Creating world-class cuisine is an art form learned through years of dedication to the craft down to the smallest details. Chefs wear traditional clothing items that hold symbolic meanings or have a functional use in the kitchen. A chef’s pants are made for comfort, their jacket is made of a thick material to protect against burns, and the height of their hat is a sign of rank within the kitchen. The same attention to detail is shown in the presentation of your meal.
Each ingredient provides a unique flavor that creates a masterful dish for your palate. If you are interested in becoming a chef you will have to learn these time-honored traditions. You can study culinary arts and receive a certification, an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, and gain experience by working with highly rated sous chefs.
One of the most common ways to become a professional chef is to take basic culinary classes at your local community college, or one of the many institutes that primarily focus on commercial cuisine. To get your culinary arts certificate you will have to complete a year-long course, or a 30-week accelerated program. This degree will allow you to get an entry-level job in a decent kitchen, but do not expect high-end restaurants to hire you with only a culinary arts certificate.
If you are enthralled by your certification program, then an associate degree is the next logical step to start your career. This is a two-year program that will give you an in-depth knowledge of working in commercial kitchens, and a diverse repertoire of cuisine that you have perfected. Your associate’s program will teach you the basics of managing a kitchen, and a restaurant full of hungry customers. This is one of the few degrees at a community college that you can use immediately after graduation.
For those of you who envision opening a restaurant one day, a bachelor’s degree will be of great value. This four-year degree gives you the knowledge to operate a business. You will learn culinary arts, baking & pastry arts, culinary management, restaurants management, and hospitality management. Certain institutions also provide you with techniques to market your business, as well as accounting techniques to pay your overhead expenses.
Cooking fine cuisine is one of the last remaining fields where you can rise to the top without a formal education. Chefs have been around for hundreds of years without certificates, and degrees, to prove their worth. Like many degrees, the theory behind your training makes sense, but once you get into the field the reality is much more complex.
The absolute best way to learn culinary arts is to work with world-renowned chefs in their restaurants. You should find a sous chef you respect and attach yourself at their hip to learn as much as possible. This will provide you with knowledge while building positive relationships within the industry.