will learn all about how to prepare and cook just about every plant and animal humans choose to eat.
The culinary college education doesn't stop there, however. One aspect of cooking that is coming under increasing scrutiny of late is the safety of the food itself, including the handling, transporting, and storing procedures that take it from farm to table. Proper and safe food handling procedures are the very first order of business in culinary colleges and it is practiced relentlessly every day of the education period.
Culinary college also addresses the safety of food from the nutritional aspect. Healthy cooking techniques are encouraged and health-related dietary needs are explored in depth, too.
Not everyone who enrolls in culinary college does so to become a hands-on kind of chef. Many culinary students have a background working in commercial kitchens and go to school to learn how to manage a facility. For these students, the classes devoted to cost-effective purchasing, legal contracts, property management, equipment maintenance, personnel issues, marketing and advertising, and money and time management are likely to be the most valued.
Television, the movies, radio, magazines, books, and other communications media are behind the choice to attend culinary college for a lot of students. In order to become respected voices for the industry, these students know they must know the industry inside out and enroll in culinary college to earn the required credentials that will get their faces in front of the camera or their names in print.
The culinary college itself is the final goal for some students. These students either loved the industry and wanted to know more when they enrolled or they grew to love it during the training. They love it to the extent they want to share their knowledge with others and choose to become the instructors that generate the enthusiasm in future generations of chefs in training.
And there really are some people who just like flipping burgers, slinging hash, and washing dishes and many of these people are graduates of culinary college. With so many hungry mouths to feed, there's a place in the business to suit everybody.